|© AP Photo/Rui Vieira
With questions raised over his future at McLaren and even Formula One, Jenson Button got a strong platform to answer his critics when he qualified third at the British Grand Prix.
But any hopes of claiming his first ever podium at home fizzled out along with the laps on Sunday.
The Briton finished fourth, his best result at the British GP in 15 appearances, for the third time at Silverstone tantalisingly close to the evasive podium, which Daniel Ricciardo held on to by a whisker.
“I crossed the line only 0.9s behind Daniel; if there’d been just one more lap, I think I could have made it past,” reckoned Button. “I got so close to a podium finish - and I think it would’ve been so great for the fans to see Lewis (Hamilton) and me up there together.”
Ricciardo admitted that he felt a bit like a ‘villain’ having denied the home hero a chance.
“It did cross my mind a little bit,” said the Red Bull driver, who was struggling on his tyres. “I was thinking... especially in the last few laps, he was catching me pretty quickly at the end.
“Probably for once I’ve got a lot of people booing me and cheering on the local lad but obviously for me it was good.
“I think for him as well; they haven’t had a great season so a fourth is - yeah, it’s not a podium, but he’d still be fairly pleased with that result so hopefully we’re all happy,” he added.