Jenson Button is hoping McLaren can land a one-two on Sebastian Vettel at the start of tomorrow’s Singapore Grand Prix.
An all-McLaren second row, with Button fourth and team-mate Lewis Hamilton third, will line up directly behind Vettel who missed out on pole to Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso by 0.067secs.
Given Red Bull’s poor starts of late, reigning champion Button believes he and Hamilton can capitalise off the line under the lights of the Marina Bay street circuit.
“It’s quite interesting to see the top five in the championship are the top five on the grid, which makes for an interesting race,” said Button, also alluding to championship leader Mark Webber lining up fifth in his Red Bull.
“My biggest issue is I’ve the same car just in front of me and he will be able to make the same start as me, so I won’t be able to take him off the start.
“But Vettel has been making a lot of poor starts lately. I’m not saying it’s his fault, but the pace off the line hasn’t been good from the Red Bulls, which is a positive for us.
“So it’s looking pretty good. There are a few people I’d rather be in front of, but I’m in a good position. Fourth isn’t too bad.
“I’m reasonably happy, much happier than I was after my qualifying here last year when I started 11th [for Brawn GP].”
With McLaren splitting the Red Bulls despite fears they would be some distance away coming into this race, team principal Martin Whitmarsh was appreciably delighted.
“Both Lewis and Jenson have performed brilliantly,” said Whitmarsh.
“We’re within a couple of tenths of pole after making a lot of good progress yesterday and today, and we feel we’ve a very good race car for tomorrow.
“Bearing in mind our comparatively lacklustre pace at Monaco and the Hungaroring – two relatively slow circuits – I’m very encouraged by our performance here in Singapore, which is also a comparatively slow circuit.
“That improvement is the result of a lot of hard work by a lot of very good people, and I thank them all.
“As for the race, we now feel we can take the fight to anyone, and that’s what we intend to do tomorrow.”