Jenson Button does not believe McLaren will find it easy to score points in this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, after a “pretty bad” day of Formula 1 practice.
Button was 19th in first F1 practice at Circuit de Catalunya, then 12th in the afternoon, having lost significant time when his Honda power unit cut out. Both McLaren drivers scored points a fortnight ago at Sochi and the team was optimistic that it would be able to reach Q3 at Barcelona and Monaco, where Honda’s deficit will prove less costly.
“That’s where we want to be consistently,” Button said of Q3. “First of all we’ve got to get there. And then consistently in the points.
“It’s going to be a tough weekend, I don’t think it’s going to be our easiest race to score points, but we’ll do our best.
“We had a pretty bad day. P1 was tough and then P2 we couldn’t get the car out of the garage for a lot of it. Eventually did a bit of running, the long pace wasn’t too bad and on the soft tire we actually found balance.”
Teammate Fernando Alonso was further up the order than Button, 10th in the morning and seventh in the afternoon, but 1.420 seconds off the pace set by Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg.
Button could at least take positives from overcoming rear-end instability when he was running in the afternoon.
“In the end, the feeling was not too bad,” he said. “But most of the day it’s been pretty bad in terms of getting a balance, the rear’s been floating.
“[We] made some very big changes to put the car where we think it should be now, and it’s much better. We have a good base now and we can work with it a bit tomorrow – we’re a little bit behind the game.”