• Australian Grand Prix - FP2

Making Q3 will be tough - Button

ESPN Staff
March 15, 2013 « Australian Grand Prix Qualifying | Ferrari 'not the quickest' - Alonso »
Jenson Button says the McLaren is struggling with its ride © Getty Images
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Jenson Button would settle for a top ten grid position at the Australian Grand Prix after McLaren struggled for pace throughout free practice on Friday.

Button was 11th fastest and 2.4 seconds off the pace in second practice after the car visibly struggled over the bumps at Albert Park. He said the main problem was addressing the ride of the car and that he would be "very happy" just to make Q3 in qualifying.

"I think we've got to work on why the car is the way it is in terms of ride and downforce," he said. "The short runs weren't perfect, but we were 2.4s off the pace and I'd be surprised and very happy if we're in the top ten tomorrow. There's a lot of work to do and it's definitely not the place where we wanted to start the season, but all is not lost yet.

"We're very good at turning it around and we've had very bad times before and I don't think this is as bad as that. We need to look through the data today and that will help us understand where we are with the car and where we need to go with the car."

And he said points on Sunday would be a boost to the team at this stage.

"With the way things have gone today, I think points would be very positive. When things aren't going your way it's important to get the most from what you have. At the moment that's what it feels like, but I have only just got out the car. There's a lot of stuff we can do tonight and it's always tough for a racing driver when you step out the car, you're always a bit emotional. I'll be a lot more spritely tomorrow."

Button said sorting out the car's ride over the bumps was absolutely crucial for a good weekend.

"We have quite a few weaknesses with the car. Ride is a lot worse than what we expected and Martin's already pointed that out. We've been working with that today to try and improve the car around the ride, but we haven't really found a direction yet. That's something we'll be working on and hopefully we can find a good direction because the ride is so important with a Formula One car. If the car's moving around a lot then the downforce isn't necessarily working in the correct manner, so we've got to get the ride sorted."