Jense annoyed as Massa escapes penalty

Saturday 15th May 2010

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Jense annoyed as Massa escapes penalty

Jense annoyed as Massa escapes penalty

Jenson Button was left fuming with Felipe Massa and the stewards following qualifying session for the Monaco GP.

Heading into Rascasse the reigning World Champion was forced to back off on his first timed lap in his McLaren in the final 10-minute shoot-out as Ferrari's Massa blocked his path.

Although the four stewards, which for this race includes 1996 world champion Damon Hill, reviewed the incident, they decided no penalty was necessary.

Asked if Massa had been "a complete plonker," Button replied: "Your words not mine."

He added: "I was surprised nothing happened about it because he did impede me.

"He backed off to get a clear lap for the next lap and he cost me time, so what happened can't be any clearer.

"I don't know what he was thinking. There are only 10 cars in Q3, so it should be easy to keep out of the way of cars coming round.

"He obviously wasn't looking in his mirrors, so it's very annoying he got in the way because he blatantly slowed me down.

"It screwed that timed lap and the next lap as well because I had a bad run onto the pit straight."

At the end Button could only manage eighth as Mark Webber took pole, leaving hopes of a repeat of last year's win extremely difficult.

Despite that, an optimistic Button said: "We've a lot of work to do, but we can still make up some places in the race.

"If we get the strategy spot on and we keep it out of the wall then we can still pick up some points, and I'm not talking about eighth, I want to finish higher than that."

Team principal Martin Whitmarsh also felt Massa, who will start from fourth on the grid, should have been hit with a penalty.

"What they (the stewards) are saying is he was doing his best, but doing your best hasn't historically been good enough," said Whitmarsh.

"It's very clear Jenson had to lift, he was on a quick lap, and you would have expected that to have resulted in a penalty."

With Lewis Hamilton fifth on the grid, Whitmarsh recognises his team face an uphill battle to add to their 15 wins around Monte Carlo since 1984.

"This is a circuit we've been very strong at, and it doesn't make it easy for us when we have a bad day in the office," added Whitmarsh.

"We will look for opportunities in the race and take them. We've come out of quite a few qualifying sessions not looking good, yet these two guys have turned it around.

"It's perhaps asking a bit much, on a circuit like Monaco, to do lots of overtaking.

"But no-one here is going to be giving up. We'll do everything we can in the race to get to the front."

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