Jenson Button might be looking at his championship defence slipping away from him this weekend, after a lacklustre qualifying performance that sees him starting from seventh for Sunday’s Korean Grand Prix.

Over 0.7 seconds slower than team-mate Lewis Hamilton – who will start from fourth – Qualifying - Jenson Button lost a ton of grip in qualifyingButton rued a lack of grip and tyre temperature as the reasons behind his poor result.

Button’s set-up needs – requiring a neutral-handling car to suit his smooth driving style – have caused problems for the 2009 champion in the past, and he’s often found himself well off the pace if unable to resolve any handling issues in his car.

And so it proved to be the case today, and the Briton was at a loss to explain the drop in performance from the Saturday morning practice session.

“This afternoon I just couldn’t get the tyre temperature and really struggled with locking, front and rear, and generally low grip,” he told the BBC after qualifying. “I couldn’t find any grip out there. I’m disappointed to be that far down, Lewis was a lot quicker, but still only fourth.”

Two factors in Button’s favour are the prospects of a wet-weather race and that he is starting from the cleaner side of the grid, which Button acknowledges could be crucial in determining his prospects this afternoon.

“You can make or break your race on the first lap so we will be looking for a good start and to make up some places,” he said.

[Original image via LAT]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.