Jenson Button: I can compete for Japanese Grand Prix win at 'unpredictable' Suzuka
Jenson Button will start tomorrow's Japanese Grand Prix from eighth on the grid.
Button, from Frome, was third overall in today's qualifying session, but faces a five-place grid gearbox penalty.
Despite that setback, though, the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver is confident he has the pace to get back among the front-runners.
"It was a good qualifying session – both my Q3 laps felt good," said Button.
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“We’ve improved the car a lot since yesterday, when we tried a very low-downforce set-up to help with overtaking. We pulled back from that for today, and I feel a lot happier with the car.
“My gearbox penalty means it’s disappointing to be starting so far back, though.
"Overtaking has never been easy around here – even with the introduction of DRS – and, that being the case, it’s quite a surprise that the DRS zone has been shortened for this year.
“But I love racing around here. And because everyone’s strategy could be up in the air tomorrow – because there’s been quite a lot of tyre graining and blistering – things could still be a bit unpredictable.
“The championship is a long-shot for me, I know that, but I’d love to do well in front of the Japanese crowd; I’ll be going for the win.”