Jenson Button was feeling positive about what today's Belgian Grand Prix has in store for McLaren, after he was able to put in a late late and secure sixth place on the grid for Sunday's race - his best result of the season so far.

"I think P6 for us was an okay outcome," said Button, still wishing he could have done more given the opportunity presented by the unpredictable weather in the Ardennes region on Saturday. "Our timing was just a little bit off at the end of Q3, which enabled the top three guys to put in laps quicker than ours.

"In the dry we were relatively happy with our pace, and in the wet I reckon it was a bit better still, " he said. "However, we're still lacking a little bit compared with what we'd hoped for here, which shortfall we suspect is the result of an aero efficiency issue. We'll have to analyse that thoroughly before Monza."

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh pointed out that the final times didn't tel the whole story of Q3 and the team's respective forms in the changeable conditions.

"In the portion of Q3 during which the track was wet, Jenson was the second-quickest driver out there," he said. "So although P6 is a decent place from which to start, he would have been closer still to the sharp end of the grid had the rain persisted until the end of the session.

"Having said that, he did a great job and is well placed to drive a competitive race in tomorrow's race, which we expect will be a wet one," Whitmarsh added.

Button agreed that race day held a lot of promise for McLaren - but that it also presented a lot of opportunities to get caught out.

"If the weather is wet, or changeable, as we expect it to be, then things could get tricky for all the front-runners, because I think we've all used our supply of inters," he pointed out. "Let's see what happens. It should be an exciting race.

"Even so, the fact that there are three Brits in the top six is just great," he added, referring to Lewis Hamilton clinching pole and Paul di Resta claiming fifth place putting him alongside Button on the third row of the grid for the start of the race.

Button's young team mate Sergio Perez is rather back than that, missing out on Q3 and finishing in 13th place on the grid after the wet/dry qualifying.

"In tricky conditions like today's you have to be in the right place at the right time," Perez explained. "It's a pity we couldn't optimise our potential by doing that, because on a wet track our car is pretty strong and we therefore had a very good opportunity to qualify well here this afternoon.

"I'm a bit disappointed," he admitted. "We went out a bit too late and thereby lost the 'window', preventing us from being able to put in a lap that would have moved us through to Q3. It's a pity, because the track was improving quickly at that time, and we'd have therefore been able to improve our lap time significantly.

"But that's racing," he added. "Tomorrow is another day, and our car should be reasonably competitive if it rains. So I'll try my best to make up for today's disappointment by scoring some good points for the team tomorrow."

"Checo had an even more frustrating time of it this afternoon, missing the one-more-lap cut-off flag by a second or two at the end of Q2, else he too would have made it comfortably into Q3," confirmed Whitmarsh. "Even so, like Jenson, I'm sure he'll drive competitively tomorrow, using the likely wet conditions to his advantage in an effort to move through the field and score some valuable world championship points for us.

"Overall, today was a bit frustrating for us from a number of perspectives," Whitmarsh summed up. "But our pace has been decent in the wet conditions that we expect tomorrow so we have reason to be guardedly optimistic about the race."


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