Jenson Button frustrated after his McLaren suffered a loss of power in Monaco qualifying
"We're our own worst enemy it seems," laments 2009 Champion
By Mike Wise
Last Updated: 25/05/13 5:36pm
Button had been featuring higher up the timesheets than he had all season during the opening two segments of Saturday's sessions in the Principality.
McLaren have struggled to date in 2013, of course, with their MP4-28 lacking the downforce of its rivals. However, it's a deficiency that counts for less on the tight 2.075-mile street circuit and the playing field was levelled still further during both Q1 and Q2, which largely took place on a damp track.
Button went so far as to describe it was "by far the best qualifying session we've had this year" but in the end he had to settle for ninth place on the grid, two places behind team-mate Sergio Perez.
McLaren are investigating the loss of power which curtailed Button's final qualifying lap and the 2009 World Champion was left to lament the team's unwelcome, yet uncanny, habit of making life difficult for themselves.
"It was a great qualifying session," Button said. "I don't think I was outside the top five. We did a good job in terms of getting out on the right tyres at the right time and the pace was good.
"I felt like I was driving well, but it doesn't really matter when you have an issue at the end.
"The rain around Monaco is never great because it's so tricky with the white lines and everything. Most of the time we were in the top one or two every time I crossed the line...it was one of the quickest laps.
"I'm ninth and that's it. We're our own worst enemy it seems; you know, when you eventually get the car working well, and I think we've done everything right this weekend, we have that issue in Q3.
"It's not easy at the moment."
Button, who won the race in his title-winning year, is now facing a long Sunday afternoon trying as best he can to make progress on a track where overtaking is, at best, extremely difficult.
"Being up in the top five to being ninth is a massive difference. And when you want to do your own strategy and ideas in the race, you can't if your team-mate is in front of you. It's going to be a tough afternoon," he added.