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Button in tough spot after poor qualifying run

JENSON Button's disappointing qualifying run leaves him with a lot of work to do if he wants to clinch his first Formula One title in today's Brazilian Grand Prix.

Button's chances diminished significantly after he struggled under wet conditions at Interlagos yesterday and was outperformed by Brawn GP teammate Rubens Barrichello, his closest title challenger with two races to go.

Button will start 14th on the grid, while Barrichello will be on pole position.

"Yeah, it's frustrating," Button said.

To lift the trophy in Brazil and keep the decision from reaching the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP on Nov. 1, Button has to finish third or better. He may even secure the title by finishing out of the podium, but only if Barrichello fails to win the race in front of his home crowd.

Button has a 14-point lead over Barrichello and a 16-point advantage over Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, the only driver still in contention besides the Brawn GP duo. A victory is worth 10 points, and second through eighth are 8-6-5-4-3-2-1.

Vettel also struggled with the treacherous track conditions and qualified behind Button, in 15th place after a penalty against Force India's Vitantonio Liuzzi.

"I don't want to be so far back, but at least Vettel is behind me," Button said.

The Briton couldn't find the right setup in the rain and failed to stay competitive. He was eliminated in the second qualifying session.

Button blamed his poor performance on a wrong choice of tires, which kept the car from achieving the right balance for the conditions.

It rained heavily all day in South America's biggest city and the qualifying session was interrupted by two red flags and was delayed several times because of the dangerous track conditions.

More rain is expected for today's race, and Button and Brawn GP will have to rethink their strategy.

"We definitely need to look at it because we definitely made a mistake," the 29-year-old Button said.

If he finds a way to come from the back to clinch the title today, Button will give Britain back-to-back F1 titles for the first time since Graham Hill won in 1968 and Jackie Stewart in 1969.


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