Jenson Button is convinced that Red Bull's advantage over his own Brawn team in this weekend's British Grand Prix at Silverstone, is not as big as it looked in qualifying.
The runaway World Championship leader, who has won six out of the seven races so far this year, revealed that he has been struggling to get his tires up to operating temperature and that this contributed to him netting his worst grid position of the season – sixth – on Saturday.
"I think here they would have been quick without the upgrade, but I don't think the gap is as big as it looks," Button said, referring to the modified RB5 Red Bull brought to Silverstone. "The temperatures are low here and they are one of the teams that get the tires working.
"On the out lap in qualifying in Turkey, [Mark] Webber was just cruising around, and I was flat out to get my tires working. I think that their car is very good in these sort of temperatures, so I think we would have had the pace on them anyway.
"For sure their package has improved, but if there was 40 degree track temp, I don't think they would have had such an advantage."
Despite this, Button warned the legions of British fans expected to turn up to Silverstone for what is potentially its last grand prix, that it would be difficult for him to win the race from sixth position.
"I think the Red Bulls are going to be very quick, I think it is going to be very difficult for Rubens, who is on the front row, to beat them and especially for me," he said. "My aim is to move up the grid as far as I can.
"I mean it's sixth, it's not last, but I need a few more places than that. I just need to score some good points so I don't lose too much to the Red Bulls, but it might come our way a little bit tomorrow, but it's not going to be hot like Turkey. So we definitely won't have an advantage."
Asked if he thought he could play on the psychological advantage that comes with having had such a dominant start to the season, Button replied: "I don't know. Maybe that was the issue with [Sebastian] Vettel in Turkey, but we are the team that has won six out of seven races, and we have been very strong almost every race we have been in and we have not made mistakes in the race so I am sure the other teams must think there is a possibility we will have a good race.
"Rubens is P2 and in a great position," added the Briton. "I'm P6 so it is more difficult for me, but I think we can do something with it.
"I'm sure they will be interested to see what we are up to, but they have got an advantage here that shouldn't really hurt them in the way of strategy. It should be pretty simple to get a good strategy when you have the quickest car by the margin they have this weekend.
"It's been unbelievable – we haven't had that margin this year. It will make them difficult to beat, but I am sure Rubens is going to do his best to beat them."