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Jenson Button: 'tiny tap' cost me Q3 place

Lars Baron/Getty Images

Jenson Button was left to rue a "tiny tap" with the wall which cost him a place in Q3 in qualifying for Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix.

On his final flying effort in Q2, which would have been good enough to claim a spot in the top 10, the McLaren driver brushed the wall with his left-rear wheel on the exit of the right-hander at Turn 14.

The contact caused a puncture, denying Button the opportunity to improve on his time and join teammate Fernando Alonso in Q3. As a result, the Briton will start 13th on the grid in Singapore.

"I don't hit the wall or go off very often so I thought I'd give it a try and it doesn't work for me," Button said. "So many people have hit the wall here this weekend and no issues, I hit it and get a puncture.

"It was a tiny tap, but I pushed the boundaries and thought I could get away with it but I couldn't. It was my fault, I tapped the wall on the rear left and broke the wheel and got a puncture."

Button struggled for pace in Friday practice but says he had regained confidence during qualifying and feels that a place in Q3 was there for the taking.

"The whole weekend up until qualifying has been really tough and in qualifying I felt pretty good actually. I think I was getting the best of the car and the pace was good compared to Fernando. Looking at the sectors it was definitely good enough to get through to Q3.

"An unusual mistake but it cost us Q3. It's a bit of a pain but there's no point looking back. It would have been a pretty easy Q3, but you have to get round the lap and I didn't."

Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat out qualified both McLarens around the Marina Bay Street Circuit, while Force India's Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez are sandwiched either side of Alonso in ninth.

Button admits the race pace of Toro Rosso and Force India is a cause for concern but hopes to take advantage of the unpredictable nature of the Singapore Grand Prix -- which has seen at least one safety car at each of the previous eight races.

"I think the race, whatever, is very difficult for us, if you look at our pace on the long runs, the Toro Rosso's and Force India are much quicker so it's surprising.

"The Toro Rosso and the Force India have been very strong on long-run pace, but it seems when the circuit grips up we definitely find better pace.

"It's always difficult when you are not in the top 10 here but also anything can happen here. It really does get mixed up after Turn 1 and with safety cars and what have you, you've got to stay positive."