World Champion Jenson Button thinks his Brawn team can take the fight to rival Red Bull Racing in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – although he concedes that Lewis Hamilton's McLaren is too quick.
Although Button only qualified fifth for the final race of the season, he thinks he had the potential to have put his car on the front row of the grid – which leaves him optimistic about his chances for the race.
"The car is working well here and it is nothing compared to the McLaren," said Button. "That has been staggeringly quick all weekend. I think we have looked good all weekend in practice because the strategy we did with the tyres, we looked quick – and we are quick compared to everyone else. It is just that the McLaren is so far in front.
"In qualifying, Q1 and Q2, the car was working well. I was near the top in both, and I was happy with it. But in Q3 when I went out I had a massive vibration, which we are looking at now. We are hoping it is a wheel weight, or a couple of wheel weights as it cannot just be one, because as soon as I hit the brakes I had this massive shuddering on the steering wheel.
"When you have that, you lose a lot of front grip because the tyre is not in contact with the road. Hopefully it is that, and not the brakes – but I did lose brake power on the last stint compared to the previous few runs."
He added: "It is annoying being fifth on the grid because I think we would have been on the front row with Lewis – six tenths behind him still, but we would have been on the front row. It is frustrating. I just hope we can sort the problem for the race because I cannot do a whole race like that. If we can sort it, I think we can have a fun race.
"P5 is not that bad. It is the best qualifying I've had for many races, so I think we can have some fun with the Red Bulls. Lewis? I'm not sure we can challenge him, but the Red Bulls and Rubens [Barrichello], I think we can have a good race."
Button has said he is not surprised that Hamilton took a dominant pole position – with the McLaren being perfectly suited to the low-speed characteristics of the Yas Marina circuit.
"I want to beat Lewis, and like any grand prix I want to win the race," said Button. "But I think he is four or five tenths quicker than us, and that is what we thought going into qualifying as well. It is pretty much what we expected, which is not great obviously."