McLaren's Jenson Button has admitted he just didn't quite have the pace this afternoon in qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix.

Button had been pretty happy after setting the sixth best time in final practice this morning. However for the second race in succession he was unable to make it through to the top-ten shootout and his best lap, a 1 minute 15.536 seconds, left him 13th on the timesheets, although he will actually start 12th, following Pastor Maldonado's grid penalty.

"Monaco is all about qualifying - that's just the way it is - but I didn't quite have the pace this afternoon," Button lamented.

"The car felt good this morning and we looked strong, but then we couldn't translate that performance when it mattered. It's strange, because it's there at certain points of the weekend - even this morning, in P3, the car felt good and I was pretty happy."

Looking to Sunday, Button knows he is now likely to be in for a long and difficult afternoon around the streets of the Principality.

"I'm hoping that our pace will be better in the race - but it's very tricky to overtake here. The drivers around me are going to be on the same strategy, so it's going to be tough, but as always we'll do our best," he added.

"I've only finished in the points at Monaco three times before - in first, second and third positions. I hope I get another one of those tomorrow!"

McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh meanwhile added that the reason Button didn't make Q3 was because the MP4-27 isn't warming up the tyres enough.

"Our car is reasonably good on the few high-speed corners there are here at Monaco, and it's pretty decent in terms of traction too. Under braking, however, we're slightly struggling because it would appear that we aren't managing to get quite enough energy into the tyres.

"As a result of that, Jenson narrowly missed out on making it through to Q3," Whitmarsh explained.

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