Jenson Button has predicted a close fight between the top three teams in this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
While four wins in a row for Sebastian Vettel have given Red Bull the advantage in both championships, both McLaren and Ferrari will hope to derail the German's apparent march the title at Yas Marina while also preventing Red Bull wrapping up the constructors crown.
McLaren has a strong reputation in Abu Dhabi with a double podium in the last two seasons and Button said he hoped the team would impress again in what he expects to be a close-run battle with its two main championship rivals.
“I'm really looking forward to this race weekend,” he said. “I've always gone well around this track – I had a great battle with Mark Webber in 2009, and finished third, and Lewis and I have been on the podium together at the last two races.
“I think this will be another closely matched race: India showed us that the gap between the top three teams is extremely close at the moment, so I wouldn't like to predict the exact pecking order. As in the last few races, I think Red Bull will go into the weekend with a slight advantage, but I'm confident that, with a clear run through practice, we can be right up there too.
“One of the most satisfying aspects of the Indian Grand Prix was that we could battle cleanly at the front – that was fantastic. While it'll be quite tough to overtake around here – even with DRS – I'm hopeful that we can have another great battle, which would be fantastic for the fans.”
Button sits sixth in the standings going into the race and is now out of contention for the title.