Jenson Button may have set the pace today in practice at Istanbul Park, but the Englishman remains in no doubt that Red Bull Racing's Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel will again be the guys to beat tomorrow in qualifying.

Button was at the top of the times throughout practice on Friday and he finished the second session with a 1 minute 28.280 seconds, which left him one tenth up on Webber.

However while that may be encouraging, Button knows the picture is likely to be different on Saturday and with Red Bull having taken pole at every grand prix so far this season, the signs aren't especially promising.

Speaking after FP2, Button added that he still needs to fine-tune the set-up of his Mercedes-powered MP4-25 for Sunday's Turkish Grand Prix.

"This morning was reasonably good, and this afternoon was better. I was struggling a little through Turn Eight, it's an area we'll be working on overnight because it's pretty tricky through there at the moment. It's a tough corner, especially if the car's moving around - so we've got to hope we can solve some of those issues before tomorrow," Button reflected.

"The car feels reasonably good around here but there are still some areas where we're not so strong, and the Red Bulls will once again be the cars to beat in qualifying tomorrow. We can't get away from that. I just hope we're closer than we've been in the last two races.

"I think the Ferrari will be quick here too. It should be the top four teams that we normally see, and possibly Renault as well, so I don't think qualifying tomorrow will be boring. There should be some good battles."

Team-mate Lewis Hamilton meanwhile also went well and he was quickest in FP1 and fourth in FP2. Like Button though, he knows the Red Bulls won't be easy to beat.

"This is such a great circuit, and the grip didn't seem too bad today. It also seems very tight between all the frontrunners - the times are very close. Our car doesn't seem to be performing too badly, so I'm happy with today's running," he continued.

"I have no doubts that tomorrow in qualifying the Red Bulls will pull out something extra though, which they always seem able to do."

McLaren boss, Martin Whitmarsh added: "We've made a number of small improvements to the car for this race, and we spent the day evaluating and back-to-backing those components on Jenson and Lewis's cars. The job for the engineers now is to evaluate that data ahead of tomorrow's sessions.

"We're reasonably confident with the pace we showed today. While it's not indicative of overall performance, we feel that our package should be quite efficient here, and, as always, we're confident that we'll be able to refine the car overnight."

Comments

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment