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Page last updated at 16:13 GMT, Saturday, 20 June 2009 17:13 UK

Button downbeat on victory chance

Venue: Silverstone Dates: 19-21 June 2009 Coverage: Live coverage of Friday's practice sessions, Saturday qualifying and Sunday's race - which starts at 1300 BST - across BBC TV, radio and online platforms. Find full listings here

Jenson Button

Qualifying was a struggle - Button (UK users only)

Championship leader Jenson Button has virtually written off his chances of winning Sunday's British Grand Prix.

Brawn's English driver will start in sixth after his worst qualifying result of a season he has largely dominated.

"I think it is almost impossible to win," he said. "I just haven't had the pace all weekend. I was hoping for something a bit better."

Button's team-mate Rubens Barrichello starts in second at Silverstone behind Red Bull pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel.

After his worst qualifying performance of 2009, 29-year-old Button blamed lack of grip for his performance in the cold conditions at Silverstone.

"Being sixth is a lot worse than what I thought it would be, so it's going to be a difficult race on Sunday," he said.

I don't know why it feels like a different car to drive than the one I had in Turkey

Brawn driver Jenson Button

"The problem is we've struggled with tyre temperatures because it is so cold. We have to hope we can get the tyres to work.

"In qualifying I struggled massively with grip - we struggled as a team to do that. I don't know why it feels like a different car to drive than the one I had in Turkey.

"We knew as soon as we arrived here that the Red Bulls were very quick, but compared to Rubens, who's in the same car as me, it wasn't quick.

"It is good we are on the front row as a team, but disappointing for me back in sixth. In fact, I would be massively disappointed in qualifying sixth if it was anywhere around the world at the moment, not just here."

Despite Button's downbeat assessment of his own prospects, he did hint that Red Bull could potentially be reeled in at Silverstone on Sunday.

"I think here they would have been quick without the upgrade [to their RB5 Red Bull car], but I don't think the gap is as big as it looks," he said.

"The temperatures are low here and they are one of the teams that get the tyres working."

Button is keen to win in front of his home fans, with more than 200,000 people expected at Silverstone over the course of the race weekend.

The 29-year-old leads the drivers' championship by 26 points from Barrichello - Vettel lies third - after winning six of this year's seven races, and starting sixth off the grid on Sunday marks the first relative setback of his season.


"I am sure they [the fans] would love me to win tomorrow, but that's going to be pretty difficult. I think a podium is also difficult," added Button.

"I would prefer if it rained. For the crowd it wouldn't be so much fun, but for me it would."

Button slightly contradicted the wishes of his Brawn team boss Ross Brawn, who had earlier hoped the weather would turn for the better.

"The weather forecast is supposed to be a bit warmer tomorrow so that will help us get a bit more grip as well," he told BBC Sport.

"We didn't get the balance right for Jenson.

"We tried to make some changes but I don't think they worked - but if we put in the work overnight I am sure we can correct it, because Rubens is going well."

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see also
British Grand Prix qualifying results
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British Grand Prix qualifying photos
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Vettel on pole as Button stutters
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British GP qualifying as it happened
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British GP is secure - Ecclestone
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David Coulthard column
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British Grand Prix practice photos
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FIA to sue over breakaway attempt
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Formula 1 is 'finished' - Alonso
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Mosley stands firm in budget row
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Ferrari increase pressure on FIA
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Carmakers in F1 breakaway warning
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F1 teams granted entry for 2010
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