McLaren’s Jenson Button would have easily progressed through to the final top ten shoot-out in qualifying had it not been for Nico Rosberg’s mistake, according to the Briton and the team.
Button was pushed out of the top ten, but just as he was about to start his second flying lap during Q2, Rosberg locked-up at Sainte Devote, causing yellow flags to be shown.
Button was forced to slow as a result, costing him several tenths, but proceeded to set his fastest second and third sectors, but ultimately it wasn’t enough as he missed out on Q3 by less than a tenth.
“There’s always a bit of ‘shoulda woulda coulda’ in qualifying, but I would have easily been inside the top ten today,” proclaimed the 35-year-old.
“On my final lap in Q2, I lost a lot of time lifting for the yellow flag at Turn One. I then gained a lot of it back – I was only a tenth off my best – but it wasn’t enough.
“I think we could have had some fun in Q3, too – I think we’d have been fighting two or three cars for position.”
Meanwhile racing director Eric Boullier was also confident of Button’s ability to make the final cut, but refused to get upset despite the team having yet to make Q3 all season.
“He was also lapping fast and well, and would definitely have made it through to Q3 also,” explained the Frenchman.
“However, as luck would have it, just as he was about to cut his quickest lap in Q2, ahead of him Nico [Rosberg] locked up and went straight on into the Sainte Devote escape road, triggering a yellow-flag deployment, requiring Jenson to lift off as he passed the hazard.
“Had he been able to take Sainte Devote at normal speed, he’d have ended Q2 well inside the top 10, allowing him to go through to Q3 for the first time this season.
“So, as my British colleagues would phrase it, I guess there’s no point crying over spilt milk, but we’re undeniably frustrated nonetheless.”