Jenson Button feels McLaren is surprising the rest of the F1 grid by equalling the level of performance from Monaco at the engine-dependent Montreal circuit and is optimistic of collecting more points this weekend.
The former F1 world champion has qualified 12th on the grid for the Canadian Grand Prix, with team-mate Fernando Alonso in 10th having grabbed a third straight Q3 berth, with qualifying results effectively matching the achievements from Monaco.
Due to the high-speed straights and engine-dependency at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, it had been predicted McLaren would slip back down the order from Monaco but has largely held its own through practice and qualifying.
Button believes this is down to the rapid rate of improvements McLaren and engine partners Honda is making, with the introduction of a new fuel and new turbocharger for Canada, and is confident his team won't fade during the race.
“We're always looking for improvements and it may look like we haven't made any but this is a circuit where no one was expecting us to perform at the same level as in Monaco but we are,” Button said. “The target is to get within the points if it's dry. If it's wet, who knows?
“As we've seen in Monaco it can really mix it up, the tyres are very difficult to get to work, just as much for us as for the others, but in terms of strategy we're very good, so let's see what we can do.”
Looking towards race strategy exploitations, Button is hoping for a touch of rain which is forecast so it can set-up possible tactical gains which Alonso made the most of to take fifth in the wet-to-dry Monaco race.
“If everyone tries to do just one stop it will be tricky, if it's this cold,” he said. “But I think there will be some rain tomorrow, so the trickiest thing is going to be deciding which slick tyre to use when it's dry, as we saw in Monaco.”