Jenson Button's woeful season continued at Silverstone today in a rain hit qualifying for the F1 2012 British Grand Prix, with the McLaren
driver eliminated in very first session.
Button, who had been right on the pace in final practice this morning, languished in the drop zone for most of Q1 and while he did pit late on for some fresh intermediates, he was unable to haul himself up the order.
He will now start his home race from 17th, gaining a position as Jean-Eric Vergne has a ten-place grid penalty.
“I can usually drive a racing car in the wet, but obviously not today,” Button commented. “The car felt completely different on its second set of Inters – on the first set, I'd had a lot of front-shuddering and couldn't get the tyres working, but on the second set that problem was much better.
“So, on my final run, I was around 1.8sec up on my previous best. Sadly, however, I wasn't able to make that count in terms of my overall lap-time, because it was particularly wet in the final sector and there was also a yellow flag along the startline. That's the way it is sometimes. It's the story of my year, really, I guess.”
Looking to the race, Button added that things could yet change: “If Sunday is wet, as we expect it to be, then the fact that we haven't put too many miles on the tyres may make me a bit better equipped for tomorrow,” he added. “You've just got to take the positives from the situation, wherever you can.”
McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh meanwhile is confident JB can bounce back and score some points.
“Q1 was a bit of a lottery – it was principally a question of trying to switch on your tyres at the right time without encountering traffic – and those variables never quite aligned for Jenson,” Whitmarsh stated.
“But he's looked quick at various points so far this weekend – and, bearing in mind that we expect the wet weather to continue tomorrow, he'll be looking to make progress through the field towards a points-scoring position by race's end.
“He's one of the ablest wet-weather racers out there, as we've seen him prove many times before.”