Making sense of Button's Suzuka strategy

Making sense of Button's Suzuka strategy

McLaren didn't get the rub of the green at Suzuka - but Jenson Button, armed with a healthy car, showed he had the pace to fight Fernando Alonso at times. Tony Dodgins unravels the logic behind the world champion's marathon prime tyre stint at Suzuka

If Lewis Hamilton had not lost third gear on lap 38 of the 53-lap Japanese Grand Prix, the closing 15 laps might have been very interesting indeed.

Christian Horner, for one, believes that McLaren may well have been using Button as the sacrificial lamb to try to back the Red Bulls and Alonso into Hamilton as the race neared its end. Which is not to say that was the intended strategy when Button, alone, opted to run hard Bridgestone in Q3. Maybe it was just the way things turned out and, certainly, when you look at it, it seems the only logical explanation for the race strategy on Button's car.

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