Button reluctantly accepts grid penalty
Jenson Button has reluctantly accepted his penalty at the US Grand Prix for overtaking Daniil Kvyat under red flags in first practice.
The incident occurred when the session was red flagged due to the absence of the medical helicopter. It had failed to make its way from Austin to the circuit due to heavy fog and then a second helicopter had to be deployed due to a technical issue with the original.
At the track it meant the session was green flagged when the first helicopter was deployed from Austin but red flagged again when it became apparent that it would not be arriving on time. At that point Button was behind Kvyat, who was gaining experience during his debut FP1 session, and cruised past the Toro Rosso as it slowed on the back straight between Turns 12 and 13.
Button did not deny he had broken the rules, but said the circumstances left him frustrated.
"The fact is I overtook under a red flag which is obviously the wrong thing to do," he said. "It wasn't a dangerous situation and the guy slowed down; I could have braked but you never know what's behind you. But the rules are the rules, I just wish we didn't have a red flag because the helicopter wasn't here."
Button said the penalty was all the more frustrating because the car is looking competitive this weekend.
"On a long run we look competitive with Mercedes, competitive with Ferrari, not bad with Lotus and similar to the Saubers. In terms of race pace we are reasonably good and if we get the best out of the car we could qualify well. It's just a pity that we will be going three places back. It's quite frustrating but it's my mistake and I haven't made it easy for myself at the last couple of races."