Button's hopes of a home victory left in the balance

Championship leader struggles in qualifying as conditions go against him

So much was expected of championship leader Jenson Button on his home turf, but the Brawn driver encountered difficulties with the balance of the car as he struggled to get his tyres up to temperature in the cool conditions, and as yet he has been unable to deliver. The team made adjustments after his first run in the third and final part of qualifying, but on his last lap the balance of the car that has taken him to six wins in seven races was still not perfect, and right at the end a fast lap by Williams driver Kazuki Nakajima pushed him down to sixth place.

"Whilst qualifying in sixth is by no means a bad result, of course I'm hugely disappointed not to be starting my home grand prix from further up the grid," Button said. "We knew that we would find it difficult here as our car doesn't work so well at low temperatures and I really struggled to get the tyres into their working range. I struggled massively with understeer in the high-speed corners and then had oversteer at low speed so it wasn't the best balance for such a competitive qualifying session.

"My aim as always in the race will be to score as many points as possible and I hope that we can put on a great show for the thousands of fans who will be here to enjoy the race at this fantastic circuit."

Button has one major consolation. "I know that whatever happens tomorrow, I will still leave here in the lead of the world championship by 16 points," he said. "But I really want to win my home race."

Lewis Hamilton was more dejected, as an accident to his friend Adrian Sutil, who crashed his Force India in the Abbey curve during the first qualifying session, ruined his own chances of progressing through to the second and left him 19th on the grid. "I did the best I could today," the world champion said. "I was pushing as hard as I could but our car is too slow. I gave it my all and there wasn't really much more I could have got from it."

He refused to blame Sutil for his demise, and said he was unlikely to have improved significantly on the lap that had to be aborted as the red flag came out. "I was pushing on that final one – but it was nothing special. However, we live to fight another day and anything can happen in the race tomorrow. We'll keep pushing on and hopefully put on a good show for all the fans. The great thing is that I've had incredible support these past few days from them – they're the ones who are really helping me to get through it, so a big thank you to all of them."

Felipe Massa, the man Hamilton beat so narrowly to the title last year, was also glum, down in 11th place in a Ferrari he had hoped might be competitive enough on this fast course to erase memories of his awful time here in 2008. "Not a great weekend for us, there's no point denying it," he said. "I missed out getting into Q3 because I made a mistake in the final sector. Up until then I was a few tenths up on my previous best time."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Pupils educated at schools like Eton (pictured) are far more likely to succeed in politics and the judiciary, the report found
voices
Arts and Entertainment
Simon Cowell is less than impressed with the Strictly/X Factor scheduling clash
tvSimon Cowell blasts BBC for breaking 'gentlemen's agreement' in scheduling war
News
Orson Welles made Citizen Kane at 25, and battled with Hollywood film studios thereafter
people
News
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reportedly married in secret on Saturday
peopleSpokesperson for couple confirms they tied the knot on Saturday after almost a decade together
Sport
footballAnd Liverpool are happy despite drawing European champions
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Diana from the Great British Bake Off 2014
tvProducers confirm contestant left because of illness
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
tv
Life and Style
fashion

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone