Button: Standing water on straights at 290km/h is a little bit scary
7 July, 2012
Jul.7 (Reuters) McLaren’s Jenson Button fears Sunday’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone could be a washout after steady rain made driving hazardous in practice on Friday, as forecasts indicate that conditions could remain wet throughout the weekend.
“I don’t think we would want to race in those conditions,” said Button. “I do like the wet but when there’s standing water on straights at 290km/h then it is a little bit scary.”
Brazilian Bruno Senna, in a Williams, and Ferrari’s championship leader Fernando Alonso aquaplaned off the track and into the tyre wall during the afternoon session. Both the morning and afternoon saw cars lapping in heavy spray.
“When you are on your own you can do what you want, find your way around it, but when you are in a pack it’s very difficult,” Button said of the difference between free practice and racing. “I can’t see us being allowed to race in these conditions but qualifying, yes, so it’s useful to do some mileage out there, get an understanding of the car and the circuit.”
Button joined other drivers in expressing sympathy with fans, who had little action to watch, after queing for hours in traffic to get in, because the teams did a minimum of running to save their tyres.
That was because drivers have only three sets each of deep-grooved extreme wet tyres for the weekend, along with four sets of intermediate tyres for damp conditions, with the rain expected to continue throughout.
Button’s team mate Lewis Hamilton, the last Briton to win at Silverstone with his crushing victory in 2008, said he would have liked to do more laps and praised the fans for their loyalty.
“It must have been a bit boring for them sitting there and not seeing people go round,” he said. “But we don’t have many tyres to waste so we can’t afford to go out and fine tune the set up, unfortunately. Perhaps it’s something we can look to improve next time.”
Hamilton also took issue with the drainage, noting the amount of standing water and suggesting that the circuit take a look at the situation for next year
Subbed by AJN.
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