Jenson Button insists McLaren has work to do ahead of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone after a tough race day in Valencia saw the 2009 title winner finish a minute off the pace in sixth place.
Button lost out at the start when he was forced to take the outside line through turn two and dropped behind Nico Rosberg's Mercedes.
The delay behind the German saw Button drop away from the leading pack before he was finally able to find a way through at turn two, but the failure of his KERS system meant he was unable to make forward progress as the race wore on.
Despite that, Button was happy to have finished less than ten seconds behind Felipe Massa's Ferrari even if the overall performance from the weekend has shown McLaren has work to do ahead of its home event.
“I got a reasonable start, but the field bunched up into turn two and I was stuck on the outside, where I lost out to Nico,” he said. “I didn't have enough straightline speed to be able to overtake him easily, but I braked really late and got him into turn two, which I don't think he was expecting. That was the highlight of the race for me.
“I had decent race pace after that, and I pushed the Option tyres for as long as I could. Then halfway through the race I lost KERS Hybrid, which hurt me not only on corner exits but also under braking. So it wasn't a fun race, all told – but, given the way the car felt, it's a pleasant surprise to finish only eight seconds behind one of the Ferraris.
“Nevertheless, we've got a bit of work to do before Silverstone.”
McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh agreed that there was work to be done prior to Silverstone, with the team eager to find the form that saw it show strong race pace in the races prior to Valencia.
“We had the fastest race car in Barcelona, Monte-Carlo and Montreal, but we didn't have the fastest race car here in Valencia today,” he said. “However, you can take it as read that we'll be working flat-out over the next ten days to do our utmost to ensure that we have as fast a race car as we possibly can for Silverstone.”