London: McLaren driver Jensen Button has conceded his championship hopes have almost ended after he was forced to retire with a fuel pick-up problem midway through the Italian Grand Prix, but the Brit insists that he will not be sacrificed by team orders to facilitate teammate Lewis Hamilton.
Button’s retirement, combined with Fernando Alonso’s drive from 10th on the grid to finish third and gain 15 valuable points, means the Englishman now trails Ferrari’s championship leader by 78 points with just seven races of the season remaining.
“The pace was very good in the first stint and it was all going smoothly in the second stint. But then the guys started telling me to adjust things on the steering wheel and I was like, ‘hang on’. Then I came out of Ascari and it just cut out,” a leading daily quoted Button, as saying.
“It was all going in the right direction. It was a big gap to Lewis so first was always going to be difficult but I was going to give it a go. The title is going to be very difficult but nothing is going to change,” he added.
“I am still going to race hard and try and win every race from here on in. It is such a special feeling to win a grand prix,” he said.