While team-mate Lewis Hamilton failed to make it into Q3, Jenson Button was a happy man following qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix after securing a slot on the second row of the grid.
Following on from his seventh place finish in Bahrain, where he was outperformed by his new team-mate, the defending champion was left to uphold McLaren honours when Hamilton fell at the second hurdle of qualifying.
Button duly secured fourth on the grid behind Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso, although he admitted that his final lap in Q3 had been the one he felt least comfortable with.
“After our strong performance yesterday, this morning the car didn't work as well as we'd expected,” he said. “We lacked grip, and it looks as though the cars ahead of us here have more downforce.
“Nevertheless, qualifying this afternoon was good. I felt pleased with the car on every lap except the final one in Q3. I don't know whether it was the wind picking up, but I didn't feel the car was working quite as well as it had in the first two sessions. I didn't have the balance I'd had previously – there was a lot more understeer in the car – but it only cost me a tenth or two.”
While he admitted there was still work to do, Button declared himself pleased with the improvement shown since the season opener and said the team was getting the most it could from the MP4-25.
“The best lap we probably could have done was a 1m24.4s – which is still half a second off the pacesetters,” he said. “We're not there yet, but this is an improvement because we're a lot closer to the front than we were in Bahrain.
“I'm happy with the performance of the team this weekend. We pretty much got the best out of the package we have at the moment.”