Team boss Martin Whitmarsh says McLaren
will now investigate the best strategy for Jenson Button
after he failed to make it through to Q3 in Korea.
Button was caught out by yellow flags at the end of Q2 and was forced to back off on his final flying lap, having earlier lost time when he was ran wide on his first run.
It meant he just missed out on a place in the top ten and now faces a more difficult race on Sunday, although failing to make it into Q3 has opened up fresh options in terms of strategy given that the Briton will now be free to choose which tyres he will use for the start of the race.
“Today was a rather more disappointing day for Jenson, since his best Q2 lap was ruined by yellow flags triggered by Daniel's [Ricciardo] 'off', leaving him 11th on the grid for tomorrow's race,” team boss Whitmarsh admitted. “But for that, he'd have sailed through Q2 into Q3 and would doubtless have qualified much closer to the sharp end of the grid.
“Having said that, he'll now have an extra quantity of new tyres available to him for tomorrow's race, so we'll now work on a strategy that should optimise the efficacy of that unexpected development.
“Jenson showed good long-run pace yesterday, so he'll be aiming to make significant forward progress from the outset tomorrow.”
Button himself admitted that he should have done enough to secure his place in Q3 prior to the yellow flags going out and said his focus was fully on going forwards in the race.
“I locked up in the final sector on my first Q2 lap, ran wide and had to go down to first gear – losing quite a lot of time in the process – so I reckon there was easily a couple of tenths that I could have had there,” he said.
“Then, on my final Q2 run, I lost time because of the yellow flags. I knew I could have gained a couple of extra tenths in that final sector, but as things panned out I couldn't improve because of the yellows.
“It's just one of those things, but I'll go forward from here tomorrow.”