F1 Chinese Grand Prix: Jenson Button hoping for dry race as McLaren look to salvage result after poor qualifying

McLaren driver will start in 12th with his team-mate Kevin Magnussen 15th as both drivers look to the skies for a sunnier Sunday

Jenson Button is praying the sun shines over Shanghai on Sunday if he is to salvage something from his Chinese Grand Prix weekend.

Wet, cold, grey conditions dominated qualifying at the Shanghai International Circuit, and that wrecked any hope Button had of a strong qualifying performance.

For the first time this year neither Button nor rookie McLaren team-mate Kevin Magnussen will start in the top 10 on the grid, with the duo lining up 12th and 15th.

McLaren's problem is that the conditions prevented their cars from getting any heat into the front tyres in particular, and with it a lack of grip with the track at its most slippery.

The forecast for Sunday suggests the rain will stay away, but as to the temperature, that is variable, which could also play a part in the team's bid to score points.

 

"This is a tough track because of the cold temperatures we have this weekend, and you throw the rain into that and we are struggling," said Button.

"We definitely need a dry race. We'll have a very tough afternoon if it's wet.

"In the cold, if it's dry, it's still tricky. We're just able to put the tyres in a good position, but we can race well.

"For tomorrow, it's also going to be such a green track (with all the rubber previously laid down now washed away).

"If it is dry, which I think it will be, it will be very difficult to know what to do in terms of strategy.

"But we're very good at thinking on our feet, very good at adapting to the different conditions and scenarios we will find tomorrow."

Explaining the problems experienced with getting heat into the tyres that would have made his day more comfortable, Button added: "We're doing everything we can to get the tyres working.

"Overall, grip is lacking in terms of downforce. When you have that issue it's a lot easier to get temperature into the rears because you can spin the tyres, whereas you can't do that with the fronts.

"So it's very tricky, and one of the main reasons why I struggled.

"It was a shame not to get into Q3, but it was a tough day for us, although in a way a useful day to see where our weaknesses are.

"But I'm still looking forward to tomorrow. There are a few cars we know we can't beat, but there are lots of cars we can race and still get a good result."

PA

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