• Spanish Grand Prix

Button laments qualifying mistake

ESPNF1 Staff
May 8, 2010 « Alonso not expecting to fight for win | »
Jenson Button ran wide in turn 8 on his final Q3 lap © Sutton Images

Jenson Button has admitted a mistake in qualifying was to blame for him ending up fifth on the grid at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Button had looked capable of challenging his team-mate Lewis Hamilton for third place in Q1 and Q2 but a mistake in turn eight, where the drivers cut the corner to get the fastest line, put him out of contention in Q3.

On my final lap in Q3, I ran over one of the green sections of Astroturf; there wasn't much grip there, so I got wheelspin and hit the rev limiter, which lost me a bit of time," he said. "We struggled a bit this morning, and yesterday we didn't think we'd be where we are right now, so, all in all, this afternoon wasn't too bad. Okay, I'd rather be a bit further up, and I think I probably could have been, but it's not a bad place to start. I still think the Red Bulls are going to be pretty tough to beat tomorrow, though."

Red Bull locked out the front row of the grid, 0.7 seconds faster than Hamilton's best time. Button said he had not expected his rivals to be quite that fast.

"We came here hoping to close the gap, but instead it's gone slightly in the other direction, which is surprising," he added. "So we've still got a lot of work to do, but I know that everyone in the team will be digging as deep as they possibly can to make that extra effort, and that we'll get there.

"For tomorrow, if we're good off the line, we might be able to pass some cars into turn one. It's a bit more difficult for me, but there's definitely a possibility for Lewis. And our race pace is usually better than our qualifying speed, so I'm still extremely hopeful for another good showing tomorrow. If all goes well, I hope to be able to maintain my position at the head of the drivers' world championship points standings - and hopefully Lewis and I will score heavily enough to keep Vodafone McLaren Mercedes at the top of the constructors' world championship table, too."