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F1 Japanese GP: Button down in 17th as McLaren struggle at ‘home’

Jenson Button cannot make it beyond Q1 in qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix as McLaren struggle for form on Honda's home soil
RESULTS: Japanese Grand Prix – Qualifying results

Jenson Button says the Japanese Grand Prix is turning out to be 'trickier than expected' as the British driver failed to get beyond Q1 around the home venue for McLaren engine supplier's Honda.

Looking to impress in front of fans at the Honda-owned Suzuka circuit, Button had struggled in free practice and would prove simmlarly off the pace when it mattered in qualifying as he was bumped down to 17th on the timesheets.

With Fernando Alonso himself only 15th on the grid (worse the 12th and 14th they started in 2015), Button admits that while McLaren had expected Suzuka to represent a challenge, he admits he is having a tougher weekend in Japan than he expected.

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“Qualifying was straightforward, in the end, but even on race pace we were not massively quick either. This was never going to be a good circuit for us, we the mid and high-speed corners don't play to the strengths of our car.

“We're very strong in heavy braking and in low-speed corners and there aren't many of those around here. When the floor is not so close to the ground the car doesn't work so well. We knew it was going to be a tricky weekend but it's turning out to be trickier than we expected. It's never good to be out in Q1, but I have to be pretty happy with my own performance in qualifying.”

“To be honest, after the kind of weekend I'm having, to be so close it's not horrific – the result is not what we wanted but that's where the car is.”

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theoldgitspeaks

October 08, 2016 3:52 PM

Button is in demob mode, only a few races before he ends his F1 career so he's not too bothered what happens, he's always been prone to having a few races each season where he really struggles and that won't change now.



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