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Button's best not good enough in Q2

Jenson Button missed the cut in second qualifying for the Korean Grand Prix after yellow flags forced him to lift on his final flying run.
Jenson Button's hopes of challenging Red Bull at the front of the grid at the Korean Grand Prix were scuppered by a late yellow flag that forced the Briton to lift off on his final run.

While times around him improving, Button slid down the order, eventually dropping out of the ten progressing to the pole position shoot-out when Kimi Raikkonen bettered his previous best lap. The Briton was out on track at the time, and going for a lap of his own, but Daniel Ricciardo's stranded Toro Rosso - he victim of a gearbox problem - brought out the yellow flags, causing the McLaren to back off and costing it the valuable tenths he needed to move up again. Button also admitted to locking up earlier in the run, not helping his cause.

There are suspicions that other drivers, including Raikkonen and Lotus team-mate Romain Grosjean set their best laps without lifting sufficiently past the scene of the yellows, and the order could yet be reshuffled, but with no decisions being made during the session, Button has lost his shot at a decent grid slot.

Before Button's fate was sealed, it appeared that the two Saubers would be the biggest casualties of Q2, with Sergio Perez popping briefly into the top ten before immediately being demoted again, and Suzuka podium hero Kamui Kobayashi not finding enough time to escape the drop zone at all. Paul di Resta, Pastor Maldonado, Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne completed the list of those taking an early bath.

Sebastian Vettel again led the way at the top of the times, but this time had Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton closer in terms of performance. Mark Webber, Raikkonen, Felipe Massa, Grosjean, Nico Rosberg, Nico Hulkenberg and Michael Schumacher all join the top three in the pursuit of pole.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
12.10.2012-  Free Practice 1, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8
12.10.2012-  Free Practice 2, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E20
06.10.2012- Qualifying, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR7
12.10.2012-  Free Practice 2, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27
McLaren - Honda MCL32
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32 F1 launch, [Credit: McLaren]
McLaren MCL32, McLaren-Honda, [Credit: McLaren]
Fernando Alonso - McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren Honda MCL32
Lando Norris joins McLaren`s Young Driver Programme
McLaren, 2011 launch, [Credit: Crash PA]
Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso - Mercedes, McLaren
Sebastian Vettel, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, ROC [Credit: ROC]

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October 13, 2012 8:12 AM

Jenson had locked up his front wheel before he got to the yellows, so his lap was already partly compromised. He had not posted a reasonable banker in Q2 beforehand and was left trying to do it after the chequered flag had waved. The yellow flags were only one factor in Jenson's demise.

Calvin_ - Unregistered

October 13, 2012 9:18 AM

Elsewhere in JB related news, he says he is excited to become defacto number one next year. Just what he has always wanted. However, all a bit strange given what he has said previously about equal status and team orders. However, not so strange when you factor in his abject refusal to support his teammate while he still has a mathematical chance. This has now changed, presumably because he knows he has no chance, to helping the team win the WCC, where he can still take points from LH and claim to be achieving his goal.

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