Jenson Button blamed Kimi Raikkonen for failing to reach Q3 during qualifying for the Korean Grand Prix.
The McLaren qualified in 12th position after missing the Q3 cut by just 0.038 second. Button said Lotus driver Raikkonen had cost him time during his final flying lap, and he was convinced he would have been in the top 10 without that.
“I came up behind Kimi on my last lap,” said Button. “It’s been tricky with traffic all day. I came up behind him in Turn 11 and 12, which are high-speed corners, so you get affected more than at low-speed corners.
“It’s a pity considering he was on his in-lap, but there you go. I think we lost about a tenth and a half, which would have put us easily through. But it is what it is.”
It was the first time since the Canadian Grand Prix that both McLarens were left out of Q3 as Button’s teammate Sergio Perez finished the session 11th. Button admitted the McLaren was simply not capable of more at the moment.
“We are going as quick as the car will go, and obviously that is not quick enough. I feel we are getting the best out of the car,” he said. “We’ve got an interesting straightline speed compared to our competitors, so the first couple of laps will be interesting.”
Perez also believed reaching the top-10 shootout was possible had he completed a perfect lap.
“We were very close to Q3. My lap was pretty good. I think reaching Q3 was possible. Sauber was very strong in qualifying, but I think our race pace tomorrow could be good,” Perez said.