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Button: This is a massive blow

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Jenson Button described his exit from the Belgian Grand prix in a collision with Sebastian Vettel as a “massive blow” to his title ambitions.

The reigning champion was the innocent party when Vettel misjudged an outbraking attempt at the Bus Stop chicane on lap 16 and slammed into his McLaren rival.

Vettel continued but was given a drive-through penalty, while Button’s race was over on the spot.

With his McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton winning the race and reclaiming the championship lead, Button remains fourth in the standings but is now 35 rather than 14 points adrift.

“I don't know what happened with Sebastian,” Button told reporters.

“All I felt was a big bang in the sidepod. It ripped the radiator out I think, and I lost drive completely.

“It was a very strange incident. I don’t know what he was doing really.

“It's a massive blow – a massive blow. It hurts quite a bit really.”

Button was running second at the time of the crash and managing to keep faster cars at bay despite front wing damage sustained on the first lap, which gave his McLaren bad understeer.

“It was looking really good,” he reckoned.

“I had a good start and had a good fight in the wet conditions. I was able to find grip better than other people around me.

“I had a damaged front wing, which gave me massive understeer, especially in the places where I needed the front grip coming onto the straights.

“It meant I had to put maximum front wing angle in the car, which made the rear twitchy but didn’t give me any more front [grip] really.

“It was tricky to keep them behind, but I was doing a pretty good job I thought.

“We were going to change the front wing at the stop.”ITV-F1

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