Button puzzled by lost balance, praises Vandoorne

© XPB 

Jenson Button was certainly expecting to extract a better result from his McLaren-Honda in qualifying,  but the MP4-31's balance which appeared so efficient yesterday appeared to have vanished today.

While the British driver never really looked threatened in Q3, the second segment proved a real struggle with 14th the best he could achieve, Button even beaten by his rookie team mate along the way.

"The car's been really good all weekend, I've had a reasonable balance, mostly struggling with a bit of understeer, but quite happy with it, and on my last run, for no reason at all it was the complete opposite, with massive oversteer."

According to Button, he didn't expect yesterday's eye-opening pace to fully extend into Saturday's running.

"I didn't think that pace was really going to there today. One, because everyone turns up their engines between Friday and Saturday. We definitely expected to be closer to Q3, and if the balance had worked like in Q1 there would have been a chance to be in Q3 because we were very close to it."

With his work cut for him for tomorrow, Button admits to be going a bit into the unknown.

"It's a tricky one, we have three different tyres to work with. I think we have a reasonable understanding of what to do but you never know until the race starts, there are so many options.

"We fell afoul of that in the last race, so hopefully we won't in this race and we'll do a good job."

On the subject of his rookie team mate Stoffel Vandoorne, who qualified two spots ahead of him, Button humbly admitted the Belgian had simply done a better job.

"He's done a good job. I haven't done a good job," he acknowledged

"He's very competitive and he's quick. He's won here before, I think he's proved how good he is around a place like this and he's done a lot of testing with us.

"I've always had competitive team-mates and there's always pressure, nothing's different.  The boy did a good job today. He got it right, and I definitely didn't in Q2.

"Fair play to him. It's impressive. We'll see how he gets on tomorrow."

REPORT: Hamilton pips Rosberg to Bahrain pole by 0.077s

AS IT HAPPENED: Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter