Button questions red flag use

Date published: April 17 2016

McLaren driver Jenson Button has expressed his concern that qualifying for the Chinese GP was not halted due to a parked car near the exit to the pitlane.

The Briton radioed through to his team to notify them of the car which he believed was in a dangerous position, asserting: “if we go off we’re going to hit it.”

However, Button’s pleas fell on deaf ears, although there was a red flag later in the session when Nico Hulkenberg was forced to park his Force India at the side of the track after losing his front left wheel.

“I was surprised when we had a red flag at the end of the session for the Force India,” Button said.

“It pulled off and there was an opening for the car to be pulled back into. But then we had the car parked in the pit entry which was directly in the way of us and there was no red flag for that.”

He added: “Wouldn’t have been my call.”

Button’s frustration was compounded by the fact that the red flag curtailed his progress just when he and his McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso were building up a head of speed.

“Tough qualifying,” he explained. “You wait until the circuit is at its best to use the new tyre, we had it nice and ready to go, but like a few other people we got unlucky."