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Jenson Button blames lack of grip for lowly seventh grid slot

Jenson Button, McLaren, German Grand Prix 2011Jenson Button admitted to being mystified by his lack of pace in qualifying for the German Grand Prix after the McLaren driver slumped to seventh on the grid - 1.1s off team-mate Lewis Hamilton's pace.

Button, who was fifth fastest in final practice on Saturday morning having more-or-less matched Hamilton for pace, struggled for purchase on the cold track surface during the qualifying session and was not a factor in Q3.

"I couldn't find any grip out there, I was really struggling," he said. "This morning the car felt good, but this afternoon...

"I had too much front end on the way into the corners so we took some front wing out and that basically gave me understeer but didn't help the rear of the car.

"It's very strange that we can't find the grip out there so to be down in seventh is very surprising. Also to be something like 1.1s behind Lewis is surprising, so something is not quite right.

"It was pretty terrible. I just didn't have any pace on either tyre, I struggled on both the hard and the soft tyre and I don't really know where the pace has gone from this morning. We were pretty good this morning and we were always pretty much at the top of the time sheets so it's a bit surprising that I don't know where that time is."

Asked if he was hoping for rain for the race on Sunday, Button replied: "We need to do something because the pace isn't there and the frustrating thing is that it was this morning. The car felt good and I don't know where it's gone.

"The weather has got to do something, I'm 1.1s behind my team-mate so there is something big going on there. I don't whether we are just outside the operating window for the tyres but something isn't working properly."

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