• Chinese Grand Prix - FP2

Button struggling to extract pace

ESPNF1 Staff
April 13, 2012 « Mercedes focused on race pace | Hamilton primed to fight through the field »
Jenson Button was 0.566s slower than team-mate Lewis Hamilton in FP2 © Getty Images

Jenson Button admitted that he was struggling to extract the pace from his McLaren during Friday practice at Shanghai.

With McLaren having locked out the front row at both races so far this season it was somewhat of a surprise to see Button back in sixth place and 0.7s off the pace during FP2. With Lewis Hamilton over half a second quicker Button confirmed that he hadn't been able to get the car to perform as well as his team-mate, but was encouraged that it showed the pace was there.

"It wasn't a great day but there's still a lot of information to look at to try and work out the reasons why we couldn't really get a good balance today," Button said. "But the car is obviously working; you've just got to get it in the right area and to get the tyres working which Lewis is doing very well. The pace is in the car we've just got to extract it, which has been a difficulty so far today."

When it was put to Button that overtaking opportunities might mean it is less important to secure a front-row grid slot he said he was only focused on doing well in qualifying.

"It's not that easy (to overtake), you've got a long back straight but it's still very difficult. But the aim is to be on the front row, definitely, it's not to think about 'if we're not on the front row where do we go from there?' the aim is to be up there on the front row.

"There's so much that could happen tomorrow. It's difficult to know which teams are quick. I mean you would definitely say that Michael [Schumacher] is but you don't know what other teams are doing. So we'll obviously get a much better picture in P3 just before qualifying and then we'll see in qualifying just where we are, but I'm hoping that we're going to be a lot further up than we were today."