Jenson Button said he was happy to break his Brazilian Grand Prix qualifying curse after putting his McLaren third on the grid for Sunday's race.
Despite winning the World Championship at Interlagos in 2009, the McLaren driver had gone six years since he last qualified inside the top 10 at the circuit, a fourth place on the grid for the 2005 race being his last top starting spot. Having put memories of the intervening period out of his mind, Button set his sights on beating Red Bull drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber – who start on the front row – and taking his fourth victory of the 2011 season.
"I'm excited about tomorrow; it's the last race of year and I want to end it on a high," said Button. "I am enjoying this moment – this is my best qualifying for six years.
"I always love racing here; it's such a good circuit for racing and fighting. Out of last corner into Turn 1 is good for overtaking, and now we have DRS out of Turn 3, hopefully I can get these two [Vettel and Webber] tomorrow. Whatever happens, it has been a great season for us – but just not quite good enough. There are some areas we still have to work on, but hopefully we can have a good race tomorrow."
Button believes he could have qualified higher than third, such was the progress made by the McLaren team on setup following the final practice session.
"I thought we'd be further up the grid, which showed what a good job we did. It was a good day and a much stronger time than last year," he added. "We made a few adjustments after Q2 even and I thought the set-up on the option tIre was as good as we were going to get, but the lap was pretty ragged. I feel I was quicker on the prime, but we didn't quite have the balance."