McLaren F1 car the best it has felt all year in Abu Dhabi - Button

Jenson Button believes McLaren's MP4-30 feels better than it has all year at the season-ending Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

McLaren F1 car the best it has felt all year in Abu Dhabi - Button

Button missed out on a Q3 slot by less than two tenths of a second in qualifying, while team-mate Fernando Alonso's session was curtailed in Q1 after he suffered a puncture.

Both drivers were very pleased with the latest improvements made by McLaren on the chassis side, even if the Honda engine's deployment issues mean they are still giving away nearly 30km/h on the Yas Marina circuit's long straights.

"The car feels the best it has all year - that is always promising at the end of the season," said Button.

"We tried a few new things this weekend that have worked, so I'm very happy with that.

"Going into qualifying we thought we'd be 14th and 15th, so it's better than expected.

"This is not a strong circuit for us, so to be 12th here is good.

"It means that we've improved, so it's nice going into the winter with a positive feeling."

Both drivers warned not to expect too much from McLaren in the race, as they will not be able to battle with cars that are so much faster on the straights.

And Button believes his ninth place in Q1 raised expectations in the McLaren garage beyond what was possible.

"As soon as you go P9 in Q1 their eyes light up and they're smiling, so you're disappointed to be P12," he added.

"We were 0.18s off, but I didn't leave anything on the table. We definitely maximised what we had.

"Other people got their laps together in Q2 and put us in our place, which is 12th.

"It's good to be disappointed with 12th, we shouldn't be happy with 12th.

"I'm not positive on scoring points. It's going to be tough for us.

"I'd like to say we are charging forward but it's going to be very difficult.

"I'm sure Fernando will be the next car behind me after a couple of laps."

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Abu Dhabi GP qualifying FIA press conference full transcript

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