Jenson Button refuses to let his head drop despite his increasingly tough start to the 2012 F1 season, but admits that McLaren needs to find the key to raising its game before its too late to deny either Red Bull or Ferrari in the championship chase.
Speaking after the opening day of the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim - where he topped FP1 in a heavily revised MP4-27 - the Briton refused to discuss the problems afflicting the Woking team as he focused on what he needs to do to return to the front of the field where he and team-mate Lewis Hamilton were at the start of the year. After winning the opening race in Australia, however, Button has just one other podium - in China - and three lowly points finishes among some extremely poor results, dropping him to a distant eighth in the standings.
"It's not been the best start into a season, but that's the way it goes sometimes," he told the official F1 website, "The important thing is not to look back, but forward. We have brought a few updates to this race, which probably others have done too, but ours should get us a big chunk of time, which would be very helpful at this stage of time.
"I hope that this race should be a good race for us but, if not, I am sure the same question will come up in Budapest. Our main objective is not to answer these sorts of questions, but to go out there and do what we can do. At every race you do, you try to do your best - you don't sit back and relax, whether you are in the front or sat at the back. More importantly, we have the expertise and we have the manpower, so we should be strong here in Hockenheim. With the good upgrade that we have, it should give us the chance to close the gap and be right up there again."
Knowing that the MP4-27 is a racewinner, with team-mate Hamilton having triumphed in Canada, Button acknowledges that it is a case of McLaren needing to develop a proven package rather than completely rethinking it.
"The car itself has been quick this year - it won two races and has been close to winning others, so the basic car is good," he insisted, "I think that we've just been lacking in some areas and I think we have eliminated that with the updates we've brought here for the weekend.
"We have done a lot of stuff in the wind tunnel and that seemed to be pretty good and you must also have noticed that it looks slightly different to what we had previously. There are some upgrades, some new bits and pieces here and there - some aerodynamics, some mechanical - and now we hope that it all works as planned. Today was actually a pretty good day for us, [and] I would guess that we've got more out of the two sessions than most others did. We've been able to collect a bag full of information as it was paramount for us to get our updates working in connection with the tyres.
"It is still something of a struggle to get them to temperature but, once we do, the pace is good. I think we should be happy with most of the new parts that we've put on as they are working correctly, so believe me it is nice to see these improvements. The guys in the factory did a fantastic job."