Jenson Button says he finds it “scary” how far off the ultimate pace McLaren was in qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix.
The Briton only completed one timed run in the final segment of qualifying, posting a lap 1.4 seconds adrift of pole man Sebastian Vettel, despite having achieved what he deems to have been the perfect setup.
“I think in terms of what we did in qualifying with our setup, I think we pretty much got it right,” he said. “But that’s pretty scary as we were one-and-a-half seconds off the pace.
“It’s tough when you don’t really think you could have got much more out of the car but you’re that far away from the front… pretty much our story of the year, so far.”
Button does, however, remain optimistic ahead of Sunday’s race, which normally runs to the full two-hour distance.
“It’s a tough grand prix for everyone, especially with its duration. It will also be difficult starting from eighth — the dirty side of the grid — which may hurt us, but that said, I reckon we should be able to pick up some decent points with a good strategy.”
Teammate Sergio Perez fared less well in qualifying and lines up 14th position. He missed out on Q3 by 0.3 second after spending most of the period in the garage.
“We should have been in the top 10,” said the Mexican. “But on my out-lap I had a lot of traffic and to lose two tenths around here is very easy.
“We wanted to save our tires as much as possible for the race, which is important, but tomorrow will be difficult starting from 14th.”