Jenson Button was fastest for McLaren on Friday afternoon in Turkey, but while the World Champion was happy with the overall performance of the car, he’s not kidding himself about his form relative to that of Red Bull.
The dark blue cars were second and third fastest in the session, and Button was less than a tenth clear of Mark Webber.
“We’re still trying to chase the Red Bulls, I don’t think they’re showing they’re hand just yet, so don’t get too excited about our pace today,” said Button.
“I think our car works well round here. I’m happy with the balance. There’s a few things that I have on the car this race and that I’m happy with that are different to previous races. And it seems to work well for me, especially round this type of circuit. The car’s good, but still, the Red Bulls are much quicker than they show. It’s a normal Friday.
“Tomorrow we’ll see where we stand, because you don’t catch up a second over a couple of weeks. The Red Bull is still the car to beat, and we’ve got to hope that tomorrow we get everything together in qualifying and that we can do the best job we can. Maybe that can be enough.”
Button said his day was generally a positive one: “It went reasonably well. We did some back to back work this morning, the opposite way around on the cars with the aero, and we found something reasonably interesting. This morning was reasonably good, and this afternoon was better.
“I felt that I found a better balance this afternoon, and especially on low fuel, the car is working well, which is nice to see. There’s still more to come, as always, after a Friday. The long run pace is good as well, but I just found a lot of traffic out there on my long run. I’m happy with the car at the moment. There’s always a few things that you want to sort out.
“Both tyres are working well, which is the important thing, and we don’t have any issues with graining or damaging the tyre.”