Button: Qualifying was a ‘disaster’

By on Saturday, October 29, 2011

Jenson Button branded his Indian Grand Prix qualifying session ‘a disaster’, with the McLaren driver complaining of poor balance and problems with traffic.

Poor first runs in the opening session resulted in Button having to make a last ditch run on the soft tyre to ensure passage to Q2, an extravagance that forced him into making just a single run in Q3, in order to preserve soft tyres for the race. That run was then compromised when Ferrari’s Felipe Massa crashed out ahead of him. With little time to react, Button blasted past the yellow lights triggered by the Brazilian’s accident. The McLaren driver insisted, however, that he had checked his pace slightly on seeing the flashing yellow lights.

“He [Massa] was heading into the gravel as I was coming up to it,” said Button. “I saw the tyre marks and I saw the smoke, but I was actually in the yellow flag zone already, so we’ll see what happens. I backed off and I hope that’s enough.” The McLaren driver admitted that even before that incident he had struggled for pace.

“This morning [in FP3] the car felt great but this afternoon I just couldn’t find any grip, on the hard tyre especially, but even on the soft tyre I was struggling,” he said. “I didn’t really get a clear lap on either of my soft tyre runs. The traffic was terrible out there. I think it’s because the tyre’s not working on the first lap. People are trying it and then backing out of it, so there’s cars everywhere.

“I think I’ll end up fourth tomorrow [on the grid],” he added, mindful that he could be penalised over the Massa incident. “At the moment I’ve got to work out why I can’t find a balance and then hopefully we’ll have a better race than qualifying, because it was a disaster today. However, the car felt good on high fuel yesterday and I’m hoping to have that balance back tomorrow. ”

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