Jenson Button has acknowledged that he needs to sort out his qualifying woes if he is to remain in the thick of the Formula One world title battle as the season heads to Hockenheim this weekend.
Although the German Grand Prix venue hasn't always been kind to the McLaren driver, his form this season suggests that he should be a frontrunner - as long as he can avoid the sort of setback that he suffered on home soil, where he failed to make the cut for Q3. Although he came through the field to turn 14th on the grid into fourth at the flag, Button admits that he cannot expect that to happen at every race, and has vowed to get on top of the problem this weekend.
“After two disappointments in qualifying at Valencia and Silverstone, my aim for this weekend must be to make life easier for myself on Saturday afternoon, so that I can maximise my performance on Sunday without needing to play catch-up during the race," he said, after watching team-mate Lewis Hamilton extend his advantage at the head of the championship standings to twelve points at Silverstone.
Button's cause was not helped by McLaren's decision to ditch its 'blown diffuser' after Friday practice, and the Briton is hoping for better results from the system this time around as McLaren continues to battle with Red Bull.
“This will be another busy weekend for all of us as we spend Friday working through the changes we've made to optimise the blown diffuser," the reigning world champion confirmed, "Hopefully, we'll have a positive test and will be able to see the benefits of the upgrades in the race for the first time. I'm looking forward to it.”
A veteran of both the unique old Hockenheim layout and the more technical modern variation, Button is looking forward to getting back on track and taking the fight to Hamilton, as well as to Red Bull duo Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel.
“I enjoy racing at Hockenheim," the Briton claimed, "I miss the long, flat-out, straights that made up the circuit at the start of my F1 career - that was pretty unique - but the current track is better for the spectators and has shown itself to be a very good place for both racing and overtaking.
“My most memorable experience must be back in 2004, when I qualified 13th and raced through the field to finish second – not too dissimilar to my race at Silverstone last week!"