• Bahrain Grand Prix - FP2

Button admits he's off the pace

ESPNF1 Staff
April 20, 2012 « Tyres a concern for Hamilton | Webber expects tight competition in Bahrain »
Jenson Button was not happy with the balance of his car in Friday practice © Sutton Images
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Jenson Button said he was genuinely off the pace during Friday practice in Bahrain, but is hoping to be more competitive in race trim.

Button has had a good start to the season with one win and one second place, but was sixth fastest at the end of Friday practice, 1.430s off pacesetter Nico Rosberg. He conceded that McLaren has a lot of work to do to be in the fight for a place at the front of the grid on Saturday, but is more confident about Sunday's race when controlling tyre degradation will be crucial.

"My times haven't looked great all day - over a single lap, the Mercedes and the Red Bull both look quick," he said. "There's a big margin to the front at the moment - but I don't think it will be the same in the race.

"However, ignoring the times, I just don't feel completely happy with the direction we've chosen. We've started talking about what we can do for tomorrow and there are already some positive comments about which direction to take.

"It's going to be difficult for all of us out there - it will be all about what tyre we can get to work."

Button admitted he may have made a mistake with his set-up.

"The car's been acting very differently from how it's been in the first three races," he added. "Perhaps we've gone too far with the balance and need to take a step back - there'll be a bit of work needed tonight to get us into a better position. But I'm hopeful of resolving the issues before tomorrow."