(McLaren) “We expected more today” – This was a day that promised much, but delivered comparatively little.
From fourth on the grid, Kevin Magnussen looked set for a strong race, but was unable to avoid being clipped by Felipe Massa as he drove into the first corner. The resultant accident, and the knock-on requirement to stop for tyres and a replacement nosebox, relegated him to the back of the field.
Nonetheless, he posted a calm and relentless comeback drive to take eighth at the chequer. It could have been more.
By contrast, Jenson Button’s race started strongly – from 11th on the grid, he was sixth at the end of lap one – but faded in the middle as his third set of tyres proved unable to last to the finish. A late-race third stop, on lap 61, gave him the rubber to get home, but meant he couldn’t improve on ninth.
Still, it was encouraging to note that, despite the setbacks, both cars ran competitively in the top 10 for most of the race. Equally, Jenson’s second pitstop of the afternoon established a new team record of 2.15s stationary. That beats our previous record of 2.20s – also set with Jenson’s car – at last year’s Spanish Grand Prix.
Finally, today’s race also saw Jenson start his 257th grand prix – a statistic that moves him past Riccardo Patrese  and into third in the all-time rankings, behind Michael Schumacher  and Rubens Barrichello .
JENSON BUTTON, MP4-29-03: “I got a good start – I was running as high as sixth in the early stages – so things were looking okay. But I think we got the strategy wrong when we made our second stop. I’m not sure why we stopped so early, but it made it extremely difficult for me to keep the set of tyres alive until the end of the race, which was the plan at that point.
“The strategy didn’t work out for us, which was a shame, but we’ll learn some useful lessons from it.
“When I felt the hit from Lewis [Hamilton, on lap 30], I was a bit surprised. A lot of drivers take a wider entry line into Turn Six in order to get a better exit – perhaps Lewis expected me to let him past, but why would I let anybody through? We were racing.
“We expected more from today.”