- Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Qualifying
Lap 'not perfect' - Button
Jenson Button said that he had been struggling with the balance of his McLaren throughout practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix before qualifying third on the grid.
Button was quickest in FP1 on Friday, but from then on his McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton led the way in the practice sessions as Button seemed to be a few tenths off the pace. After pulling out a strong final lap to take third just 0.009s slower than Hamilton he said it wasn't a surprise to find that pace because the car had slowly been improving.
"I don't think a surprise, but we know the pace is in the car and it was finding the right balance," Button said. "I've not felt 100% comfortable this weekend in terms of the balance of the car, but we've improved it. We've tried a few different things and finally getting there through qualifying, but Q3 was very strange because there was less grip because it was a lot cooler the circuit, obviously with the break from Q2 to Q3."
Button also said that the lack of grip actually helped him in the end, but that it still wasn't the perfect set-up for the circuit and that he felt there was more performance in the car.
"So the car was acting differently, which in some ways was a good thing for me because I couldn't get enough front end in to the car. All weekend I've been struggling with a nervous rear. Finally when we get in to qualifying I've got massive amounts of understeer, so more in the direction that I like but in the tight section towards the end of the lap you need a reasonably pointy car end and I didn't have that. Not a bad lap but still, as Lewis said the car is working well round here and it's obviously not perfect. Seb did a good job and put it on pole, so we'll have to challenge from behind tomorrow."