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'Mental' Pastor Maldonado won't ever change, says Jenson Button

Clive Mason/Getty Images

Jenson Button says Pastor Maldonado "won't ever change" his erratic driving style after he collided with the Lotus driver at the Singapore Grand Prix.

Button and McLaren endured a disappointing Singapore Grand Prix which ended in a double retirement at a circuit which was supposed to be the team's strongest of the season. After the second safety car restart Button drove into the back of Maldonado, who had re-joined the track after running wide at Turn 15, and had to pit for repairs.

Immediately after the incident, Button took to the radio to say: "I should have known, he's mental". Maldonado escaped punishment for the incident and Button does not understand why.

Asked if he was surprised by lack of action, Button said: "I don't know, I have to see it on TV. I mean the contact...I drove into the back of him, so you can say it was my fault, but he didn't accelerate out the corner, so very, very strange. He was obviously trying to block the inside line, but he just didn't accelerate, so very, very strange. The corner before that, he just drove me off the circuit - if there was a brick wall there, I would have been in it. Very strange, but the boy hasn't changed and he won't ever change."

Maldonado thinks Button was overly optimistic trying to pass him at that point of the circuit.

"I was defending on the inside and I don't know where Jenson wanted to overtake me," Maldonado explained. "It's a very narrow corner where it happened and there was no chance for him to overtake. The damage meant we lost performance at the rear at the time in the race when we wanted to preserve tyre life."

Button's race ended shortly afterwards with a gearbox issue. He had recovered from a disastrously long early pit stop to move to the cusp of the points when the safety came out for a second time.

The 2009 world champion thinks McLaren could have finished in the top six with a little more luck.

"Lots of ups and downs but we were doing very long stints and doing a two-stop where most people were doing three. I was able to look after the tyres pretty well and the safety cars worked really well in our favour. The first one we didn't use to our advantage, we couldn't get the front right wheel on - I don't know what the problem was but it cost us about 30 seconds.

"Lucky enough it was a safety car so it could bring us back into the race. Then the second one helped us a lot, but I had contact with Maldonado. Then I had the failure anyway, so it wasn't going to end well whatever happened. At best we could have been fifth or sixth after the safety car, I don't know if we would have stayed there, but it was looking alright. But, there you go!"