Jenson Button is hopeful of a second consecutive top ten qualifying performance this weekend, after his Honda team showed well in practice ahead of Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.

Although the Briton ultimately wound up just outside the top ten in both the morning and afternoon sessions, team-mate Rubens Barrichello was seventh quickest in the latter, giving the Japanese outfit cause for optimism ahead of the remainder of the meeting.

"It was a pretty good day," Button affirmed. "As usual the circuit here takes a long time to get up-to-speed, due to the very low grip levels and lots of dust. The track is very slippery where the new tarmac is, but I think it's causing the same problems for everyone. We have rear graining on the softer of the two tyres, but hopefully that will disappear as the rubber goes down.

"In the afternoon session we did long runs on old tyres and got some good information from that and some positive ideas for tomorrow. We completed all of the work we had planned for today, with both Rubens and I covering a lot of laps which gives us valuable data to work with overnight."

The 27-year-old took further encouragement from the fact his two best efforts were both undone by traffic, but echoing Barrichello's sentiments he warned though Honda was now on the right path, it would be a long road to get back to where the squad should be.

"The pace of the car is ok," he stated, "but we still don't know what other people have been doing today. The car does feel relatively good though, and we are quite pleased with the direction it's going in.

"I'm happy with how it's gone so far, but I'm also not surprised after Monaco. We have a similar car to what we had there - obviously we are running less downforce here, but the feeling is the same. We're still nowhere near the pace of the cars at the front though - there's still a lot of work to be done."

Engineering director Jacky Eeckelaert was equally optimistic of an improved performance throughout Saturday and Sunday, and praised the team for a constructive start to proceedings in Montreal.

"We achieved our planned programme today and completed plenty of running," the Belgian explained, "but we have had some problems finding a good long-run balance on the option tyre. We suspect this has been the case for some of the other teams too, however.

"We have seen quite a significant track evolution between the two sessions, and if the conditions develop as we expect them to then the track should be more suited to the softer tyre. Our long-run pace on the hard tyres was pretty competitive compared to those teams closest to us."



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