Button laments McLaren's understeer
Jenson Button said a lack of front-end grip prevented him from taking the fight to Mark Weber and Lewis Hamilton after finishing fourth at the Korean Grand Prix.
A bad first lap dropped Button down the order, but he fought back to get on the tail of Webber's Red Bull towards the end, which was harassing Hamilton for second place. However, following the tight final sector, Button struggled to get within a second of Webber at the DRS activation point, which in turn meant he was not allowed to use his rear wing flap to gain a straight-line speed advantage into turn three - his only realistic chance of making a move stick.
"Towards the end of the stints the pace was OK, but I just couldn't get close enough in the last sector," Button told the BBC. "Whether I didn't have enough front-end in the car or what … but I put a lot of front-end in the car during the stops, and still I had so much understeer in the last sector. That meant I couldn't get close enough to them to use DRS and I think I used it once in the whole race."
He added: "It's not a great result but it's better than last year, I struggled here a lot last year. It's not one of my better circuits, but I didn't have any more really so fourth was it. I couldn't get close enough to use DRS, so that was it. But we'll go back and look at the data and look at the reasons for it."
Button said he was caught by surprise when Felipe Massa launched his Ferrari past him at turn three on the opening lap, which dropped him from third to sixth.
"The start itself was alright and then I thought Mark was behind me down into turn three, I don't know where Massa was … I braked where I felt it was correct, and it felt correct, but then I turned in and there was a car there," Button said. "I couldn't see him at all before I actually turned in, and then I was stuck on the outside and lost a lot of places. I don't think it would have changed my race, even if I didn't have a bad first lap because I just wasn't quick enough today."