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Page last updated at 16:36 GMT, Saturday, 31 July 2010 17:36 UK

Jenson Button frustrated by qualifying struggles

HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX
Venue: Hungaroring Dates: 30 July-1 August 2010 Coverage: Comprehensive live coverage of Friday practice, Saturday qualifying and Sunday's race - which starts at 1300 BST - across BBC TV, radio and online platforms. Full listings here

McLaren's Jenson Button rued a poor showing in qualifying as he failed to make the top 10 on the grid at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Button blamed lack of grip on the option tyres for finishing only 11th; team-mate Lewis Hamilton was fifth.

Button said: "I had good balance in practice, but I struggled with the balance and grip in qualifying."

He has been out-qualified by Hamilton at six of the last seven races, and has not qualified in the top three in 2010.

Button is second in the championship behind Hamilton heading into Sunday's race but he risks being overtaken by the Red Bull drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, who are tied on points only seven behind Button in the standings.

Button blames lack of grip for qualifying flop

Button blames lack of grip for qualifying flop

Vettel and Webber dominated qualifying and will line up first and second on the grid ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who is himself 20 points behind the Englishman with 25 available for a win.

Button was optimistic he could recover enough ground to protect his position.

"The good thing is that I'll be starting on the clean side of the track," he said. "Normally that can make you up a place or two at the start, and there'll be lots of opportunities into the first corner, which is always exciting here. Plus, I've got two new sets of tyres for the race.

"So we can still do a lot from 11th, and I'll do my very best to pick up some valuable world championship points. I suppose you could say we've just got to be brave tomorrow."

BBC Radio 5 live F1 analyst Anthony Davidson, a former team-mate of Button, believes the world champion may have to try addressing his problems in qualifying by altering his driving style.

"Jenson complaining about lack of grip in qualifying this season is becoming like a broken record," said Davidson.

Red Bull impossible to beat - Hamilton

Red Bull impossible to beat - Hamilton

"He's not making it up, but his team-mate is managing to find a way of driving round the problem. Jenson has to knuckle down and try and find that extra grip, perhaps by being more aggressive in his style of driving."

Button is noted for his smooth driving style, while Hamilton is prepared to be more aggressive and ask more questions of the car in the search to save time, particularly over a single lap.

Hamilton, who is leading the championship, 14 points ahead of Button, said he had done the best he could in qualifying.

"I'm happy with today's result," Hamilton said. "I was relieved to get into Q3 - it was very close - and I feel I pulled every last drop out of the car. So I'm satisfied with the job we did."

Team principal Martin Whitmarsh said he felt Button had been hindered by a lack of running on the 'option' super-soft tyre that had to be used in qualifying because it was 0.5secs quicker than the harder 'prime'.

McLaren team principle Martin Whitmarsh

McLaren fastest of fixed-wing cars - Whitmarsh

"Lewis did a fantastic job to qualify immediately behind the Red Bulls and the Ferraris," Whitmarsh said, "and, in fact, had he not lost a little time on the second sector of his best lap, it's just possible that he may even have been able to pip Felipe [Massa's Ferrari] for fourth.

"Having said that, P5 puts him on the clean side of the track for the race, and you can be well sure he'll be his usual precise yet aggressive self on the initial run in to Turn One.

"Jenson was unlucky to miss out on getting through to Q3 by just 17 thousandths of a second. With hindsight I think perhaps we didn't engineer him sufficient opportunity to get to grips with the option tyre."



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see also
Alonso surprised by Red Bull pace
31 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
Flying Vettel takes Hungary pole
31 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
Hungarian GP qualifying photos
31 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
Hungarian GP qualifying as it happened
31 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
McLaren drivers rue lack of pace
30 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
McLaren query Red Bull front wing
30 Jul 10 |  Formula 1


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