• German Grand Prix - Qualifying

Vettel's pace worries Button

ESPNF1 Staff
July 24, 2010 « Qualifying is proof of McLaren's struggle - Hamilton | »
Jenson Button said he extracted the maximum from his McLaren during qualifying © Getty Images
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Jenson Button admitted he was slightly worried by the qualifying pace of Sebastian Vettel because he was happy with his fastest lap that left him a distant fifth on the grid for the German Grand Prix.

Button qualified one place above team-mate Lewis Hamilton but found himself well adrift of Vettel's blistering pole pace.

"It took a little bit of time for us to get used to the balance of the car this weekend," said Button. "I was pretty happy with my final lap, so I don't know where the extra seven tenths [to pole] is. And that's the slightly worrying thing: it was a good lap, and I don't really think there was anything else I could've got out of the car.

"But we've definitely made a step forward with the blown diffuser - it's still not quite enough in qualifying spec, but, hopefully, we'll see some more performance tomorrow."

Despite failing to match rivals Red Bull's qualifying pace for the majority of the season, McLaren's race pace has been its strength and Button hopes for more of the same on Sunday.

"From fifth on the grid, we can still have a good race, and this is a fun place to go racing. The first lap is usually pretty hectic, so I'll be hoping to pass some cars early on. I definitely think we can get a great result tomorrow."

Team boss Martin Whitmarsh echoed Button's sentiments and also expects McLaren to be quicker over the race distance.

"No-one at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is ever going to be fully satisfied by a qualifying session that results in our cars qualifying only fifth and sixth - but we have reason to be confident that our race pace will be stronger," said Whitmarsh.

"Our straight-line speed is impressive - perhaps more than we needed for an optimal qualifying set-up - but it's likely to pay dividends tomorrow."