Jenson Button believes McLaren should be in the hunt for victory at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, with Sepang's high-speed characteristics perfect for his MP4-25.
Fresh from his victory in Australia a fortnight ago, which was helped by a brilliant strategy call to switch from wet to dry tires, Button thinks McLaren will be on more equal terms with Red Bull Racing and Ferrari this time out.
"I think our car will work better here," he explained. "It's very important to have good aerodynamics here, but for us aero works very well at high-speed corners. Low-speed is where we need to work. But this circuit should work for us well -- I think as well as Melbourne or maybe a bit better. So I'm excited about that."
He added: "We have a couple of new things here which will help us. Not a big margin, but something that should help us. For us, our race pace is good.
"I think in Melbourne, of the people who stayed on one set of tires, I was pretty much quickest. I think maybe the Red Bulls are a tad quicker than us in the race but I don't think the Ferraris are any quicker. I don't know, it's difficult to tell. But qualifying is an area we need to work on.
"The good thing here is I think we can really get the tires working well. In Melbourne I had to do my third timed lap in qualifying, while I think here should be one timed lap because we've got good temperature."
Despite his optimism about the car, Button still thinks McLaren needs to make more progress in optimizing its car for qualifying.
"If you look at the qualifying pace we weren't quick enough," he said about Australia. "We were six tenths off. If we pull back a bit of that here that's a good thing. There's some long straights here and we've got an efficient car.
"It's got negative points as well, but our straight-line speed is good, so if we've got reasonably good pace in the race we should be able to overtake."