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Button blames Raikkonen for Q3 miss

5 October 2013

Jenson Button said he felt Kimi Raikkonen was to blame for him missing out on the chance to make it through to Q3 in qualifying for the Korean Grand Prix.

The McLaren driver had to settle for the twelfth best time in the session and missed out on making it into the final stage of the session by just 0.038secs.

The Briton's challenge wasn't helped by the fact that he came across Raikkonen's Lotus on his final flying lap and he insisted that without that, he could have made it through into the top ten shootout.

As it is, Button will start eleventh thanks to the grid penalty imposed on Red Bull's Mark Webber.

“On my fastest lap, I lost a tenth and a half behind Kimi in turns eleven and twelve,” Button said. “It's quite frustrating: they're pretty quick corners, and, when you're that close to the car in front, it damages your lap. It's difficult – because most of those corners are blind – but we've all got radios, so we should all know where other drivers are. It's a pity: without that delay, I'm pretty sure I would've qualified inside the top ten.”

Button admitted however that there was the still the possibility of a strong race from his starting position.

“There are positives for tomorrow,” he said. “We've got new tyres for the race; turns one, three and four are always very interesting on the first lap; and we've got interesting straightline-speed compared to our rivals – both in terms of ratios and downforce levels – so the first couple of laps should be really interesting for us.

“Hopefully, we can go forwards tomorrow.”

Team-mate Sergio Perez meanwhile said he was keen to try and score having qualified one place ahead of Button on the grid.

“My fastest lap wasn't too bad – I had a small lock-up at turn 15, but I don't think it cost me too much lap time," he said. "So, what we have is pretty much everything that we could have achieved today.

“We've developed a useful set-up for tomorrow afternoon, and we've also fitted a seventh gear that's long enough to hopefully enable us to do some overtaking. That means I'm looking forward to an exciting race.

“We really need to score some points tomorrow, and I think we're in a good position to do so.”


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