Jenson Button says McLaren-Honda are "in the fight" for the top ten in qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix, but admits he thought he would be closer.

Button finished Friday practice at the Marina Bay Circuit down in 14th but while he was encouraged by the pace of team-mate, Fernando Alonso, with the Spaniard winding up eighth quickest, he thought the gap to certain teams would be smaller.

Reflecting on his own form, Button added that he is confident he will be closer on Saturday as he was handicapped somewhat by having to use an older spec power-unit in FP1 and FP2.

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"I think Fernando had a reasonable balance - we were on a different spec of engine. I was running on an older spec of PU at the end of its life and there are certain things I can't do and he can with his engine. But on Saturday all is good and I will hopefully have better performance from the engine and we will see where we can get," Button explained.

"It is definitely possible to get into the top-ten, which has got to be our aim. I just think there are bigger gaps than we expected to teams like Force India - they are much quicker than us - and also the Williams' on long runs, which is surprising.

"We will do the best we can and see where we stand. I am looking forward to it. It is much more exciting than the last two races. At least we are in the fight."

Asked more about his day, Button added that he wasn't entirely happy with the balance of his car either: "It was okay, but this place is always tricky to get a balance. There were a few issues that we had on the low fuel runs - we just didn't have the right balance at all.

"But I think we know what we are doing and we will get there on Saturday and be much happier with the car," he concluded.