• Chinese GP - FP2

Ricciardo is Mercedes' only challenger - Button

ESPN Staff
April 18, 2014 « Mercedes still clear favourites - Vettel | Alonso wary of Saturday rain »
© Sutton Images

Jenson Button thinks Daniel Ricciardo is the only driver with a chance of coming close to the Mercedes cars at this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso split the two Mercedes in Friday practice, but Button pointed to a long and consistent run from the Red Bull driver in FP2 as the true indicator of form.

"I would say the Ferrari probably isn't the car that will take it to the Mercedes," Button said. "In qualifying maybe, but in the race Ricciardo in the Red Bull looks very strong. He's a lot quicker than his team-mate and able to do seven laps more on his longer run.

"He looks very good and the car is obviously working reasonably well in his hands. It's going to be a mix up I think and a lot of it is because some people are getting the tyres working and some people aren't. You can see the big differences up and down the pit lane."

When asked if he was happy with his own car this weekend, Button said: "No, definitely not. There are a few things we can do overnight, but I'm not sure we are quite as competitive as the last race. But then again, in Bahrain we also struggled in FP2 on the long runs, maybe it will be better in the race.

"There are a few things we can do with the set-up but you don't want to completely change the set-up just to solve front graining. We'll see, we've got a few things that we want to do to improve the car overall and we'll see where we stand. But there are lots of cars that are out of place - some are very fast and some are very slow - so we'll see. We should have a better picture if qualifying is dry tomorrow and then we'll see on Sunday."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
ESPN Staff Close