Jenson Button confessed that he had nothing left in the bag to challenge Fernando Alonso with towards the end of the German Grand Prix on Sunday.
The McLaren driver was chasing the Ferrari for several laps but couldn’t gain adequate ground to pressure the Spaniard or to get past him, despite admittedly having a better car overall.
“Fernando knows exactly, as we all do, how to use KERS to keep someone behind you, not just in the DRS zone but in other areas around the lap,” Button pointed out. “I just ran out of steam at the end of the straight. It was a little big too big, the gap, to get past. I’m a little bit disappointed with that.”
The 2009 world champion had also started struggling as his rear tyres were damaged and was overtaken, although unfairly according to the stewards, by the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel.
“That’s because I had to push hard to try and catch Alonso, which meant I had nothing left for the end of the race. We pretty much ran out of rubber two laps before the chequer,” he said.
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh however took nothing away from Button’s efforts.
“He wasn’t quite able to bridge the gap to Fernando because, frankly, we were saving fuel at that stage, his rear tyres had gone off a little bit because he’d been behind the Ferrari for some time, and also because Fernando’s never an easy driver to overtake,” Whitmarsh explained.