Jenson Button has had a tough year so far and Valencia offered no respite for his woes. The British champion is struggling with balance and tire wear and those are two things he’s known to be a master of so what is going on for the McLaren’s other driver?
According to the Daily Express, Button feels that Silverstone will be more to McLaren’s suiting as he is struggling with low-speed circuits:
“We’re good at high speed,” said Button. “That’s our strength. Our weakness is low speed.
“We still don’t know why. We go all the way through the weekend with front-wheel locking and in the race we always have rear locking. We have to change the balance through the race.
“But that shouldn’t be an issue at Silverstone because it’s not a heavy braking circuit. It’s a high-speed circuit.
“We have to make sure we don’t lose too much in the low-speed corners, which there are now at Silverstone. But it’s a circuit where we should be strong.”
You can imagine the maddening situation of fighting a locking front wheel for Friday and Saturday only to be hounded by a locking rear wheel on Sunday’s race. How to anticipate that seems to be a daunting task but he drives for a team renown for overcoming obstacles such as these.
Can Button turn the corner on his season at home for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone? The team felt they had narrowed the issue down for Button in Valencia but post race, it seemed perhaps they had had not capitalized on the missing element. Valencia was supposed to be his return to form and clearly that didn’t happen. So now it’s on to Silverstone.
Many expected Button to flourish with his legendary tire management and easy style but interestingly it has been his teammate, Lewis Hamilton, who has excelled and he has been criticized for some time as a driver who punishes his car and tires. Not so in 2011 as the champion is having, arguably, his best season of driving.
Have there been any signs from the world feed that have keyed you into what may be troubling Button? It’s impossible to be an armchair engineer but having watched Button his whole career; I am inclined to think his struggles are very real and uncharacteristic of his ability and skill. He’s a seasoned champion and knows how to hustle a car.