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Formula One: Button worried about aquaplaning at Silverstone

McLaren Mercedes' British driver Jenson Button drives during the second practice session at the Silverstone circuit on July 6, 2012 ahead of the British Formula One Grand Prix. (AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL)

SIlverstone, United Kingdom: Jenson Button on Friday warned of his concerns about racing in Sunday's British Grand Prix if track conditions are as bad as they were during Friday's rain-hit practice sessions.

The 2009 world champion said the level of standing water on the circuit made it extremely difficult to navigate on Friday and warned that aquaplaning was a dangerous prospect for the race.

Three days after a horrific accident cost Marussia test driver Maria de Villota her right eye, Button's worries hit home on a day of appalling weather and dire traffic chaos at Silverstone.

He said: "It's tricky out there, it really is.

"There's a lot of standing water. When you watch the GP2 cars you realise just how much standing water there is.

"There are a lot of people facing the wrong way. In the race, you wouldn't want to be racing in those conditions wheel to wheel, because you can't see the aquaplaning until you arrive -- so they are very treacherous conditions."

Button added that Bruno Senna's heavy accident in his Williams came at one of the places on the circuit where the risks were greatest in such wet conditions.

He said: "One of the worst ones is down the Hangar Straight before Stowe, you're doing 290 kph before you cross a river - and that gives you wheel-spin.

"And when you get wheel-spin at that speed in an F1 car, it can snap very easily. That's the scariest place.

"And probably, coming onto the Hangar straight, you had a lot of standing water -- where Senna crashed -- so it's tricky out there.

"And when you're a car on your own, it's not so bad and you can pick your way around, you can lift off where you want, but in race conditions you can't do that.

"So I hope it's not like this on Sunday. Hopefully there's not as much standing water."

His McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who topped the times, added that the circuit's drainage could be improved.

He said: "There's lots of aquaplaning here, there's lots of standing water. It's raining a lot, so it's to be expected.

"In some areas particularly, more so than others, where there doesn't seem to be enough drainage. So that's just an improvement we can make for next year."

 

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