Button happy with fourth
McLaren driver surprised to qualify ahead of Rosberg in Bahrain
Last Updated: 21/04/12 3:59pm
Jenson Button: Was not downhearted after taking fourth place in qualifying
Jenson Button believes that McLaren exceeded expectation after qualifying in fourth for the Bahrain GP - two places behind team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
Having struggled on Friday to set up his MP4-27 and get on top of the dusty and tricky Sakhir circuit, Button bounced to form in Qualifying, securing fourth place just a couple of tenths shy of Hamilton and pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel.
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Given McLaren are believed to have focused most of their development work this weekend towards their race running, Button and Hamilton's unpredicted trumping of pre-session favourite Nico Rosberg leaves the team seemingly well set to challenge the Red Bulls for victory.
"P4 is not too bad, it's pretty close at the front and unexpectedly we are ahead of Nico - which is a shock. We're pretty good at starts so hopefully we'll have another tomorrow," Button told Sky Sports F1.
Even an aborted second flying lap in Q3 proved to be of no consequence, with Rosberg failing to get hooked up for his solitary flying lap.
"You just don't know what is going to happen," reflected the 2009 World Champion.
"We knew that the Red Bulls would be quick in qualifying, but we didn't expect to be so far up. So not a bad day at all. Obviously, I'd prefer to be a little further up, but all in all I think we should be pretty happy."
Hamilton was also happy with his efforts, convinced that he had wrung the most out of the MP4-27.
"I've put the car on the front row at every race this year, and I feel this was one of my best qualifying performances so far. Both my laps in Q3 were very good and I feel I got everything out of the car.
"Fingers crossed for tomorrow: both Red Bull drivers will be very hard to beat in the race, but we're less than a tenth behind on race pace. The start could be key - we've had good launches all season so I expect us to be able to challenge Seb down to Turn One. This season is shaping up to be very interesting: it's anyone's for the taking, at the moment."