Formula 1 News

Button against team orders and stunned by Vettel's comments

The Britton also believes title fight open for McLaren.
Thursday, April 11, 2013

SHANGHAI, April 11, 2013 (F1plus/AFP) - Former world champion Jenson Button could not ignore what went on today at Shanghai. The Briton was asked about Vettel's comments in regards his past incident with Webber to which the German declared he had no reason to apologize to his teammate that also "did not deserve to win".

Eloquence is one of Button main qualities and he took no time in expressing his views on the subject.

"Lots of people have won world championships without being like that," Button said. "I'm surprised he's said that, personally. He's such a talented driver and he seems like a drive that the team love and they should; he's very successful, he seems like an easy-going character.

"It's surprising for him to say that. Obviously he's done it once; he knew what he was doing. We all want to win, but if you're told to hold station and you know that's the rule before the race then kick up about it before the race, don't just do the opposite in the race and I think that's the biggest issue."

For Button, in just the second race of the season, with the championship so opened for almost all drivers, it does not justify such action.

"I do not like team orders - I've said that before - but they're legal. I would understand if I couldn't win the championship anymore. I would understand if the team said to me 'Right, if you're leading this race and your team-mate is in second and needs the points to win the championship' then I would let him past.

"I wouldn't even need to be told that; I would do it myself because it's the right thing to do. But in the second race of the season I don't think it's the right thing to do.

Button also considers orders of this kind affect racing directly, and not in a good way (F1plus happens to agree).

"Basically you hammer the first part of the race, use as much fuel as you want, you pit before your team-mate to come out in front of him and then that's it; you just cruise home and he can't overtake you. I'm hoping that's not going to be the way from now on - it won't be here."

As it pertains to McLaren and his chances for the Chinese GP, he refused to rule out another title bid this year, despite a dreadful start to the season, and said that he was keeping faith with his much-criticised McLaren.

The Briton was down in ninth at the season-opening race in Melbourne and retired in the closing stages of Malaysia. His new team-mate Sergio Perez has fared little better.

McLaren made wholesale changes to their car for this season, the only team on the grid to do so, but the MP4-28 has been widely panned.

"It's so easy after Melbourne for people to say,'let's go back to last year's car' and I think easy even from my point of view because the last few races of last year we were quickest," Button said ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday.

"But what we have done with the car is, I think, the right thing. It's hurt us a lot, especially in the first race, and it might sill hurt us in Bahrain  (after China)," said the 2009 world champion.

"But the idea was always to have a car to develop through the season and we felt at the end of last year that we were at the end of everything with last year's car.

"We expected all the other top teams to do the same thing (make wholesale changes to their cars), so then we wouldn't have lost anything.

"We didn't expect all the teams -- except us -- to go the same direction. That has hurt us.

"But the championship is still completely open. There are still 17 races to go and if we can be fighting at the front in the next few races, that is very encouraging." He concluded. 

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Drivers
Teams
1 Lewis Hamilton 384
2 Nico Rosberg 317
3 Daniel Ricciardo 238
4 Valtteri Bottas 186
5 Sebastian Vettel 167
6 Fernando Alonso 159
1 Mercedes 701
2 Red Bull Racing 405
3 Williams F1 320
4 Ferrari 214
5 McLaren 187
6 Sahara Force India 152

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Mercedes
2
Felipe Massa
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