OCTOBER 10, 2010
Button rues three-lap qualifying run
Jenson Button thinks that his sixth place on the Suzuka grid on Bridgestone's prime tyre could have been third had he not fuelled for a three-lap run in Q3.
The reigning champion was alone among the Q3 runners to qualify on the harder Bridgestone tyre and although he still looks well-placed for a strong race, he thinks he could have qualified fastest non Red Bull.
Button put in enough fuel for a three-lap run, anticipating that the harder tyre would 'come in' more slowly and would be fastest on his final lap. But, in fact, it was the first lap of Button's three which produced his grid time because the track surface was so 'green' after Saturday's rain that it took the edge off the tyre much more quickly than expected.
Button's 1:31.378 lap was just 0.05s slower than Alonso's Ferrari and 0.14s behind Robert Kubica's Renault. The long 3.6-mile Suzuka lap has a high fuel effect and Button is convinced that had he fuelled for just the one lap he would have been fourth quickest and vying for third with McLaren team mate Lewis Hamilton, who lapped 0.21s quicker but had a grid penalty applied anyway.