Button confident McLaren has fastest car
|By Jonathan Noble||Sunday, August 29th 2010, 10:18 GMT|
Jenson Button believes McLaren has the quickest car for the Belgian Grand Prix - although he reckons the race is going to be a step into the unknown for everybody.
Red Bull Racing's Mark Webber has taken pole position for Sunday's Spa event, but Button thinks the pace of the McLaren on the varied conditions seen through the weekend has actually been better.
But he believes that with such limited dry running for everybody so far, the race itself could be a bit of a challenge – especially on the first lap through Eau Rouge.
"I'm pretty happy," said Button. "I am fifth on the grid and us two [McLaren drivers] set our times when the circuit was damp - I don't think anyone else did at the front.
"Personally I don't feel there is a car here quicker than the one we have, so that is exciting for the race. We had a difficult weekend in Hungary. We made a step forward and I think our car works well on this kind of circuit. We should be happy with our performance. We were a little bit unlucky with the weather but we will make up for it."
Button says he has only done two laps in the dry with full tanks so far this weekend – which will make the opening lap of the race, and especially Eau Rouge, a big adventure.
"We've driven with full tanks before braking for Turn 1 so I don't think La Source will be too much of an issue – Eau Rouge is going to be interesting though," he said.
"Eau Rouge is flat for us on low fuel and on high fuel – we think! So, you are not going to want to lift a millimetre off the throttle pedal because you want that tow down to Turn 5. It is going to be a fun Eau Rouge. I hope it is dry but if it is wet we will have some fun as well."
Although forecasts are predicting a dry start to the race, the threat of rain during the grand prix could still turn the event into a lottery. Button, who has won wet races this year through making the right strategy calls, is optimistic McLaren is ready for anything.
"We've made some very good calls as a team in the tricky conditions. There is only a 2/5 chance of rain, but that normally means it is going to rain here at Spa.
"If there is a sniff of rain then it will rain. So, it makes the race a lot more exciting and a lot of it is down to the decision of us to make the right call and be on the right tyres at the right time.
"I would personally like the start to be dry because it means I have more opportunities on the first lap to overtake. If it is torrential rain, it will start behind the safety car, which is not as good. Hopefully the race will start dry at 2pm and then we will have showers during it, as I think we can make some good calls."