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Jenson Button considers himself 'lucky' after drain cover incident

Khoo/Sutton Images

MONTE CARLO, Monaco -- Jenson Button said he was lucky come away from first practice at the Monaco Grand Prix with nothing more than a broken front wing after running over a loose drain cover on the exit of Ste Devote.

The metal drain cover was flicked into the path of Button's car by Nico Rosberg's Mercedes and smashed the McLaren's front wing into pieces as he exited the corner. Fortunately the drain cover went under Button's car rather than towards the cockpit and the McLaren driver said he felt lucky the accident was not more serious.

"I think we have enough risks and this is a controlled environment -- or it should be," he said. "I have to say that normally here the safety is very good, in terms of what they do, because it's a street circuit, but that was definitively an incident we don't want to see again here.

"We were lucky in the way it damaged the car, it stayed quite low on the ground, which is good -- that's all I've got to say about it."

Button finished the second session tenth fastest behind the Red Bulls, Mercedes, Toro Rossos, Ferraris and Sergio Perez's Force India, with a gap of 1.718s to Daniel Ricciardo's fastest time.

"We were 10th today and we're hoping for a bit better on Saturday. Some other cars are a bit more competitive than what we thought, the Toro Rosso especially, and there's a big gap for the cars in front. But we'll do our best in qualifying and you never know, we might be more competitive.

"I expected more grip from the ultra-softs, they weren't so different from the super-softs, so we're going to work to find that extra grip on Saturday. There are things we can improve and I'm looking forward to see where we end up. The things we can change will move us up the grid, so hopefully we'll be able to improve the car for Saturday."