• Monaco Grand Prix - FP2

Race pace 'surpisingly good' - Button

ESPN Staff
May 23, 2013 « Pirelli warns it could quit Formula One | Perez 'sure' McLaren will win in 2013 »
Jenson Button: "We may not be setting amazing times out there, but I'm happy that we're heading in the right direction" © Sutton Images
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Jenson Button is confident McLaren has strong race pace after practice for the Monaco Grand Prix but is concerned he will not be able to prove it without finding more time in qualifying.

Button finished Thursday afternoon's practice session eighth fastest and was over a second off the pace of Nico Rosberg's Mercedes, which topped the times. On longer runs Button believes the car is more competitive, but that could come to nothing if the lack of single-lap pace sees him start further down the grid on a track that is very difficult to overtake on.

"Our pace on a long run looks surprisingly good, although we're not quite there with our qualifying pace yet," he said. "Still, I feel happier with the car here than I have the past few weekends. There are some areas in which we've struggled before that now seem a little bit better, and that's obviously positive.

"We may not be setting amazing times out there, but I'm happy that we're heading in the right direction. And hopefully we can improve on Saturday from where we are today."

His McLaren team-mate Sergio Perez said he had to go back on some of the set-up changes he made as he started to struggle with the car in high-speed corners.

"We tried a lot of things during today's practice sessions. Not everything worked; some of the things we tried made it difficult for me to feel confident with the car, especially through the faster corners. So we'll come back on those changes before Saturday's practice. Still, we had no nasty surprises either, which was positive.

"I'm hopeful we can make it into Q3. I actually think Saturday will be the most important day of the weekend - everyone will be trying to save tyres so as to have as few stops as possible in the race. It's likely to be a slow race with low degradation, so we need to give it our all on Saturday."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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