Jenson Button says the McLaren-Honda needs a 'lot of work to be competitive' in the Singapore Grand Prix this weekend after the team failed to live up to lofty pre-weekend expectations in Friday practice.

Having been tipped as the potential 'best of the rest' team behind only Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari around the favourable Marina Bay Circuit, McLaren instead found itself mired in a familiar mid-field position, while both Button and Fernando Alonso suffered technical issues.

SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX - Free practice results (2)

For Button, the disappointing Friday has come as a surprise, a revelation compounded by the 'phenomenal' pace of the Toro Rosso in comparison. With this in mind, he says there is a lot of work to be done overnight to bring the MP4-31 up to anticipated speed.

Today was a long way from being alright. There's a lot of work needed before we are competitive this weekend. It's s strange situation but we had very low grip.

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"The balance wasn't too bad but the grip was nowhere near what the people we were hoping to fight with had. And the harder the compound, the worse it gets, of course. Toro Rosso, on long run pace is just phenomenally quick compared to us... it's a big surprise.

"We need to find a big gain in pace to be where we want to be. We're looking at it, but it's going to be tricky. We'll deal with what we have but it's going to be tougher than we expected this weekend."

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