Jenson Button expressed his disappointment of not making it out of Q1 ahead of Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix but admitted McLaren-Honda expected it.
The Brit will start tomorrow’s Grand Prix P17., while his team-mate Fernando Alonso qualified P15.
The Woking-based outfit failed to impress fans at their ‘second home race’, but knew beforehand they were going to struggle for performance at the Suzuka Circuit as the characteristics of the track don’t bode well with their car.
“Qualifying was straightforward, in the end, but even on race pace we were not massively quick either,” said the 36-year-old.
“This was never going to be a good circuit for us, we the mid and high-speed corners don’t play to the strengths of our car.
“We’re very strong in heavy braking and in low-speed corners and there aren’t many of those around here. When the floor is not so close to the ground the car doesn’t work so well.
“We knew it was going to be a tricky weekend but it’s turning out to be trickier than we expected. It’s never good to be out in Q1, but I have to be pretty happy with my own performance in qualifying.
“To be honest, after the kind of weekend I’m having, to be so close it’s not horrific – the result is not what we wanted but that’s where the car is.”