Jenson Button admits struggling McLaren may not reach Q3 for Australian Grand Prix

Team way off the pace in practice at Albert Park on Friday

By Pete Gill.   Last Updated: 15/03/13 7:11pm

  • Share:

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Jenson Button has admitted he expects McLaren to struggle to reach the top-ten shoot-out in Saturday's qualifying session for the season-opening Australian GP.

Although McLaren were expected to start the season still in the process of understanding and mastering the revolutionary MP4-28, Friday's practice sessions found the team to be in far worse shape than expected with neither Jenson Button nor new team-mate Sergio Perez able to match the pace of Mercedes, Ferrari, Lotus or the seemingly-dominant Red Bulls.

F1 on Sky Sports in 2013

Sky Sports F1 is the only place to watch every grand prix live in 2013.

Our dedicated F1 channel will broadcast every race, qualifying and practice session live, along with highlights shows, analysis and even more coverage via the Red Button.

Find out more at sky.com

With team boss Martin Whitmarsh describing Friday as "one of the toughest days" he had ever experienced, McLaren already appear to be in damage-limitation mode ahead of a weekend that could prove long and painful.

"We've got to really work to understand why the car is the way it is in terms of ride and downforce," Button told Sky Sports News.

"The short runs weren't perfect so I don't think we are 2.4 seconds off the pace but I'll be surprised - and very happy - if we are in the top ten on Saturday."

Nor is Whitmarsh expecting a quick fix.

"Try as we might, we didn't move forward in performance terms during the course of the day either," the McLaren boss conceded.

  • Share:

Related

Australian GP 2013

Mark Webber made a bad start from the front row

McLaren apologise to Red Bull

McLaren have apologised to Mark Webber and Red Bull after a software glitch with their ECU at the Australian GP.

Kimi Raikkonen: Made a winning start to 2013

Raikkonen confident on Lotus

Australian GP winner Kimi Raikkonen is convinced Lotus can challenge in this year's Formula 1 world title race.

Australian GP analysis

In an opening race of so many intriguing sub-plots, we analyse five of the big talking points from Melbourne.

Related Profiles

Most Popular

Features

Lotterer ousts Kamui

Lotterer ousts Kamui

Three-time Le Mans winner Andre Lotterer replaces Kamui Kobayashi at Caterham at Spa.

The age debate

The age debate

Is 17 too young for F1? Ted Kravitz and David Croft debate after Max Verstappen's appointment.

Max in for 2015

Max in for 2015

Toro Rosso recruit will - aged just 17 - become F1's youngest driver next season when he replaces Vergne.