McLaren duo upbeat despite qualifying struggle
Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton were optimistic about their chances in Sunday's British Grand Prix despite struggling for grip during qualifying on Saturday.
The McLaren duo, who are renowned for their wet weather driving, had hoped to challenge for pole position, but neither were able to maximise their car's potential; Button will start 16th, and Hamilton eighth.
Button, 32, has been plagued by poor qualifying results this season, and failed to get his tyres up to temperature as the rain began to fall during the first mini-session and wound up almost a second off the pace required to avoid the cut.
The Englishman, who has never been on the podium at Silverstone, qualified 18th fastest.
But he gained two places because Nico Rosberg of Mercedes was given a five place penalty for changing his gearbox, and Jean-Eric Vergne of Toro Rosso was demoted 10 places for dangerous driving at the European Grand Prix two weeks ago.
In spite of his result, the 2009 drivers' champion insisted that, with a new set of tyres, he had more than enough pace on his final run but was forced to slow down because of yellow flags and rain that had accumulated on certain sections of the track.
"It felt completely different (on the second set)," he said.
"I came out of the pits and could actually get heat into the tyres straight away and it felt good, whereas with the first set I came out of the pits and had front shuddering and just couldn't get fronts up to temperature. The story of my year, really."
"I gained almost 1.7s according to my dash compared to the previous lap time which wouldn't have just got me in, it would've given us the quickest laptime," added Button. "It's a pity but it just wasn't meant to be."
Button said that he was disappointed not to have performed better in front of his home crowd, but felt optimistic about his chances during the race.
"Obviously I'd rather put on a much better show for the fans on Saturday, but not getting heat into the fronts is the story of my year so I'm not too upset.
"It's pretty normal and I know I can drive a racing car in the wet, so it shouldn't be a problem tomorrow."
His English compatriot Lewis Hamilton was left feeling puzzled after he also struggled with tyre issues.
He said: "It was difficult, it always is qualifying in the wet, but we really struggled. For some reason the tyres wouldn't switch on in Q3, and we had no grip," Hamilton said.
"The extremes worked really well, then I came in because I thought it was drying and they (intermediates) would give us the best grip and I was just sliding like crazy.
In spite of this, the 27-year-old was convinced his qualifying result did not reflect his car's actual pace and was confident he could challenge the frontrunners on Sunday.
"The car is quicker than what we did, but I didn't have any grip so couldn't go faster," he said.
"We're not that far away though. Unfortunately didn't get the front row but we can still push through tomorrow. From eighth, everything is still possible."