Jenson Button apologises to McLaren after Malaysia gaffe

Button apologises to McLaren after Karthikeyan gaffe in Malaysia meltdown

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UPDATED:

14:00 GMT, 25 March 2012

Jenson Button has issued a humble apology to his team following a Malaysian Grand Prix he has described as 'horrendous'.

Button is normally the master of the changeable conditions, as he proved three years ago at the Sepang International Circuit when he won a rain-shortened race.

Tough day at the office: Button could only manage 14th in the changeable conditions

Tough day at the office: Button could only manage 14th in the changeable conditions

On this occasion, as Button put it, 'anything that could have gone wrong really did', with the McLaren ace finishing 14th and almost 80 seconds adrift of race winner Fernando Alonso in his Ferrari.

Coming just a week after his near-perfect victory in Australia, a philosophical Button said: 'I can't do anything but laugh really.

'It was a tough afternoon when everything just spiralled out of control, although I didn't do a very good job.

Bad day at the office: Button reflects on a disappointing race

Contrasting fortunes: Button leaves Malaysia third in the title race

'I'm just sorry for the team because they did a great job all weekend, and we expected a lot more from the front row.'

From second on the grid, Button made a solid start, filing in behind team-mate Lewis Hamilton, but with rain falling the race was suspended for 51 minutes after nine laps.

Phil Duncan F1 blog

Shortly after the restart, the 32-year-old collided with the HRT of Narain Karthikeyan, losing the right end of his front wing, which was the beginning of the end for Button.

'I just locked up the rears, couldn't slow the car down and hit Karthikeyan, which was very frustrating,' said Button.

'Then I had to come in and change my nose which took a long time, and after that it was a tough afternoon, tough when you are in 14th or 15th place.

Over the line: Alonso wins in Malaysia

Over the line: Alonso wins in Malaysia

'But everyone is so close, it's so difficult to overtake around here, but a lot of the issues I suffered were because I wiped my front wing off shortly after the restart.

'So not a good race for me, not one in which I'll look at the TV footage.

'I finished almost a lap behind, which is the thing that will stick in my mind for a little while, but I'll get over it.

'The amazing thing is I'm still third in the championship after a day like that.'

As Button concedes it is now a case of 'chin up' as F1 embarks on a three-week break between races following a back-to-back start.

'We'll just move forward and hopefully I'll have a better weekend in China,' said Button.

'This was one of those races that sometimes happen. We'll put it behind us and move forward from there.

'I'm positive things will hopefully get back to normal in China, but I just want to sorry to the guys again, which is the most important thing.'