Among the dominating Mercedes pack, McLaren's were the only team who struggled to finish the race at Bahrain. The media caught up with Jenson Button who is celebrating his 250th Grand Prix start here, and he pointed out that podium was in sights for the team, but an issue with Clutch meant that it was all over for them.
Quizzed on what happened with his car, Button points out the issue with Clutch and how the team tried hard to fix it under the Safety car.
Something wrong with the clutch, I think, So behind the safety car, the guys tried different settings, but the shifts were terrible. We think we lost about a second to second and half, and obviously, it's strange, because in the last lap, we went back to normal shifts, and we once again were quicker but we were slipping. - Jenson Button
Asked about the prospects of the team, Jenson noted that Mercedes were the only team quicker than them, and a podium was on sight as McLaren had a better long run pace as compared to Force India at the end of the stints.
Only one team was quicker than us today, and that's kinda expected. So Fighting with the Force India's for third place, we were in fifth place obviously, but we felt that our long run pace was quite good, especially in the last few laps. We raced very hard.
The media asked Jenson if he felt the team made a step-up in terms of performance, as the team seems to be in contention for the second place in the constructors.
We didn't finish but in terms of race pace, Yes. Degradation was positive as we did a very good understanding with the tyres, and our pace was there, the teams that were quicker than us were the Mercedes, and with Force India's, we would have fought them at the end, but we didn't get the opportunity.
When asked if they could have done something different, Jenson once again reiterated the fact that McLaren were looking good until the Safety car. Furthermore, the media asked him where he could have likely finished the race, and Jenson states that it's tough but a podium spot was up for grabs.
No, there was a problem with the clutch, and under the safety car, they asked me to not to change the gears, and that they would change the settings, and they didn't think it would make a difference in lap-times, but it was one and half second slower, and in the last lap of the race, I went back to different settings and I was quicker, but the clutch was done.
Asked about the McLaren's prospects in the upcoming races, Jenson pointed out that McLaren are challenging for the podium finishes, and that they have a reasonable car which can do well with few more updates.
We're in a position to challenge podium. So, it's definitely a reasonably car, and we're okay, and with a little more updates, we can race them but you can say that in Bahrain, we had a podium
The 900th Formula 1 race which is also the 10th Year anniversary special of Bahrain is talked as the most exciting Grand Prix in the recent history, when asked about Jenson's thoughts on the same, Jenson talked about the fun factor..
I can only see from my cockpit. I can't remember how many cars I overtook in the race, and it's same for all the cars around me. It was different strategies, and it was lots of fun. Obviously, the first two cars are miles ahead in the lead, there was lots of action, and I really enjoyed the race.
When further asked about his own personal thoughts, and whether he would have expected to finish his 250th Grand Prix start in a better way, this is what Jenson had to say:
We didn't know what to expect, obviously there was one team which were quicker than us but with everyone else, we had lots of fun.
Jenson further added this crucial point to conclude the proceedings:
Formula 1 hasn't changed with regards to the excitement. Obviously there are few things that fans have an issue with which is understandable, but the racing itself is still there which is great