Jenson Button stopped short of blaming himself for failing to make it through to the final phase of qualifying at the Canadian Grand Prix, preferring to reflect on McLaren's general misfortune in a tricky wet-weather session.
The Briton was in the thick of an ever-changing order centred somewhere between fifth spot and the bottom of the Q2 drop zone when the red flags flew for Felipe Massa's accident at turn three but, despite having just two minutes to complete the session, somehow misjudged his run to the line to start his flying lap and was denied the chance to improve on 14th place.
Button was clearly trying to engineer himself some space as the pack all returned to the track en masse
, but lingered a little long as he negotiated the final chicane and had the frustration of seeing the lighting gantry switch from red to green before he could start the clocks.
“Today's qualifying was one of those sessions where it either all falls into place for you – or it doesn't,” he insisted afterwards, “And we were just out of luck this afternoon.
“We encountered yellow flags, a red flag and, when the session restarted, I crossed the line about half a second too late to start my final flying lap.”
Admitting that making it into the top ten may have been beyond the MP4-28's capabilities anyway, Button reflected more positively on McLaren's earlier performances in the tricky conditions.
“We weren't as competitive as we thought we'd be [in qualifying], and 14th obviously isn't the place where I want to start, but the good news is that you can overtake around here,” he noted, no doubt recalling his march from last to victory in similar circumstances two years ago, “A race in mixed conditions tomorrow would be good for us.”
Highlighting the team's ongoing struggle for performance, team-mate Sergio Perez also failed to progress beyond Q2, and echoed Button's feelings after claiming a spot one row ahead of the Briton.
“That was a very tricky session,” he sighed, “It was difficult to make the most of things, and, in the end, luck just wasn't with us. The red flag at the end of Q2 affected me just as I was about to set a good time. Then, with only two minutes of the session remaining, I didn't get a run without traffic and, as a result, I couldn't get my tyres up to temperature.