McLaren's Jenson Button has said going out a little too late was the reason he only set the sixth fastest time in qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix.
Button, who will actually start fifth, as his team-mate, Lewis Hamilton will drop from second to seventh due to a five-place penalty for a gearbox change, added that while it was disappointing, he is still hopeful he can do well in the race at the Shanghai International Circuit, venue for the third round in the F1 2012 World Championship.
“In Q1, we went out on the softer tyre and put a lap on it when most of the other teams didn't. In Q2, I felt I had too much understeer, so we made a few adjustments for Q3. However, I could feel the temperature dropping in that final session: I think we just went out a little too late,” Button confirmed.
“Of course, that's a little bit disappointing, but our race pace seems to be very good. It's going to be tricky to get heat into the front tyres if it's cold tomorrow though – but then that's not unusual for me. But that's the way it is and I hope we can have a good race from fifth on the grid.”
As for his target for the race, Button remains convinced that he can challenge for his second victory of the season, although he is wary of the threat posed by Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi, who will start third.
“Our aim will be to go for victory. That won't be easy, but we ought to be as quick or quicker than most of the cars in front of us in the race,” Button added.
“The unusual one though, is Kamui [Kobayashi], who seems to have very good long-run pace...”