Jenson Button thinks McLaren's title challenge has been boosted by the way the calendar falls this year as it gives his team vital time to help bring on more downforce for its MP4-25.
After seeing title rivals Red Bull Racing and Ferrari enjoy a big performance advantage at the high downforce Hungaroring earlier this month, Button is under no illusions that McLaren must bring more performance to its car soon. However, with the next two races at Spa and Monza requiring less out-and-out downforce, Button thinks McLaren can still deliver good results for now until a major update is brought onboard for the Singapore GP.
"This is a good circuit for us," said Button at Spa. "We have a few little improvements, nothing that's going to set the world alight, but mostly to do with the blown diffuser. And then from here on you've got Monza, which again should be a good one for us. It's always a tricky one to know because you have a specific wing for that circuit and you never really know what people are going to bring. But that should be competitive for us too.
"I'm very happy that these next two races have come at this point in the season, after Hungary. It's not the only two races that will matter to us this year, we still have to be competitive in the other five, but it's important that we have these two races now. It gives us time to work on developing the car for the last five races, where you run a lot more downforce."
Although the introduction of McLaren's blown diffuser has coincided with a dip in its competitive form, Button still has faith that the concept is an ultimate help.
"The blown diffuser is an improvement for us," he explained. "As everyone knows, it gives you more grip on exits, especially when you're under power. So it is a positive step for us. There are a few areas that we're still working on where it's not giving us a benefit. Maybe it's giving us a tiny loss. But overall it is a big improvement for us and it definitely does improve our car. So it's definitely a positive, not a negative."
When asked whether he believed he could win in Belgium, he said: "I think as a team this race is important for us, as it's come after Hungary. Hungary was a tough weekend.
"This is a race where I can't really see any reason why we can't be competitive, because in reality we don't have an excuse that we don't have enough downforce here. We'll see how efficient our car is here, and we'll see how mechanically strong we are. We never know how quick we're going to be, but I feel we'll be more competitive than in Hungary."