McLaren confident over Jenson Button's progress following practice in Valencia
|By Jonathan Noble||Friday, June 22nd 2012, 12:54 GMT|
McLaren is confident that Jenson Button has made progress in getting over his recent troubles, on the back of the set-up changes made to his car for the European Grand Prix.
Button has moved to a more similar set-up to team-mate Lewis Hamilton this weekend, after his team suspected that a direction he had taken in the last few races was contributing to his problems.
Having set the fourth fastest time in opening practice in Valencia, McLaren's sporting director Sam Michael said he was encouraged by Button's early progress.
"Jenson has been really good actually," explained Michael. "A lot of cars struggled with front locking, which was about getting the front tyres working properly, and he struggled with that as well, but we made some good set-up changes in the session and he made some really good steps.
"He didn't get his sectors together and if he had done that, he would have been quickest at various points of the session. So we are quite happy with his pace, and that of Lewis as well."
Michael believes that the key for Button to get himself back in the hunt for decent results is to unlock pace from the tyres in qualifying.
"He needs to keep focused and concentrate on getting the best out of himself in qualifying, because if he has a better qualifying session he will race strongly. I think these days, with the grids so tight, gone are the days when you could have a poor qualifying session and come steaming through the field. It happens occasionally when you get a massive tyre benefit but otherwise it is fairly tricky.
"I think it is about getting the tyres to work properly on that lap. Sometimes he can get it right in the window and sometimes not, it is the same with all the drivers. They have been a bit up and down this year but Jenson has had a particularly bad run in the last three races. So I think if he gets that right then he will be there again."
Button has reverted to using his preferred Brembo brakes for this weekend's race in Valencia, having temporarily used Carbon Industrie in Montreal because of the demands of the circuit.