Jenson Button says he is expecting his McLaren team to endure a tough weekend in the European Grand Prix at Valencia.
McLaren's main rivals are bringing several updates for the Spanish race, while the British squad has no new parts, with an upgrade scheduled for the next race in Britain. While Button reckons McLaren will still be competitive, he fears that the competition will be much stronger than in Canada, where the team scored a 1-2.
"Coming here I thought the momentum could be carried, but looking at all the cars around the pit lane there's a lot of new bits," Button told reporters. "I think three new teams have this funny exhaust system [blown rear diffuser], so if it gives as much as we think it might they are going to be very competitive.
"We don't have any updates here. We have an update for Silverstone in two weeks. So it's going to be a tough race for us, I think. We are still going to be competitive, but there are going to be a lot of cars that are very competitive. It's not going to be quite what we would hope for this grand prix, but we should wait and see."
Button, however, is hopeful his rivals will lose time getting their blown exhausts ready and that McLaren will benefit from having a car that's well known to the team.
"It's not going to work straight away," he added. "It's going to take them a bit of time, I hope. They are also playing with the F-duct system as well.
"There's a lot going on and we just have to make sure we get our heads down and we focus on making sure we get the best out of what we have. We have a car that we know very well, so it's just about fine-tuning and getting the best out of it for the weekend."
He is also optimistic that the update planned for the British Grand Prix will help McLaren take a good step forward.
"I think when we get to Silverstone we'll see a good leap forward for us, which I think at that point we will need," he said. "Here, we'll see what happens. Our car is still good, don't get me wrong, I don't think that all cars are going to be in front of us, but we are going to have a lot more competition than we had in Montreal.
"I think it will help us in high-speed corners. I think it will help us in qualifying. I hope it's a good improvement and I hope it's what we expect it to be, because if it is we should have a good home race."