SINGAPORE, September 20th, 2013 (F1Plus / Jacob Polychronis) - The large difference in lap times between the two Pirelli tyre compounds has provided Jenson Button with mixed feelings after Friday’s practice sessions in Singapore.
Button expressed pleasure in running the supersoft compound tyre, which was utilised in the second half of FP2.
“In the long runs towards the end the option tyre felt good, very consistent. I felt I could push the tyre pretty hard.”
Button’s running on the option tyre awarded him seventh position with a time of 1:45.754, 1.505 seconds off the leading Sebastian Vettel. Placing seventh provided the McLaren driver with feelings of contentment as he told Sky Sports F1.
“I wouldn’t mind being seventh on the grid, I don’t think that’s bad for us right now. The balance still isn’t there but we are very limited to help that because of the limitations of the car.”
Gap in times alarming for McLaren
Although a large time difference between the compound was expected, Button is concerned about their abnormally large time-gaps compared to other teams.
“I think it’s a bigger difference for us than others. I don’t know what it is but it’s something we need to sort out because it’s going to hurt us in the race.
“The weird thing is, more than last year, the difference in tyres. It totally transforms the car – I fell three seconds from my prime run to my option.
While McLaren typically exhibited a three second differential, most other teams noticed a two second gap between the prime and option tyre.
Button struggling on the prime tyre
Button’s was not particularly happy with his experience of the prime tyre in Friday's practice sessions.
“On the prime tyre I’m struggling quite a bit to get a good balance.
“As soon as you put on the prime tyre on it’s just skating around, very very low grip.”
Expectations remain low for McLaren who are still chasing their first podium placing for the season.