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Jenson Button had no excuses after his disappointing season continued in first qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Button and his BAR-Honda team have yet to score a point this season - or even finish a race - and the prospects for improvement at Sakhir look bleak after the Englishman could only manage 12th in first qualifying.

The 25-year-old was hampered by his early starting position in qualifying, which came as an unwelcome consequence of his third-lap retirement in Malaysia.

But despite losing some time on the dusty track, Button conceded BAR simply did not have the speed to compete.

"The lap wasn't too bad but it was a bit off the pace really," said Button, who finished third in Bahrain last year. "The car felt reasonably good, the balance wasn't too bad.

"It didn't help going out early in the session but we just didn't have the pace.

"Today we haven't been quick, we haven't been slow either. I thought we lost a few 10ths going out first.

"It never helps going out early, especially with how strong the wind was but Pedro de la Rosa is still ahead of us and he went out before us.

"If we knew how to make the car quicker we would have done it."

Button's targets for Sunday's final qualifying and race are modest compared to those he started the season with.

Prior to the first race in Melbourne, Button and BAR were optimistically talking of a first grand prix victory - now he will be happy just to finish the race, especially with the running order for San Marino qualifying determined by Sunday's result.

He said: "There are people very close to me in front, Felipe Massa and Ralf Schumacher, so there's a possibility of getting ahead of a couple of people in final qualifying but that's it.

"Really we just want to finish a race to be honest and get reasonably near the front for qualifying at Imola, where we have some new parts.

"It's just about getting a reasonable finish so we can get to the front and do some good qualifying.

"We have to wait and see for the race but in practice it's been reasonable but I don't think we are as quick as we were in Malaysia."
 
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