By Jamie O'Leary
Championship leader Jenson Button blamed a bad start for limiting him to sixth place in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
The Brawn driver dropped to ninth place on the first lap after starting from the third row, and could only recover back to his starting spot by the end of the 60-lap race.
"I got a terrible start," said Button. "Jarno Trulli, in front of me, got a really slow getaway, as they [the Toyotas] normally do, and I had nowhere to go.
"I tried to go to the inside, but that wasn't there, and I tried to go to the outside and that was full, and then everyone shot by me on the outside."
Button, who, like his Brawn team-mate Rubens Barrichello, adopted the unusual strategy of using hard tyres for his middle stint, was unable to make the most of his car's outright pace in the cool temperatures.
He said his car was transformed when he took soft rubber for the final stint. By that point though, the podium was out of reach.
"Behind Trulli in the first stint, I slowed up behind him to give myself some clear air and see what times I could do, and I was eight tenths to a second quicker," Button said. "There's just nowhere to pass on this circuit [because the corners are of such high speed].
"Then on the hard tyres the car just didn't work and I couldn't get any tyre temperature. That's the way our car is in cooler temperatures.
"On the soft rubber near the end I was able to close in on Nico Rosberg and Felipe Massa like they were standing still, but you still can't pass around here."
Button's result means that his championship lead has been cut from 26 points to 23 with half the season remaining.
Saturday Team Quote – British GP
Jenson Button (6th, 1:20.289): "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. 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."
Sunday Team Quote – British GP
Jenson Button (6th): "All points are important at this stage of the season and to come away with three from this weekend is therefore ok but it's been a very frustrating home Grand Prix for us. I had a bad start as Trulli was slow off the line in front of me which left nowhere to go. I tried the inside and then the outside but everyone shot by me. From ninth place it was never going to be an easy race. I was stuck behind Trulli for the first stint which was really frustrating as the car felt good on the softer tyre and I was much quicker than him but couldn't overtake. We then had a long middle stint on the harder tyre and both Rubens and I struggled to get the tyres into their working range in the cool conditions with a heavy fuel load. On the softer rubber at the end of the race, I was able to close right up to Rosberg and Massa very easily so the pace of the car was actually pretty good but it is so difficult to overtake that I couldn't make any improvement on sixth position with only a few laps left. We need to understand why our car doesn't work so well at low temperatures and hope for warmer races to come."