SILVERSTONE, 6th July 2014 (F1Plus / Graham Keilloh) - Jenson Button – perhaps surprisingly – has never achieved a podium finish in a British Grand Prix. But today, surpassing even his own expectations, he very nearly got it finally, with a fourth place result, as well as was close behind the P3 occupant Daniel Ricciardo when the chequered flag fell.
Indeed Button reckoned he might have taken the place for himself with one extra lap ‘At the end, I crossed the line only 0.9s behind Daniel (Ricciardo); if there’d been just one more lap, I think I could have made it past.
‘I got so close to a podium finish – and I think it would’ve been so great for the fans to see Lewis and me up there together. I’m sorry it didn’t quite happen, but I want to say a big thank-you to all the fans, and to my family, and last but not least to the entire McLaren team – everyone has been so supportive this weekend.’
Button also was surprised – and delighted – with the race pace he was able to undertake today, given it was a track he didn’t think would suit the McLaren: ‘Circuits with high-speed changes of direction aren’t really our car’s forte’ he said, ‘so I think we can go away from Silverstone feeling encouraged by what we achieved this weekend.’
Button was especially pleased at some of the rivals that he was able to out-pace: ‘Specifically, it was great to have such a good fight with Fernando (Alonso), and it was encouraging to be able to pull away from him and Sebastian (Vettel) in the last stint.’
Button looked ahead to future races with guarded optimism: ‘Looking to the future, although today has seen us take another step forward, it’s apparent that we still have a lot of work to: for example, even though Williams started behind us, they still beat us today.
‘Nonetheless, we’re certainly not giving up. On the contrary, it’s important that we continue to work hard to develop this car, so as to score as many world championship points as we can this year and learn as much as we can for next year.’
His team mate Kevin Magnussen, who finished seventh, had similar thoughts: ‘Today has been a good day for the team – we scored 18 points – so we should feel reasonably satisfied, because we’re continuing to improve.
‘Having said that, all the other teams are continuing to improve, too; so our challenge is really about making progress faster than the others do.’
Magnussen had mixed views on his Sunday’s work: ‘My race went okay – we struggled a little on the Option [tyre], and we had much better pace on the Prime. It’s always frustrating when you slip back through the order a bit – but I made a really good start to be third initially, and after that I struggled to keep the Ferrari and Red Bull behind.
‘So, as I say, I think we should be reasonably satisfied with seventh place. But I’m really pleased for Jenson.’