Button: Q2 exit “massively disappointing”

2011 Belgian Grand Prix

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Jenson Button, McLaren, Spa-Francorchamps, 2011

Jenson Button said he was “massively disappointed” to miss out on the top ten in qualifying in Spa.

Button qualified 13th after being knocked out in Q2.

Speaking afterwards he said: “I obviously did my first lap and then I cooled the tyres, not knowing that I didn’t have any more laps left.

“Obviously the track’s getting drier and drier every lap. I think I was second quickest or third quickest when I did my lap and didn’t get the opportunity to do another lap.

“So – wow – that massively disappointing and a big shock, because obviously in Q1 I was a second quicker than anyone. A misunderstand and a mistake on out part.”

Team mate Lewis Hamilton qualified and went past Button during the lap that got him into Q3:

“That was my cool-down lap,” said Button, “I didn’t realise that was it, obviously I would have kept pushing.”

Button added he has a “completely dry set-up” for tomorrow’s race, for which no rain is forecast.

2011 Belgian Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
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    26 comments on “Button: Q2 exit “massively disappointing””

    1. Hard to believe a man of Button’s experience would simply forget how much time was left in the session…He’s usually the driver who’s most aware of what’s happening around him. Very odd.

      1. very odd indeed. alonso qualified 8th, probably unlucky as the track kept improving as laps went by and hamilton was too busy making silly moves in between sessions…
        we will hardly see any of vettels main contenders put on a decent challenge

        1. didnt you guys here the radio comments, the team told him to pit, button kept asking are you sure? and they confirmed that he must pit.
          button was also asked to move over for hamilton so hamilton could get into q3, this cost button a lap also.

          1. Moving for Hamilton didn’t cost him a lap, he said on TV that he was on a slow lap anyway when Hamilton came up behind.

      2. yeah if that’s the case, i have no sympathy for him. he needs to be up there to help the constructors battle

      3. I think the blame lies with McLaren here. With their experience they really should know how to judge the clock and time delta in drying tracks.

        It’s hard for Jenson to judge timing when he’s driving the car at it’s max!

      4. Yea it was a little weird. After being so competitive in these conditions you’d think he’d be all over qualifying today.

        Sad thing is, I probably wouldn’t have been surprised if he qualified 13th in the dry.

      5. I had the impression a lot of drivers were uncertain about it. Maybe the Red Flag period got them off balance somehow.

    2. If it’s a wet race then Button can still win it.

      1. Sure. He probably knew it was wrong to pit, once again a poor stategy from McLaren. He’ll be up there with the top teams after a few laps though, if all goes well.

    3. in a wet race, and with safety cars from hamiltons car disintergrating, button might still win. bad mclaren calls in qualifying – first to tell button to slow to help get hamilton into q3 – button looked the faster driver and might well have got pole in q3. the second bad call is to pit him.

    4. F1 fans must be all drama queens.

    5. McLaren have a knack for messing up wet-qualifying sessions.

    6. I still believe that JB can have a good race here, on a track with such changeable conditions.

      But this is a very stupid decision from McLaren. They’re the second most experienced and successful team on the grid, and yet make calls like this. They of all people should know that communication is key, and on an ever improving track, the more laps the driver can do, the better.

    7. Considering the great job Button did at Silverstone in 2010 coming up through the field, and at a dry race too, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Button get a podium finish.

      1. If its dry then Button stands no chance, he is not aggressive enough!

        1. unfortunately, i have to agree with you on that one :-(

        2. your thinking in old money.

          Spa has long straights. DRS is king. It’s not about overtaking. It’s about fast lap times. If his car is performing well relative to his rivals he can still have a good result.

    8. Theoretically this is a fantastic opportunity for Jenson to shine. On the one hand he has managed to save tyres for a dry race and that coupled with a dry set-up (if we have a dry race) could work well. On the other hand he’s fantastic in the wet and could leave the guys up front to scrap away while he picks his way through the grid.

      1. On the one hand he has managed to save tyres for a dry race

        And for this race the rule that you must start on your best-time-from-Q3 tyres might hamper the top 10 additionally, since most were driving around on their set for the entire Q3.

    9. Button was told to box because he was not going to have enough time to start another lap. He admitted that he did slow lap so he could have another fast lap. Other drivers were just going faster and faster to maximise the improving conditions.

    10. In Q1 Button was 1 second faster than anyone else. He’s been up there all weekend.

      We all know that if this had happened to Lewis, he and all his fans would be complaining about the teams calls and yet Button has done nothing but take this on the chin.

      Expect a good race from him tomorrow. Wet or Dry.

      1. ^ True this

    11. That is a bad judgement from a team with so much heritage.You just can’t take this type of mistake from them.

    12. McLaren’s strategy department screwed up big time with Button. They thought his time was quick enough so they told him to box. A driver relies completely on his team in conditions like this when they have absolutely no clue what the others are doing.

      It’s a pity really. He has been quick all weekend, quicker than Hamilton even.

    13. Had Button been on a fast lap there was no way Hamilton would have caught up with him.
      Button messes up his cooling down lap, forgetting that when it’s wet, it will take longer to complete a lap.
      Why he even chose to do a slow lap then a faster one is beyond me, because on a drying track, you need heat in your tyres.

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