• Canadian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Button frustrated by McLaren's lack of pace

ESPNF1 Staff
June 11, 2011 « Webber pleased with recovery | »
Jenson Button: "Are we surprised to be where we are? Yes." © Getty Images
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Jenson Button admitted his qualifying pace at the Canadian Grand Prix had not met expectations after he qualified seventh on the grid for Sunday's race.

Button was roughly 0.824 seconds off the pole position lap of Sebastian Vettel on a track where McLaren had hoped to be closer to the championship leaders. Button complained of problems with the car under braking during the session and then admitted he had been frustrated by the qualifying hour in an interview with the BBC.

"It's always frustrating when you're not quick," he said. "We didn't have the pace that we thought we would, although we always know that our race pace is better than qualifying. Are we surprised to be where we are? Yes."

He admitted that he made a mistake on his last run after qualifying just 0.024 off the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg in sixth.

"My last run was looking really good but then I overdrove and locked up and lost a bit of time," Button added. "I was very close to pipping Nico at the end but it didn't happen, so I'm starting seventh - although sixth is not much better than seventh because I'm on the clean side of things [the grid].

"A lot can happen here; this is a circuit where you can overtake. We've just got to hope our race pace is a lot better than our qualifying, because we are a long way off where we expected to be round here."

Asked if he had opted for a wet setup for the race as team principal Martin Whitmarsh suggested ahead of qualifying, Button responded: "Nope, not specifically. Formula One cars these days, you don't setup specifically for wet conditions because we're so used to it raining during a race that we have an optimised setup that will work in every condition."

But Button is hoping the car will be closer to the Red Bulls and Ferraris in race trim.

"Our consistency on the soft tyre and the hard tyre looked to be pretty good but personally I don't think we are as quick as we expected to be here, which is disappointing," he said. "The Red Bulls are very quick here again, as always, but the Ferraris are very close to them and it's just a pity we couldn't get amongst them really. We are where we are and we'll just try and do our best tomorrow. We know our race [pace] is good and it will be a fun race that's for sure."

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