Communication error costs Jenson Button in Japanese GP qualifying

Jenson Button says his McLaren-Honda Formula 1 team cannot afford communication mistakes such as the one that contributed to his Q1 exit in Japanese Grand Prix qualifying

Communication error costs Jenson Button in Japanese GP qualifying

Button is set for 16th on the Suzuka grid after running in an incorrect engine setting for his first Q1 lap and then backing off on his second due to yellow flags for Max Verstappen's stranded Toro Rosso.

"On the first run I wasn't told which engine mode to be in," said Button.

"It [normally] happens at the start of every qualifying lap, and they forgot to tell me.

"I went to the one that I would normally go to and it just emptied the [battery] pack halfway round the lap.

"So for the last half of the lap I didn't have any [MGU-K] deployment.

"It just shows you when you don't put a lap in at the start of qualifying, anything can happen."

The 2009 F1 world champion said it underlined how costly any small slip can be for a team in McLaren's plight.

"You need to get everything out of it, you can't make a single mistake, even getting the front wing half a turn out," he said.

"You have to get everything right and then you have a chance of doing something at least.

"The simple things we need to get right. We've got bigger things to worry about.

"It's not frustration, it's stating the obvious. You can't have little mistakes from any of us, me included.

"You've got to iron those issues out before you have a competitive car or they'll hurt you a lot."

ALONSO'S 'BEST' SUZUKA LAP

Button's team-mate Fernando Alonso reached Q2 and was up to 11th going into the session's closing seconds, before being pushed back to 14th.

He will gain a further position from Nico Hulkenberg's grid penalty for a Singapore GP collision.

"I told the guys it's probably the best lap of my career around here," said Alonso.

"We could put a hundred sets of tyres on all afternoon to repeat that lap and you cannot get to that laptime."

Alonso admitted he will probably slip back in the race.

"It's going to be tough, no doubt," he said.

"There are people behind that are faster - Verstappen and Sauber probably in a race situation.

"We'll try to do our best and hopefully some miracles to score some points."

shares
comments
Nico Rosberg takes pole position for Japanese Grand Prix
Previous article

Nico Rosberg takes pole position for Japanese Grand Prix

Next article

Japanese GP post-qualifying F1 press conference transcript

Japanese GP post-qualifying F1 press conference transcript
Load comments
The code of conduct debate prompted by the Alonso/Raikkonen marginal call Plus

The code of conduct debate prompted by the Alonso/Raikkonen marginal call

Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen's clash in Austin has thrust the debate about rights and wrongs of wheel-to-wheel combat firmly into the public spotlight, prompting complaints about the Formula 1 rules process. But what can the FIA do to prevent the issue resurfacing?

How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in the best-of-the-rest F1 2021 battle Plus

How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in the best-of-the-rest F1 2021 battle

Supremacy in the McLaren vs Ferrari fight over third place in the constructors’ championship has ebbed and flowed between the two teams so far in the 2021 Formula 1 season. But for several key reasons, right now it seems the advantage has swung decisively back to the Scuderia and McLaren knows it.

Formula 1
Oct 27, 2021
The 70s US superteam that tried and failed to crack F1 Plus

The 70s US superteam that tried and failed to crack F1

Vel’s Parnelli Jones Racing was briefly one of the biggest names on the US motorsports scene, but its ambition outstripped its resources. STUART CODLING relates the story of a Formula 1 campaign cut off in its prime

Formula 1
Oct 26, 2021
The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory Plus

The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon at the returning Circuit of the Americas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement Plus

Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man ANTHONY PEACOCK explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it)

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021