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Button critical of Sauber pair

NEWS STORY
14/10/2012

Mat Coch writes:

Jenson Button exited the Korean Grand Prix after just two corners, effectively extinguishing his already slim chances of claiming the world championship.

Button's weekend took a knock on Saturday afternoon when he was eliminated from the second phase of qualifying. Although he enjoyed the freedom of choosing the tyre compound on which to begin the race it also left him mired in the mid-field melee.

"I got a really good start and passed Michael (Schumacher) and was alongside Nico (Rosberg)," Button recalled of the start.

"Perez came from nowhere," he continued. "(He) chucked it up the inside, out-braked himself and hit the car in front. I had to run wide and push Nico off the circuit to stop an incident."

Both Button and Rosberg's races came to an abrupt end two corners later courtesy of Perez's Sauber teammate Kamui Kobayashi. "Nico and I had a drag race down the back straight, Saubers all over the back of us.

"I braked very, very late, as I'm sure Nico did, and then suddenly got a big bang on the right-hand side and Kamui came flying past. I don't know how he hit two of us, which was pretty special."

"Kobayashi hit me from behind today and that was my race over," Rosberg added. "It's very frustrating to be taken out twice in the first corners of the race."

Button's McLaren sustained damage to the right front suspension, while damage to Rosberg's sidepod forced the Mercedes driver out just a lap later, prompting an unusually critical response from the 2009 world champion.

"It's very poor driving standards considering this is the pinnacle of motorsport," he insisted. "It's not just a slight misjudgement, it's massive.

"There is so much opportunity here as well with way tyres are working and the DRS zone. It's a great circuit for overtaking, which is why it so surprising people are driving like that."

For his part, Kobayashi saw the incident somewhat differently. "I was fighting for position," he explained. "We're fighting on the straight for position. I had both cars on my left and right, so I had nowhere to go.

"Unfortunately when braking it was difficult to react, someone hit my car and I couldn't control it."

The stewards saw the incident differently and handed Kobayashi a drive through penalty.

However given he'd taken out two cars Button didn't feel the penalty was hard enough. "I don't think it's enough," he lamented. "He's wiped out two cars with very good chances of scoring points.

"It seems both Sauber drivers think the first lap of the race is the only lap," Button added. "The race is not two corners long, and some people need to learn that. Whether they will we will have to wait and see.

"Both Sauber drivers have got a great car underneath them and could score such great points here if they just kept their heads together. I don't know what they were doing."

With four races left, and twenty-five points on offer for each, Button is not mathematically out of the championship fight. He does however face a somewhat more than an uphill task given he lies sixth in the championship, 84 points behind championship leader Sebastian Vettel.

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