Newly-crowned F1 champion Jenson Button admitted he was frustrated to qualify fifth for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after a vibration in Q3 prevented him from challenging for a place on the front row of the grid.
Button had led the way during the final practice session of the weekend at the new Yas Marina circuit and was expected to battle fellow Briton Lewis Hamilton for pole; with the pair having been close on the times throughout free practice.
The Brawn GP man saw his hopes of fighting for pole come to an end in Q3 however when his car developed a vibration and as a result, he will start his first race as F1 champion from fifth on the grid.
“The car has felt good here all weekend and the first two sessions went well in qualifying today,” he said. “Unfortunately in Q3 when we were running with high fuel and new tyres, I started to get massive vibrations every time that I hit the brakes which made the steering wheel shudder.
“With such a smooth circuit any kind of vibration just leads to understeer which made the car quite a handful to drive. It's frustrating as we had the potential for a better performance today and should have been challenging for the first row behind Lewis. Hopefully we can solve the issue before the race and I'm looking forward to a good fight tomorrow.”
Team-mate Rubens Barrichello will start one place higher on the grid as he seeks to reclaim second in the standings from Sebastian Vettel and the Brazilian said he was ready to go flat out in his bid to beat the German and secure a 1-2 for Brawn in the drivers' standings.
“I'm quite happy with fourth position and what we have achieved,” he said. “The car is still very competitive but the Red Bulls and McLarens seem to be ahead of us here. It's been challenging to get the right set-up throughout the weekend as the sessions are taking place in very different track and ambient conditions.
“The car seems to improve towards the end of the day with the cooler temperatures so we can hope that the track comes towards us tomorrow. It's very close with Sebastian for second position in the Championship and I'll be going to be flat out for the best result.”