Button expects supersoft tyres to shift balance of power on 'hardest track in F1'
Thursday 26 May 2011
Jenson Button is pinning his hopes on a change of tyres to turn the tables for McLaren against Red Bull in the Monaco Grand Prix this Sunday.
Once the status quo was established in the opening race in Melbourne, with Red Bull setting the pace from McLaren, the two have dominated the constructors' table – Red Bull and McLaren are on 185 points to 138, with Ferrari back on only 75. But Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel leads the drivers' title race after winning four grands prix out of five.
Monaco requires the highest level of downforce available, which in theory ought to favour Red Bull, as it did last year when Mark Webber won. But most drivers are agreed that tyre performance could be the most critical factor here, and that could undermine even the fastest. There are many slow corners, which require good mechanical performance as well as downforce, and just to make things even more complex Pirelli have, for the first time this season, matched their fast-wearing soft-compound tyres with the even less durable supersofts.
"We haven't run the supersoft for a long time," Button said yesterday. "It's going to last longer than on some other circuits, but strategy-wise it is very difficult to know what to do. If you get into a race situation there's more tyre degradation than you expect, and you are going to have to think on your feet. There could be two pit stops, or five."
Button, who won in 2009 then ran to the podium after forgetting where to stop his Brawn, summarised the joy of victory on the hardest track in Formula One. "I forgot where the podium was because it was five years since I'd last been there, but that was the most enjoyable 200 metres I've ever had to run. This is a very special race, always one you'd love to win, because even when leading it's very stressful, mentally very draining. It gives you very special emotions, because you celebrate victory not just with your team but with everyone here, everyone in Monaco gets involved."
Michael Schumacher, who infamously had parking problems of a different kind here in 2006 and who is shooting to equal Ayrton Senna's record of six wins at the track, said: "It's the race of the year, the highest emotion, the highest prestige. And this year all predictions are out of the window."
Arsenal vs Monaco match report: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain goal provides little consolation as Berbatov and Monaco stun Gunners
Fabio Cannavaro given jail sentence: World Cup winning captain gets 10-months for swimming in pool
Charlton sex tape: is the #sextratime Vine real or just another publicity stunt?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Theo Walcott 'involved in spat' with fans after Champions League defeat
Financial Fair Play under threat: Brussels court case could potentially lead to rules being scrapped
- 1 Liam Gallagher brands Kanye West 'utter s**t' during BRIT Awards performance
- 2 Isis burns thousands of books and rare manuscripts from Mosul's libraries
- 3 People who sleep more than eight hours are more likely to have a stroke, research shows
- 5 Muslim women's rights campaigner writes heartfelt letter to girls thinking of joining Isis
Oscars 2015: Birdman beats Boyhood as Eddie Redmayne and Patricia Arquette win big - as it happened
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
Ukraine crisis: 'One miscalculation, and Britain faces an existential threat to our whole being...'