Button: Lotus are quickest
Thursday pacesetter reckons Enstone rivals the team to beat
Last Updated: 26/05/12 11:16am
Jenson Button has identified Lotus as the team to beat this weekend despite the McLaren driver topping the timesheets at the close of play on Thursday.
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Having managed to record a lap on the super-softs just before the rain fell, Button's time of 1:15.746 proved unbeatable as conditions deteriorated in the final hour of Practice Two. After struggling in Barcelona, Button was far happier with his early work in Monaco but remained unconvinced that McLaren have unlocked race-winning pace.
"The cars that looked very fast for me were the Lotus," said Button.
"Their runs whenever they are out look very competitive, so I'd say the Lotus is the car to beat so far this weekend."
Having been left mystified by his lack of pace in Barcelona, Button experimented with several different set-ups throughout Thursday's truncated sessions and believes he is now closer to fathoming a solution from the MP4-27.
"From P1 to P2 the car has improved, as there was something that I didn't like in P1, so we've tried something different and it's worked," he told Sky Sports F1.
"So I'm happy with the way the car feels, but we are still not there yet. We were quickest, but we were one of the only cars to do a timed lap on the super soft.
"I don't think it's massively quick, but the car feels okay and I think there's a lot of room for improvement. We know the direction that we can take."
Team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who finished down in 11th on the afternoon timesheet, said the fact most drivers, including himself, didn't get to try the super-softs only added to the challenge of a typical Monaco weekend.
"Everyone's in the same boat, so it will be fun that's for sure," he said.
"It's so tricky here just to get firstly the gap and then making sure you've got your tyres up to temperature and then making sure you nail that lap.
"It's so bumpy here, how violent it is in the car is incredible, but it's great fun."