Jenson Button labels Pastor Maldonado’s driving “very strange”, after the McLaren driver could not avoid hitting the Lotus racer during the Singapore Grand Prix.
The incident led to Button having to pit for a new front wing, but the stewards eventually ruled out against taking any further action. Asked to share his views on the incident, the 2009 world champion explained: “I tried down the inside, but I don't know where Maldonado thought I was going to go”.
“I don't think he brake tested me on the exit but he didn't accelerate. It was a bit of a surprise, and I had a broken front wing.
“I drove into the back of him so you could say it’s my fault, but he didn't accelerate out of the corner, very, very strange.
“He was obviously trying to block the inside line but he just did not accelerate. And the corner before that he just drove me off the circuit. If there had been a brick wall there I would have been in it.”
“You can't do that in F1, especially around a circuit like this. But it's not the last time he'll do it.
“He hasn't changed, and he won’t ever change.”
Prior to his clash with Maldonado, Button’s race had already been quite topsy-turvy. The Briton had a poor start from 13th and suffered a disastrous pit stop that cost him nearly 40 seconds.
The 35-year-old then managed to claw back through the field thanks to the two Safety Car periods and was fighting in the lower half of the points-paying positions when he ran into the Lotus.
Button’s tough evening finally drew to an earlier-than-planned conclusion when he had to retire the car with a gearbox problem.
Despite these setbacks, the Somerset racer insists his team, which recorded a fourth double DNF this year at Marina Bay Circuit, keeps its spirits up ahead of Honda’s home race next weekend.
“The car was OK to drive,” added Button. “We could look after the tyres better than anyone else.
“This race, to be fair, there’s loads of “ifs” and “buts”, but there was a possibility to score points. But I think for every car out there, apart from the Manors, there is possibility to score points if you luck in and you keep it on the black stuff and don’t hit anything.
“It’s tough but it won’t dent anyone’s confidence in the team. We’ll get our heads down and focus on the next one in Japan.”
Click here for some of the most memorable crashes at Singapore