Jenson Button has said that his failure to qualify higher than fifth and his poor start was what cost him a place on the podium on Sunday during the European Grand Prix at Valencia in Spain.

Button, who still comfortably leads the race for the 2009 F1 drivers' championship - now 18 points up on his team-mate, Rubens Barrichello, who won the race, once again failed to score 'big' points.

It was the fourth race on the trot that the Englishman hasn't really impressed at and it all went wrong right from the start when he got caught behind Sebastian Vettel and consequently dropped from fifth to eighth.

He was then forced to concede a place to Mark Webber after missing a chicane and it wasn't until his second stop that he finally managed to jump the Red Bull man and move up to seventh.

Speaking at the finish, Button tried to look on the bright side, but there is no doubt he will need to up his game if he is to hang onto P1 in the drivers' standings and become the 2009 F1 World champion.

"Rubens did a great job this weekend and he deserves the victory," Button reflected. "It's been a long time so I'm happy for him although of course I would rather be on top of the podium.

"The small mistake in qualifying and a difficult start caught behind Vettel really cost me today as I got caught in traffic and it's really tough to overtake around this circuit. Still we did what we came for this weekend and beat the Red Bulls, our main title rivals, so I'm not too disappointed with seventh position. We'll go to the next race in Spa positive and ready to have a good race."

Ross Brawn meanwhile agreed that perhaps the team should have gone for a different strategy on Saturday in qualifying.

"Unfortunately it wasn't such a good afternoon for Jenson who had a quick car but was caught in traffic which prevented him from achieving the result that he could have done. In hindsight perhaps we should have been more aggressive in qualifying," Brawn pondered.

"But his two points today are valuable and we have increased our lead in both Championships."

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