McLaren driver had accepted qualifying would become irrelevant
Saturday 20 June 2015 12:04, UK
Jenson Button has been handed a 25-place grid penalty after McLaren changed components on his Honda engine.
The former world champion will be unable to serve all of that penalty even if he qualifies on pole with only 20 cars on the grid. He will therefore be penalised in the race as well with a drive-through, or if he serves less than a four place drop he will be given a 10-second stop/go penalty.
The sister McLaren-Honda of Fernando Alonso had already had a 20-place grid penalty confirmed by the FIA meaning both McLarens will line up at the back of the grid.
Button suffered the same fate in Canada when he was given a 15-place grid penalty for taking a fifth turbocharger and MGU-H and speaking on Friday evening the Briton was anticipating penalties.
“I am probably going to have to take a penalty this weekend or a couple of penalties so I am just going to go and have some fun because I know I am probably going to be starting right at the back,” he told Sky Sports.
“That means qualifying won’t really matter, but I’ll still go out there and try to have some fun.”
Friday was a troubled day for McLaren-Honda as both cars suffered reliability problems, with Alonso and Button forced to sit out the final 30 minutes of Practice Two.
Despite this, the Briton feels progress was made on a day which saw Alonso's car fitted with a new short nose.
Button said: “We’ve come a long way from P1, but the balance wasn’t there and also power. P2 was much better in both areas, but then we had a spark plug issue so I wasn’t able to run anymore, hopefully it will be better tomorrow.”
There could be better news heading forward, however, with Button predicting better reliability at the British and Hungarian grands prix.
“We won’t have penalties hopefully in Silverstone or Hungary so that is a big step forward already,” he added.
“The car will be suited to circuits like Hungary, especially with this aero package that we have, but hopefully Silverstone, my home race, I’d like to get a reasonable result there also.”
Don’t miss Sky Sports F1’s exclusively live coverage of the 2015 Austrian GP. The race begins at 1pm on Sunday, with build-up underway from 11.30am. No Sky Sports? No problem! Watch the Austrian GP for £6.99 with NOW TV