Returning Button hit with 15-place penalty for engine change

Jenson Button is set to start tomorrow's showcase Monaco Grand Prix from last place after McLaren's engine partners Honda detected a power unit problem that will incur a 15-place grid penalty.

McLaren driver Jenson Button of Britain steers his auto during the free practice for the Formula One Grand Prix at the Monaco racetrack in Monaco, Saturday, May 27, 2017. Managing to get his nose up the inside, Button then saw the gap suddenly slammed shut as Wehrlein turned into the McLaren, causing his auto to flip up against the barriers on its side.

Wehrlein told the official website that he had touched his head on the barrier and criticised Button, standing in for Spaniard Fernando Alonso who was racing at Indianapolis, for a "silly move".

Button was frustrated being stuck behind Sauber driver Pascal Wehrlein, so he stuck a wheel inside Wehrlein's auto before Monaco's tunnel, flipping Wehrlein in the process.

Daniil Kvyat says that retired F1 driver Jenson Button is under no pressure this weekend at Monaco.

"I've been spending a lot of time in one place rather than traveling around the world and flying three times a week and I'm in a very lucky position where I can do that", he said.

Wehrlein had irritated Button at the beginning of the race as well, as he was released too close in front of Button's vehicle in the pits.

Stoffel Vandoorne, the Belgian who has replaced Button at McLaren, had been enjoying the best weekend of his short career, only to crash in the closing moments of Q2.

"I gave it a go and thought it was a fair enough judgment, but it didn't work out".

The 2009 world champion and former Monaco victor left Formula One at the end of last season, handing over his seat to Belgian rookie Stoffel Vandoorne, and has moved to California where he has focused on triathlon. I'm sure there's a reason and they'll be back on Saturday. "But it's Monaco, so we'll try anything we can". Obviously the only thing I wanted to do was to get out of the vehicle when you see the auto start to smoke.

"I will be asking him about that when he gets back". These cars are so hard to see out of the back of, I've been telling the team and the FIA that this weekend.

"I think they will find more tomorrow", said the German Vettel. "Not just driving the vehicle, but the whole F1 atmosphere".

  • Carolyn Briggs