Retirement ‘tough pill to swallow’ for Button given race prospects

There was no turnaround for Jenson Button in Bahrain on Sunday, with the McLaren-Honda driver retiring from the second race of the season after only 6 laps with engine problems.

Button enjoyed a good start, climbing as high as ninth from his 14th spot on the grid when his Honda power unit suddenly lost power and forced the British driver to call it a day prematurely.

“There was a massive loss of power and then the car stopped,” lamented Button.

“We had a good start and I was running ninth when the car stopped, saving loads of fuel and just cruising behind the two cars in front. We were going to try something a little bit different.

“It’s a tough pill to swallow – the pace was good, just cruising in ninth place behind the two cars in front, saving fuel, saving tyres, getting ready to pounce at the right time – but the right time didn’t come.

“The people that I was racing [Grosjean and Verstappen], they are in fifth and sixth. I think we had very good pace today. My long runs over the weekend have been very good. I feel that I could’ve put the car in fifth, sixth place.”

While Button has full confidence in McLaren’s ability to extract itself from the doldrums, the lack of a tangible result only adds to the frustration.

“It was one of those days when a lot of people made mistakes and we should have capitalised, but we couldn’t.

“I think we’ve got to take the positives away from this weekend,” he said however.

“My pace in FP2, Q1 was great, we were very close to Q3. It didn’t work out in Q2, we had a problem, we actually know what the problem was now, with the tyres overheating before I started the lap.

“And we had a great start and it was looking like a great race and it’s not really going our way. But there are many positives with the team and the car right now, just hopefully we can show it.”

RACE REPORT: Rosberg beats Raikkonen to win in Bahrain

AS IT HAPPENED: Bahrain Grand Prix

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