Jenson Button admitted McLaren weren’t able to compete with Red Bull in qualifying in China.
Speaking after qualifying second, 0.7 seconds behind Sebastian Vettel, Button said: “In the heat of the moment I think you always think that’s it’s possible.
“But the pace in Q3, of Sebastian and the Red Bull, was phenomenal. In Q2, yeah, it looked like it was possible and that’s why I chose to run with two [sets of] tyres in Q3 to give it a go and see if we can.
“And then I saw Seb’s time and it was like ‘OK, maybe we’re going to have to fight for second place’.
“But it’s nice for me, this is my best grid slot of the year. From where we were on Friday I don’t think either of us were that happy with the balance.
“We’ve improved the car a lot and we should be happy with what we’ve achieved today. I think the team did a great job of turning the car around over the last two days and big thanks to them.
“I also had a little surprise – my girlfriend rocked up right before qualifying which maybe gave me a helping hand.”
2011 Chinese Grand Prix
- Hamilton: ‘It’s sweeter to win by overtaking’
- 2011 Chinese Grand Prix: complete race weekend review
- Who was the best driver of the Chinese GP weekend?
- McLaren: Button’s pit mistakes almost cost Hamilton
- Red Bull: Poor qualifying gives strategy advantage to Webber
- Ferrari: Montezemolo demands reaction after poor result
- Mercedes: Rosberg beats Ferraris despite fuel worries
- Renault: Points salvaged after poor qualifying
- Sauber: Two penalties in one race for Perez
- Lotus: Kovalainen joins in midfield battle
Image ?é?® McLaren