Jenson Button: McLaren now a match for Ferrari and Red Bull

Jenson Button believes McLaren is now pretty much a match for main title rivals Red Bull Racing and Ferrari in dry conditions - but concedes it is still well behind in the wet

Jenson Button: McLaren now a match for Ferrari and Red Bull

With an upgrade that his Woking-based team brought to the German Grand Prix having helped deliver a boost in performance, Button thinks that there is now little to choose between the three frontrunning teams when it is not raining.

"Our wet problems are still there, which we've had for a few races and it's really hurt us in qualifying over the last two races," he said ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

"The dry is much better; there's still some areas where I feel we're weak compared to the Ferrari and the Red Bull, because I got to look at those cars quite a lot at Hockenheim. But there are areas where we are stronger also.

"We've got to the point where that car's a little bit quicker there, and we're a little bit quicker here, so it's a much better position for us to be in."

As well as the progress that McLaren has made with its overall car performance, Button says he has got over the set-up issues that blighted his form earlier in the campaign.

"If you don't get the tyre working; you damage the tyre more because you're sliding more," he said.

"It's just a very unusual situation. I've never felt that in Formula 1 before. I think we understand it a lot more now, which is nice, but I find them very difficult to understand.

"That's why we tried a few new things this year in Canada and Monaco and places like that, because I felt I needed to find a bit more direction with the tyres, and what we tried definitely didn't work.

"So we went back to what we had at the start of the year at Valencia, and that's when we started being more competitive in terms of me within the team being more competitive, not compared to Ferrari and Mercedes and Red Bull but compared to Lewis.

"For me, the last race was better because I feel the parts we put on the car worked for us. I think maybe they're getting the tyres to work more in the dry conditions, getting them in their working range, and then you play with them more like a normal race tyre."

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button
Teams Ferrari , Red Bull Racing , McLaren
Author Jonathan Noble
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