Button: Tyres overheating after just three laps

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Jenson Button was not looking particularly upbeat as he stared into Singapore night sky. After a driving error in free practice, he missed out on the second half of the session and valuable setup time out on track.

At the same time, he expressed his reservations about the tyres. "I had just avoided crashing into a barrier, then I found that the reverse gear wasn't working," said a rueful Button.

After his retirement, the McLaren man had plenty of time to study the other cars from trackside. "Sebastian [Vettel] and Red Bull look very quick," he confided. "Ferrari are also fast on the long runs."

But he predicts that the biggest problem will be the tyres: "When I look at the times, I suspect that everyone is going to have problems with the tyres in the race. After no more than three laps, they seem to overheat."

Nico Rosberg concurs and claims to have identified overheating problems with both compounds.

"The tyres are perhaps a little too soft for this circuit," says Button. "But on the other hand, they don't really give enough grip. It's going to be difficult for everyone."

The Englishman intends to make the best of an unsatisfactory situation. He sees the reason for the inconsistent lap times – with both light and heavy fuel loads – as being poor grip: "The cars are sliding around a lot and this is overheating the tyres."