Jenson Button admits it is unlikely McLaren will be as competitive in the United States Grand Prix as it was in Japan and Russia, even if he remains confident the team can score good points around the Circuit of the Americas.

Button was ninth fastest at the end of the two free practice sessions in Austin with just six tenths covering third down to tenth position, though the Englishman heads into qualifying knowing he will be forced to take a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change regardless.

Nonetheless, though the penalty is undoubtedly a blow for Button, particularly after finishing fifth in Suzuka and fourth in Sochi, the former champion suggests it would have been difficult for McLaren to replicate its recent successes around the Texan venue anyway.

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"In Japan we found a better direction and carried through to Sochi, but I don't think we will be as competitive here and I don't think P4 is on the cards. I think [we can get] a good points' haul, though it's more difficult for me with the five-place grid penalty."

Spending his morning trialling new parts on the McLaren to help the team get a head-start on development for 2015, Button dismissed suggestions that this could be perceived as a good sign for his future prospects.

"I don't really care, I am just going out there racing, enjoying myself and not thinking 'is it good, is it bad'. I just enjoy what I do best and that is driving an F1 car."