Jenson Button says he is ready for a tricky day on Sunday at the Circuit of the Americas after a throttle issue in qualifying left him in the middle of the pack for the United States Grand Prix.
Button had managed his first run in Q2 when the problem forced him to return slowly to the pits, with the team unable to resolve the issue in time for him to head back onto the circuit.
The end result was that he was unable to make it into the final stage of the session and the Briton admitted it was disappointing to see his qualifying run come to an early end.
“It was such a pity to be put out of the running so early into the qualifying session,” he said. “We had a throttle pedal problem – the engineers don't yet know exactly what caused it – but I suffered a loss of drive out on the circuit. Fortunately, I got one decently quick lap in during Q2, which was good enough for P12, otherwise I'd have been starting much farther back.
“This circuit is such a fun place to drive around, but it's not going to be too easy to overtake. Going into turn one at the start is also going to be tricky, particularly as I'll be starting so far back. Still, I really hope we can put on a great show for all the American fans – it's great to see so many people embracing the sport.”
Despite Button's issue, McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh said he felt his driver could still make progress on race day.
“Jenson suffered a throttle pedal problem in Q2, which prevented him from being able to cut a really fast lap,” he said. “That was disappointing for us and frustrating for him, obviously, but he's a brilliantly canny racer and he'll surely make good progress in tomorrow's race from his P12 starting slot.“