'A small but definite improvement' – Button
25 August 2013 – McLaren driver Jenson Button says the Woking-based team has made "a small but definite improvement" after finishing the Belgian Grand Prix in sixth position.
The Briton, who started the race from the third row of the grid, rose through the field on what was due to be a one-stop strategy, but he was later forced to revert to a two-stop plan when tyre degradation during his second stint became too severe to handle.
"We were trying for a one-stop strategy at the start of the race, then we adapted that to a two-stopper later on," said the 2009 World Champion. "We gave it a go, but our pace still wasn't quite as good as that of the cars in front of us, so we couldn't really chase them down at the end of the race. Having said that, it was decent race for us.
"In terms of performance there's been a small but definite improvement. I'm pretty happy with the feel of the car now; OK, there's still room for improvement in terms of pace, but the good thing is that we know which areas we should be focusing on."
Assessing his chances in next month's Italian Grand Prix, Button admitted that fighting at the front is still not a realistic prospect, but he is hopeful of gaining further ground.
"Hopefully we can take another small step," explained Button. "We’re not going to be fighting at the front, we know that; instead we’re concentrating on ourselves, gradually understanding more about the car, and progressively improving things. There are still a lot of Grands Prix left this season, and we can enjoy some of them, I’m sure."
In the sister McLaren, team-mate Sergio Pérez was resigned to an 11th place finish after being penalised for forcing Romain Grosjean off the track early in the race.