F1 2009 world champion Jenson Button struggled in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix today and for the third time this year he failed to make it through to the top-ten shoot-out for pole.
Button eventually missed out on progressing to Q2 by less than two hundredths of a second, fractionally edged out by Williams man Nico Hulkenberg and the Sauber of Pedro de la Rosa.
He will now line-up eleventh on the grid and that means he will be in for a tough race tomorrow given the tight and twisty nature of the Hungaroring, not that he is giving up the fight just yet.
"In practice this morning, the car was working pretty well and I felt quite happy with it. We were still some way off the top two teams, but the overall pace wasn't too bad," Button said.
"This afternoon, I still felt pretty happy on the Prime tyre, and ended Q1 seventh-fastest. But I just couldn't find a balance on the Option tyre [in Q2] and I struggled for grip with it.
"The good thing though is that I'll be starting on the clean side of the track. Normally, that can make you up a place or two at the start, and there'll be lots of opportunities into the first corner, which is always exciting here. Plus, I've got two new sets of tyres for the race.
"So we can still do a lot from 11th - and I'll do my very best to pick up some valuable world championship points from there. I suppose you could say we've just got to be brave tomorrow."
McLaren team principal, Martin Whitmarsh meanwhile was disappointed Button was not able to join team-mate, Lewis Hamilton in Q3, but added that they should have probably given him more time on the softer tyre.
"Jenson was unlucky to miss out on getting through to Q3 by just 17 thousandths of a second. With hindsight I think perhaps we didn't engineer him sufficient opportunity to get to grips with the Option tyre.
"Even so, he will start on the clean side of the track and he can attack tomorrow's race with a mind to bag as many world championship points as he possibly can," Whitmarsh concluded.