Results: Brazilian GP – Qualifying
Jenson Button says he's be left bemused by his McLaren's surprise drop in pace in qualifying which saw him eliminated in Q1.
After a positive Friday practice with Button ending FP2 inside the top ten, the former F1 world champion entered qualifying confident with a change of engine and gearbox to get an extra boost as he targeted the top ten.
Despite seeing McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso make it into Q3, Button says his car suffered badly with balance and grip which had been carried over from FP3 and simply couldn't get the car to perform as he had hoped.
“The car was well balanced yesterday and tenth quickest, but today it felt completely different. I had a new engine, new gearbox and completely new rear end of the car but still,” Button said. “When it's cooler you normally pick up a lot of rear end grip, but in high-speed corners it was so much in the nose and then you just destroy the rear tyres for the low-speed corners even though we had quite a lot of understeer.
“There's no reason why the car should be so much on the nose like that, it was like that since this morning, we're still off the pace and it's annoying. We've got no answers.”
With Button set to take a sabbatical from F1 racing in 2017, the British driver admitted he will be relieved after qualifying in Abu Dhabi as a rate of recent qualifying difficulties have prevented him from being able to attack higher up the grid and replicate team-mate Fernando Alonso's results.
“I've only got one more qualifying left, which at the moment I'm quite happy about it, because in the last six races they've been terrible and I don't know why,” he said. “It's done now, so I can go and have some great food and forget what a rubbish day this has been.”
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