Jenson Button was left confused after qualifying at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with a lack of balance meaning the McLaren man was unable to make it through to the final phase of the session at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Button was therefore only able to qualify 13th and afterwards admitted that he couldn't understand the issue following a solid performance in all three free practice sessions.

"I can't understand why the car was good in practice but not in qualifying," the Briton told the media - including - after the session. "I'm a bit confused by it. I've really enjoyed driving the car around here this weekend and it's not normally the most enjoyable circuit but it's been a lot of fun and I feel that we've made good progress over the weekend."

Abu Dhabi is unique on the calendar in that the first session of each day is run in conditions vastly different to qualifying and the race. The opening sessions are held in the afternoon with higher track and air temperatures and it creates a situation where a lot of the data is of little value.

Even so Button was pleased with his car in both sessions yesterday and expected to qualify well.

"This morning the car felt good and obviously there's a big change in temperature from the afternoon," he continued. "Normally this is better for us but I just couldn't get the tyres working. I didn't have any grip and it felt like we took a lot of downforce off the car. We had to take a little bit off before qualifying because we had run out of front wing.

"It was really difficult and I'm puzzled as to why it wasn't working - in the same way I'm surprised by the pace of the car this weekend and in India. It has moved forward a lot which is positive, and now it's important to understand why that is."

Having struggled for most of the season with an unbalanced car that did little to offer the driver any confidence, Button went on to comment about how much he had enjoyed driving the car this weekend and how he hopes it offers signs of encouragement for the remaining two races in the USA and Brazil.

"For most of the weekend I've been very happy with our progress and the car has been a joy to drive," he said. "There's progress that we've made over the last couple of races and the car is a lot better to work with.

"There are some limitations as there always is with a car, but in the next three races we can still have some good results. This race will be more difficult starting from 13th but I think that we can have a reasonable result," he concluded.

by Stephen English at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi



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