Jenson Button said he was hopeful of maintaining the pace shown in Friday practice through the remainder of the German Grand Prix
weekend after the McLaren
man set the early pace at Hockenheim.
Button posted the quickest time in the opening 90 minute session of the weekend at the wheel of his upgraded car, with the arrival of rain for the second session ensuring that his benchmark time remained unbeaten.
Eager to end his recent run of wretched form, Button said he was pleased with the performance of the new parts fitted to the MP4-27 and was hopeful of a stronger showing in both qualifying and on race day.
“We got some good running under our belts today,” he said. “Conditions weren't perfect, but the forecast looks the same for tomorrow; so it was a very useful session for us and I think we gathered some useful data in terms of comparative tyre and set-up work.
“For us, trying to get the tyres working is one of our main issues, so we spent a lot of time focusing on that – it wasn't all successful, but when things came together, our pace was good. We've still got some more work to do to be quick in the wet, but FP2 was a useful session in terms of telling us where we need to be heading.
“I think we should be happy with most of the parts we've put on today – most of them worked correctly – so it's nice to see the improvement. I want to say a big 'well done' to the guys at the factory, they've done a great job. Hopefully we'll be able to see the improvement in performance throughout the rest of the weekend.”
Team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who will make his 100th F1 start this weekend, was second quickest and quick to praise the McLaren
team for ensuring that the upgrades were ready in time for the team to introduce in Germany.
Like Button, the 2008 title winner was also happy with his first run with the new parts even if conditions were far from ideal.
“The men and women back at the factory did an incredible job to get all the upgrades to the track this weekend – they all deserve a big pat on the back for that,” he said. “It's quite a positive step: it's still difficult to accurately predict was sort of a step we've taken as we couldn't back-to-back between the old and new components, but it's definitely a step forward.
“Hopefully, we'll get more of an indication as the weekend progresses – although, with more wet weather predicted for tomorrow, it might not be until Sunday that we can tell what we've got. Still, the car doesn't feel bad at all.
“It's tough in the wet out there; like driving around on an ice-rink – with puddles! – but I feel positive that we can do something good this weekend.”