The McLaren duo of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button suffered a frustrating qualifying session today, lining up eighth and eighteen respectively.
The Woking based team had been hoping for a strong showing in qualifying after looking quick in practice. But, despite the updates the team has brought to the British Grand Prix, and the support from the home fans, both drivers ended up disappointed.
For Button it marked another race in which he has struggled in qualifying. “I can usually drive a racing car in the wet, but obviously not today. The car felt completely different on its second set of Inters – on the first set, I'd had a lot of front-shuddering and couldn't get the tyres working, but on the second set that problem was much better.”
“So, on my final run, I was around 1.8 seconds up on my previous best. Sadly, however, I wasn't able to make that count in terms of my overall lap-time, because it was particularly wet in the final sector and there was also a yellow flag along the startline. That's the way it is sometimes. It's the story of my year, really, I guess,” Bemoaned Button – who is yet to finish on the podium at his home race.
It had for a time looked positive for Hamilton however. During the rain delay he was looking at the prospect of starting second – but couldn't find the speed when the session eventually restarted more than an hour later.
“I don't really know what happened in Q3. The Full Wets had been working really well, but, as the track gradually became less wet, I sought better grip and switched to the Intermediates – but we struggled to get enough temperature into them and just couldn't switch them on.”
“So I had very little grip on the Inters, having felt more confident on the Full Wets; obviously, we'll have to try to analyse the problem overnight and hopefully fix it for tomorrow,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton also paid tribute to the thousands of fans. “I want to give a shout-out to the fans. They've been fantastic: very patient and so supportive. The cheers from the grandstands were spectacular. Unfortunately, we couldn't get a car on the front row for them, but we can still push tomorrow. “
Given the prospect of another day of wet weather for Sunday, in conditions that Hamilton and Button normally thrive in, there is still hope for the British pair tomorrow.