Button: I’ve just been hit by Kobayashi. What an idiot!”
15 October, 2012
Oct.14 (F1 Media) It was a torrid, short-lived Korean GP for Jenson Button who was crashed into by the out of control Sauber of Kamui Kobayashi less than a minute into the race, ending it there and then for the McLaren driver who did not mince his words moments after the incident.
Button’s race had already been compromised on Saturday when yellow flags on his final flying lap in Q2 left him out of contention for the top-10 shootout and the Briton had admitted that battling back from an 11th-place start would be tough. In the end, however, his battle was over almost before it began.
As he headed into turn three after the start, Kamui Kobayashi clipped the rear of Button’s McLaren and, losing control, the Sauber driver then ploughed into the front right of the McLaren. Button skittered off track and out of the race, his front suspension in tatters.
In the heat of battle, Button was livid, shouting into his team radio: “I’ve just been hit by Kobayashi. What an idiot!”
Later, calmer he explained, “I got a really good start and was able to get past both Mercedes,” Into the first corner, there was a slight incident in front of me [when Sergio Perez braked late and tapped the car in front], so I was forced to run wide and push Nico [Rosberg] off the circuit.”
“Nico and I then had a good drag-race down the back straight on lap one. I braked really late for turn three, then suddenly Kamui [Kobayashi's] car was climbing all over my car’s right-hand side. It’s extremely disappointing. This is a long race, with so much opportunity for everyone. It’s a great circuit for overtaking, so it’s surprising to see people behaving like that on the first lap,” added Button who now lies sixth in the title chase 84 points adrift of top spot with a maximum of 100 on offer in the final four races.
Asked about if he could still win the championship, his reply obvious, “No, definitely not. I’m going to enjoy myself over the next few races. Points for the team would have been really important, but it’s out of our hands.”
There was only very slight consolation for McLaren with Lewis Hamilton’s heroic drive to tenth after an anti-roll bar failure. The prerace favourites left Yeongam with a single point.
Subbed by AJN.