As is typically the case in Malaysia, conditions just worsened, and the track was too wet to post a time quick enough to get both drivers into Q2.
While Jenson Button somehow managed to haul his evil-handling MP4-25 to a time just quick enough to make the cut, he promptly fell off the circuit at Turn 6 and beached his Mercedes-powered car in the gravel. He would take no further part in proceedings and will line up in 17th place.
Hamilton, however, had simply been too slow. He will start from 20th place tomorrow.
“We started a bit too late, but we went out at a similar times to all the other top teams, but it was just unlucky," he said to reports after qualifying.
"It was one of those days. It’s been a good weekend so far, but we didn’t expect it to rain anymore and it got wetter and wetter and couldn’t get the time, so. Hard work tomorrow, for sure but I’ll do my best."
"We read it wrong, basically," Button said. "We thought nothing else was coming so we waited and it was obviously the wrong thing to do.
"My first lap on inters felt okay. It was quite wet but it felt okay. I just aquaplaned off, really. I couldn’t do anything about it. We made the wrong call and paid for it. Hopefully we’ll make up for it tomorrow."
[Original image via GP Update]