Jenson Button took responsibility for the mistake that cost him the chance of joining team-mate Fernando Alonso inside the top ten in qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix, after tapping the wall at turn fourteen and breaking a wheel.
The McLaren-Honda driver was looking strong for the first time all weekend before the issue, but will start twelfth on the grid as a result of his error, which saw the Briton stop in the run off area and bring out the yellow flags.
“Up until qualifying, our weekend had been really tough,” admitted Button. “But we made some changes to the car, and it felt really good this evening. It took a few set-up tweaks and I found my confidence, so I was able to get the best out of the car in quali.
“Then, on my final run in Q2, I went a touch wide at the exit of Turn 14 and just tapped the wall on the exit. The impact broke the left-rear wheel and gave me a puncture – it was my fault.
“It was definitely possible to get into Q3 today: my final lap in Q2 was looking very similar to Fernando’s before the puncture.”
Button feels the long run pace of his MP4-31 is not as it should be this weekend, and admitted he could be in for a long evening on Sunday, although he hopes fortune favours the brave and the safety car could come to their rescue.
“Our long-run pace means the race could be difficult for us, but there’ll probably be some Safety Car periods and a bit of action, so anything could happen,” said Button.