• German Grand Prix - Qualifying

Tyre problems haunt Button in the wet

ESPN Staff
July 21, 2012 « Webber pleased to limit damage | Mercedes stronger in the wet - Schumacher »
Jenson Button: "You just can't get any tyre temperature" © Sutton Images
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Jenson Button said McLaren's struggles during qualifying for the German Grand Prix were rooted in problems with tyre warm-up, but he is confident the car will be much more competitive in the race.

Button qualified seventh at Hockenheim but will start sixth after Mark Webber's five-place grid penalty is applied. He was over 3.5s off Fernando Alonso's pole position time and said that was purely down to McLaren's struggle with the full wet tyre.

"It wasn't very good really," Button admitted. "We were really struggling with the same issues that we always have in these conditions - we can't get the tyre working. I've been driving F1 cars for 12-13 years so you know what it's like to drive in the wet and you know how it feels when you can't get the tyres actually working. That's exactly what it feels like.

"You just can't get any tyre temperature. The whole time you can't hit the brakes because you lock up and even if you brake really early so you use the gears you're driving around so slow. But we're so slow and we're seventh, so it's not great but it's not too bad. I think it really shows that that is a weakness that we need to improve on. The pole position guy is over three or four seconds ahead so he's obviously getting them working and we're not."

However, Button is confident about McLaren's race pace after completing long runs on Saturday morning in the dry.

"We've done more long runs than anyone else. On Friday I did three long runs and this morning I did two long runs, so we feel that we're more ready for the race than anyone."

Asked if he could get a podium from his grid position, Button responded: "Definitely I think we should aim for that and I think we should aim even higher. I feel that we've made some good improvements to the car both aerodynamically and mechanically and in the wet we just weren't able to show our speed today."