Button apologises to fans over pit-stop error
Jenson Button was left apologising to the fans following another British Grand Prix to forget.
A potential podium finish was on the cards for the McLaren driver as he came in for his third and final pit stop 12 laps from the finish.
But within yards of leaving his pit box, Button was forced to pull over as the right-front wheel had worked loose.
The mechanic working on the change of that tyre lost the wheelnut, and in picking up the spare wheel-gun, triggered the front-jack man into lowering the car, which in turn led to the lollipop man allowing Button to leave.
It was a simple case of human error, but one that remarkably leaves Button with the unenviable record of never having finished on the podium in 12 attempts at his home race.
"We all make mistakes, and you always hope they won't happen, but this is even more disappointing as it's in front of my home crowd," said Button.
"I was really enjoying the race, I had a couple of good battles out there, and the pace was very good. It was all looking pretty sweet.
"When you're that high up and your pace is good, there's always the chance of a podium, so what happened is a pity because it could have been a great race.
"I'm just sorry we couldn't do better because there was definitely a podium on the cards.
"I don't think we could have fought with (race winner) Fernando (Alonso), but with the Red Bulls it could have been interesting.
"So sorry to the fans, I wish we could have done more. It seems that way at the British Grand Prix for me over the last few years.
"But I'll come back next year, I'll hopefully have a strong car and we won't make any mistakes."
Team principal Martin Whitmarsh refused to chastise the member of the pit crew who was naturally left beating himself up over his mistake.
"On this occasion it was a case of human error in the heat of the moment," said Whitmarsh.
"We mustn't be too hard on individuals. I know he's being very hard on himself right now."
McLaren at least picked up some points courtesy of Lewis Hamilton, who could also have been on the podium but for being forced to save fuel over the final 15 laps after his early charge.
Hamilton climbed from 10th to fifth inside three laps courtesy of a number of fine moves, and was within a second of the lead later in the race.
However, in a car struggling for pace in fuel-saving mode, he dropped to fourth, holding off Ferrari's Felipe Massa in a thrilling last-lap duel.
Spurred on by the 120,000-plus Silverstone crowd in light of the recent negativity that has surrounded him, Hamilton, who along with Button is 95 points adrift of championship leader Vettel, said: "The fans were phenomenal.
"That's the thing with the fans, whether we are winning or losing, they are with you all the way, and I just can't wait for the time we are at the front and we are able to win for them."
Whitmarsh insisted he was not considering his own position despite the problems which affected his drivers.
He told the Daily Telegraph: "I am confident I will stay in my job. I answer to the board - not just (group chairman) Ron (Dennis) - and they seem happy with the job I am doing - certainly for now.
"But for sure it was not one of the best grands prix I have ever had. We don't want to let the fans down and we did."
Petr Cech demands talks over Chelsea future as Thibaut Courtois begs him to stay – as mentor
Angel Di Maria: Manchester United to push ahead with £50m move for Real Madrid winger
Marcos Rojo to Manchester United: Sporting Lisbon confirm deal with Nani heading back to Portugal on loan
Sami Khedira to Arsenal: Midfield omitted from Real Madrid squad for Spanish Super Cup
David Gold furious after Carlton Cole parody account mocks up a picture of West Ham chairman as a suspect in the Madeleine McCann case
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns aged 27
- 3 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
- 4 Nicki Minaj finally releases predictable 'Anaconda' video
- 5 James Foley 'beheading': Met police warn public watching murder video could be criminal offence
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish Independence Referendum: Salmond described as 'arrogant, ambitious and dishonest' by Scottish women