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The penalty was the latest blow in a season of disappointment for the historically powerful McLaren team, which has yet to earn a podium finish this year.

“It wasn’t dangerous. I didn’t do it on purpose but the rules are the rules,” Button said. “We can’t change that now. It was my mistake. It’s frustrating, because I haven’t made it easy for myself the last couple of races.”

The helicopter had been delayed by the fog and Formula One prohibits racing without it. A spokesman for the FIA, the sport’s governing body, said he didn’t know why the session was allowed to start before the helicopter arrived. Because fog could be a problem again Saturday morning, track officials plan to keep the helicopter at the circuit overnight.