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Kaltenborn furious with Button after Wehrlein flip

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Kaltenborn furious with Button after Wehrlein flip
By:
May 30, 2017, 2:50 PM

Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn was furious with Formula 1 returnee Jenson Button after he collided with Pascal Wehrlein at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Jenson Button, McLaren
 Jenson Button, McLaren MCL32
 Jenson Button, McLaren MCL32, chases Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber C36-Ferrari, on the opening lap
 Jenson Button, McLaren MCL32
 Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber C36-Ferrari
Race retiree Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber

The duo clashed towards the end of the race when Button, who was standing in for Fernando Alonso while he competed in the Indianapolis 500, tried an ambitious pass at Portier.

Wehrlein’s car was flipped onto its side and ended up against the barriers but once it was righted onto its wheels, he was able to climb out and walk away.

The stewards investigated the incident and deemed Button was "predominantly to blame", opting to give him a three-place grid penalty "for his next race this season" plus two penalty points on his licence.

But given the 2009 world champion is unlikely to race again in 2017, the penalty is moot.

When asked if she was furious with Button, Kaltenborn told Motorsport.com: “Yes, I am because I don’t understand how it can come to that kind of situation. I don’t understand how one can assess a situation and get it so wrong.

“There was no way he could pull the move off, that’s why I don’t know why he would try to do such a move.”

Kaltenborn was also frustrated that a lack of pace meant Sauber could not repeat the feat of challenging for points as it did in Spain, when Wehrlein finished eighth.

“The pace of the car was not there, no strategy can help you to overcome that,” she said. “That’s a different story which is also frustrating. Now the engineers need to analyse what is happening here and rectify it.

“Apart from that, this kind of situation with Pascal, I don’t understand what went on there.”

Wehrlein fitness to be monitored

Wehrlein, whose helmet made contact with the barrier, was at the medical centre after the crash, but was cleared by track doctors and at this stage is expected to be fit to race next time out in Canada.

However, given he missed the first two grands prix to 2017 due to a lack of fitness after his training was compromised by him fracturing three vertebrae in an accident in January's Race of Champions, the team is being cautious.

His fitness will be monitored this week and it will be decided in the coming days if he requires further medical investigation.

Speaking to Motorsport.com after the race, Wehrlein said: "I'm feeling good about doing the next race. My back feels OK.

"After my Race of Champions crash it was one hour before I felt anything and then the pain was massive. Now after two hours, I'm feeling OK, so that's good.

"But it's difficult to say. I will see how I feel in the next few days."

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