• Chinese GP - Qualifying

Strong finish still possible - Button

ESPN Staff
April 19, 2014 « Vettel admits Ricciardo is beating him 'fair and square' | Raikkonen bemoans 'inconsistent' Ferrari »
Jenson Button believes McLaren is still up with the likes of Red Bull © Sutton Images

Jenson Button believes the way the current season has gone means it is very realistic to target a strong finish despite qualifying 12th for the Chinese Grand Prix.

Button failed to make it out of Q2, along with team-mate Kevin Magnussen, as the McLaren once again struggled to get to grips with the cooler temperatures. Button was frustrated not to have a chance to put his McLaren higher up the grid but admits qualifying was a very useful session in understanding the areas McLaren still needs to improve.

"It's a shame not to get into Q3, it's a tough day for us but in a way useful to see where our weaknesses are," Button said. "There are a few cars we know we can't beat but there are a lot of cars we can race and still get a good result. We're further back than we'd like, but there have been some pretty good results from this far back already this season."

Despite his optimism Button is fully aware Sunday's race promises to be one of the most challenging of the season yet.

"It'll be difficult in the race tomorrow - we'll be racing on a green track with no grip because of all today's rain. So it'll be about succeeding with the hand you're dealt.

"When it's cold it is still tricky but we are able to just put the tyres in a good position and I think we can race well. If it is dry, as we expect it will be, it's very difficult to know what to do in terms of strategy but we are very good at thinking on our feet."

Button is also refusing to read too much into McLaren's qualifying form, insisting the pecking order is likely to keep changing this season.

"I think here you would say the Ferrari is very competitive, more competitive than us. Red Bull is also more competitive, and it looks like those two have made a step forward but have they really? Have they really put that much on the car or is it the layout of the circuit, the track temperature and the conditions?

"It's going to change a little bit every race and if you look at the last race Force India was good at the start of a stint but not at the end of a stint, the Williams was quick but had to do three stops as it was destroying its tyres, and we were slow at the end of stints."

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