Jenson Button's hopes of wrapping up the world championship in Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix have suffered another blow after the publication of the provisional grid for the race.
With the FIA having worked out the application of the numerous penalties handed out after qualifying, the result is that Button will start the Suzuka race from 10th on the grid, four places behind Brawn teammate Rubens Barrichello. But worse than being so far adrift of his championship rival, is the fact that between Barrichello and Button are two one-stopping cars Nico Rosberg and Robert Kubica.
Furthermore, Heikki Kovalainen's KERS-equipped McLaren will be starting alongside Button on the clean side of the circuit, so there is a chance that the Briton will lose a further place away from the grid.
Button needs to score five more points than Barrichello to clinch the title in Japan and prevent the battle being taken to the next race in Brazil.
The penalties handed out after qualifying are always applied in the order in which they were committed. The fact that Barrichello committed his offense of ignoring yellow flags before Button and Sutil means that he has lucked in to effectively losing just one place on the grid.
Pos Driver Weight (kg) 1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 658.5 2. Trulli Toyota 655.5 3. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 656.0 4. Heidfeld BMW-Sauber 660.0 5. Raikkonen Ferrari 661.0 6. Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 660.5 * 7. Rosberg Williams-Toyota 684.5 8. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 650.0 * 9. Kubica BMW-Sauber 686.010. Button Brawn-Mercedes 658.5 *11. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 675.0 **12. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 682.513. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 665.4 *14. Fisichella Ferrari 661.515. Nakajima Williams-Toyota 695.716. Alonso Renault 689.5 *17. Grosjean Renault 691.818. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 682.5 **19. Webber Red Bull-Renault - ***20. Glock Toyota - ***** Five-place grid penalty** Five-place grid penalty for changing gearbox*** New chassis so will start from the pitlane**** Will not start due to injury