Button says final DTM race was about "surviving"

Former Formula 1 driver Jenson Button says the final race of the DTM season at Hockenheim was about "surviving" as the three SUPER GT teams struggled in the wet conditions.

Button says final DTM race was about "surviving"

The 2009 F1 champion put in the best showing of the SUPER GT contingent on Saturday, maximising the drying conditions to put his Kunimitsu Honda sixth on the grid.

Button then bounced back from a slow pitstop that dropped him to 16th and crossed the line ninth, but he was only able to muster 16th on Sunday - despite his team improving its pitstop significantly.

The Honda driver had said on Saturday that he expected wet conditions would hurt the SUPER GT teams as they tried to come to terms with the wet control Hankook tyre.

Asked by Motorsport.com to summarise his weekend, Button said: "Yesterday was fun in the dry. I still think there is a lot of work we need to do to actually get the tyres working. But in the wet, it wasn't [fun[ yeah.

"To be fair we might as well not call it racing, because we couldn't get any temperature in the tyre. We are not competing with DTM, it's just surviving really out there. Yeah, so wasn't really a fun day."

Read Also:

SUPER GT's learning process ahead of the joint-racing at Fuji got off to a difficult start when its Thursday two-hour test was hit with changeable conditions, before Nick Cassidy and Tsugio Matsuda both had offs during practice in their TOM'S Lexus and NISMO-run Nissan respectively.

When Cassidy returned to the wheel on Sunday in the wet finale, he looked set to be the top SUPER GT runner but crashed after a clash with Jonathan Aberdein, while the Nissan had several reliability issues through the weekend.

When Button was asked why the SUPER GT teams struggled in wet conditions, he said: "With the dry tyres, we can get them in a working window. But the wets, we can't.

"Obviously, it's very difficult for us as drivers, coming and using a tyre so much harder than we're used to. You learn to adapt and, I think we did as drivers, but the cars didn't.

"We tried everything, but we couldn't switch the tyres on, and we were running three seconds slower than these [DTM] guys. A lot of learning [and], hopefully, for the Fuji race all the guys will learn from what we did today and how bad it was!

"Hopefully [we can] give these [DTM] guys a bit more of a challenge in Fuji."

Button added that racing alongside the DTM had taught SUPER GT "so much" as the DTM's spec tyre forced the Japanese teams into wider set-up experiments for the first time.

He also expanded on the differences between the DTM and SUPER GT cars, and the areas it gives Honda, Lexus and Nissan to learn from.

"In terms of set-up, we've done more set-up work than the whole SUPER GT season," said Button.

"But also, when you look at the driveability, these guys are running over kerbs and able to get on the power. They get oversteer, but it looks like you can hold onto it. With us, it's a sudden snap.

"There's a lot to look at with driveability of the power unit, which I think is quite exciting.

"We have so much grip on corner exits that we don't normally feather the throttle, we just plant it and it grips up and we can go. It's very different.

"I think it really helps the SUPER GT teams that are here for the future, racing in Japan. Helps them understand the power and areas we don't really delve into."

shares
comments
Button hints he won't return to Super GT in 2020

Previous article

Button hints he won't return to Super GT in 2020

Next article

Wittmann completes BMW's DTM/Super GT joint race line-up

Wittmann completes BMW's DTM/Super GT joint race line-up
Load comments

About this article

Series DTM , Super GT
Event Hockenheim II
Drivers Jenson Button
Author Tom Errington
The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king Prime

The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king

It's taken him a while to emerge as a consistent title challenger, but in the final year of DTM's Class One ruleset, Nico Muller has smoothed the rough edges and has double champion stablemate Rene Rast working harder than ever to keep up in the title race.

DTM
Oct 14, 2020
Does 2000 hold the answers to the DTM's current crisis? Prime

Does 2000 hold the answers to the DTM's current crisis?

It's 20 years since the DTM roared back into life at a packed Hockenheim with a back-to-basics approach as the antidote to its high-tech past. Now it's on its knees again, so is it time to recall the lessons learned in 2000?

DTM
May 28, 2020
Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers Prime

Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers

Audi last week announced it would be exiting the DTM at the end of 2020, bringing the curtain down on 20 years of continuous participation since the series' reboot in 2000.

DTM
May 5, 2020
Why the DTM must reinvent itself after Audi exit Prime

Why the DTM must reinvent itself after Audi exit

Audi's announcement that it will withdraw from the DTM at the end of 2020 was the latest blow for a series that has lost three manufacturers in as many years. Some major soul-searching will now be required to assess how it can survive.

DTM
Apr 28, 2020
Why cynic Berger changed his mind over green tech in racing Prime

Why cynic Berger changed his mind over green tech in racing

DTM boss Gerhard Berger was a detractor of Formula E and held a reluctance for his series to embrace greener engine technologies. However, this cynic's tune has had to change to ensure DTM's existence as the motorsport world moves forward

DTM
Dec 13, 2019
What the fallout from Aston's engine split means for 2020 Prime

What the fallout from Aston's engine split means for 2020

Aston Martin's DTM arrival, via the R-Motorsport outfit, was heralded as a salvation of sorts for the series. After plenty of bumps in the road in 2019, the team finds itself in a similar position to the one it was in 12 months ago. Can it get its act together?

DTM
Dec 6, 2019
How the DTM and Super GT can build on their experiment Prime

How the DTM and Super GT can build on their experiment

The Class One 'Dream Race' staged by the DTM and SUPER GT proved a hit - from a competitive and collaborative standpoint. The next step will be for both parties to ensure a successful trial ends up being more than just that.

Super GT
Nov 29, 2019
Robot pitcrews and hydrogen – is DTM's concept plausible? Prime

Robot pitcrews and hydrogen – is DTM's concept plausible?

DTM organiser ITR has mooted a radical plan for a "truly new and inspiring" future motorsport series. How realistic are its suggestions of automated pitstops and 1000bhp hydrogen-fuelled touring cars?

DTM
Nov 11, 2019