Jenson Button says he is not worried about the prospect of Red Bull Racing running away with another victory in the European Grand Prix, as he predicts Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber will face a tough challenge in Sunday's race.
Although Vettel and Webber locked out the front row in Valencia, Button thinks the trend from the last few races – where McLaren has had arguably the faster car in the race – could well carry on.
"I don't think they will fly away," said the winner of the Canadian GP. "If you look at the last few races, we could race them.
"This is a place where if we have a good car with the hot temperatures, it can really make a difference. The DRS zones give a great opportunity for overtaking, and with these tires it is difficult to know what strategy to run.
"We are normally pretty good at making the right call, so we are not afraid of them walking away with it. I think it is going to be a great race."
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said his team needed to deliver more pace to its car in qualifying, but he said a better picture for the season going forward would emerge at the British GP when a ban on the off-throttle use of blown diffusers kicks in.
"We are still not as quick as we want to be in qualifying, but we will see," he explained. "We have two great racing drivers in the team, and we have had a pretty good race car in the last three races, but we cannot guarantee it.
"We spent a bit of time trying to understand tyres this weekend, and they are quite a challenge. Certainly we would like to be quicker in qualifying; we will see what happens in Silverstone. There will be a few changes that will happen. Quite a few cars will step backward and hopefully some will step backward more than others, we will see.
"So apart from clearly aiming to minimise the extent to which we step backward, we have to keep moving forward. We have to keep pushing until the car is quick enough to be on the front row and winning races."