Jenson Button qualified 16th, two places behind his team-mate Fernando Alonso, following the disappointing session the Brit said he might have made it out of Q1 but for the yellow flags which came out towards the end of the session when Max Verstappen’s Toro Rosso stuck on track.
2009-world champion also said that, the team had “messed up” by not informing him of which setting to use.
“There was a yellow flag in the middle sector so obviously I had to lift. Without that I probably would have got through,” Button told Sky Sports F1 afterwards.
“On my first run I wasn’t told what engine mode to be in – every time before our timed lap we’re told before we start – and I wasn’t told. So I went to the wrong setting and it emptied the pack after half a lap.”
“The car didn’t feel too bad to drive, but you need to get everything out of it; you can’t make a single mistake. Even getting the front wing just half a turn out; everything has to be right,” he added.
“Then you have a chance of doing something at least. We definitely messed up today.”
McLaren-Honda F1 racing director Eric Boullier said the team did not follow the right procedures.
“I must apologise to Jenson on behalf of the team. We have a set of procedures ahead of a qualifying lap, and we didn’t follow all of those today.” Boullier said
“He must feel frustrated to have lost out on his first run, and then not to have got a decent shot at it on his second. The yellow flags are a factor in motor racing, but we should have been a bit tighter with our procedures.”