July 28th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - McLaren drivers Jenson Button and Sergio Perez delivered the team's third double points finish of the 2013 season, bringing their cars home in seventh and ninth places respectively.
Button started 13th and used his tyre strategy to good effect, at one point running third after a very long first stint on medium tyres. He was involved in a long battle with Sebastian Vettel, Romain Grosjean and Fernando Alonso, keeping the three behind him for a long time after the opening round of pitstops. When they eventually passed him, Grosjean pushed Button onto the grass under braking for the turn 6 chicane, earning himself a post-race 20-second penalty.
Button was behind Grosjean at the end of the race, but unfortunately for the McLaren driver Grosjean's 20-second penalty was not enough to promote Button to sixth place. He finished the race seventh, scoring himself and his team 6 points.
Button was pleased with his race, despite finishing only seventh. He said afterwards, “That was a fun race – although I seemed to be a target for other cars! Sebastian [Vettel] tried many times to get past me, and clipped my rear wheel into Turn Two – he may have damaged his wing, but I was lucky not to puncture.
“With Romain [Grosjean], I don’t know what he thought – unless I took to the grass, it was inevitable we were going to touch! I don’t think he was thinking at that point.
“I ran almost half the race on the Prime tyre, which was the longest of anybody; it’s good to show we can do that. Our middle-stint pace on the Option was also very good, and I had a blinding first lap, jumping from 13th to eighth. We beat a Ferrari fair and square, and we’d also have beaten a Mercedes if Nico [Rosberg] hadn’t stopped – we can take a lot of positives away from here.
“Seventh position might not look too exciting – particularly after we fought for fifth at the last race – but we’ve done a good job this weekend and taken a step forward – and that’s a nice little boost to send everyone off into the summer break.”
Sergio Perez struggled on his first set of tyres, which meant he had to pit earlier than planned and ended up fighting in traffic. But he managed to recover to ninth by the end of the race, which is a positive result for McLaren. He said after the race:
“We really needed the starting tyre in the best possible condition to make a two-stopper work properly. After qualifying yesterday, I think we were in a good position to score some good points, but we were affected by the run on the used Prime from qualifying.
“So, unfortunately, I think we lost out a little too much in the first stint; I struggled with the rear of the car, had to pit earlier than planned, and then ran into traffic and lost more time, so it’s a bit of a shame.
“Still, it’s a positive to get both cars into the points again. I think we can feel satisfied with the job we’ve done over the last couple of races – a result like this is encouraging for everybody in the team, and it’s a nice present with which to send us into the August break.”