Jenson Button admits that McLaren has some 'catching up' to do in the Belgian Grand Prix this weekend.
The team lost the lead of both championships prior to the summer break as Mark Webber and Red Bull Racing moved to the head of the field, with the Woking-based outfit having struggled to match the pace of its rivals in the run up to the summer break.
Button heads to Spa having dropped to fourth in the championship standings, although he is only 14 points behind Webber as he bids for a second successive title.
While he admits there is work to do at McLaren, Button said he was hopeful that the clarification over the flexing front wings believed to be used by both Red Bull and Ferrari should ensure the top teams are closer when on-track action gets underway.
“We come into the Belgian Grand Prix knowing that we have some catching-up do to,” he said. “We didn't have a particularly strong race in Hungary, and the whole team wants to get back to the front again as quickly as possible.
“While we're optimistic that the bodywork rules clarification will close the gap among the top teams, and that both Spa and Monza should suit our package better than the Hungaroring, it's still important that we regain the momentum we'd reached earlier this season.”
Button added that he was looking forward to racing at Spa and was keen to avoid a repeat of last season, when he was forced to retire in the early stages.
“I love racing at Spa – it's one of the truly great circuits, and a grand prix that I'd love to win,” he said. “I didn't have the best race here last year, when I was punted out at the top of the hill on the first lap, so that just gives me additional motivation to do well here.
“While I don't think these two European races will be pivotal to the title fight, it will nonetheless be harder to introduce bigger upgrades to the car at the end-of-season flyaways, so it's important for the whole team that we score well in both events.”