Jenson Button finished just outside the points in eleventh during the European Grand Prix on Sunday, but felt the McLaren-Honda team are still lacking in some areas to make them truly competitive.
The British driver bemoaned the straight-line speed deficit the team have compared to many of their rivals, which made them relatively easy targets down the 1.4-mile straight at the Baku Street Circuit.
Despite failing to score points, Button was happy with his own performance to climb from his disappointing nineteenth place on the grid to finish under twenty seconds down on a points finish in Azerbaijan despite the MP4-31’s short-fallings.
“Obviously, I didn’t make it easy for myself starting 19th,” said Button. “I enjoyed the race, and I got everything out of the car, but that was all we could really do as we didn’t have the pace this weekend.
“I’m happy with my performance today. In terms of strategy, it was difficult to know the best way to go, but we’d struggled with graining on the Supersoft, so chose to pit relatively early. Then our pace was good on the Prime – I’m happy with that. It was also good to battle out there, especially when the other guy has the same equipment as you.
“In terms of outright performance, we’re not quite quick enough, so to come from 19th to 11th wasn’t too bad, particularly with the straight-line speed we had here.
“It was a fun race and I enjoyed it, but there are some improvements needed to raise our level of performance. I persevered as I always do when times are tough, and we’ll hopefully come out the other side.”