Jenson Button says he and his McLaren team are not afraid of anything that Red Bull Racing and Ferrari can throw at them this weekend as he predicts a return to form for his team.
Despite disappointing showings in the last two races, Button believes that updates to the car, plus the lifting of the ban on the off-throttle use of blown diffusers should help McLaren bounce back at the German Grand Prix.
"The last two races have been pretty tough for us in terms of points," he explained. "I think the blown diffuser compared to the Ferraris hurt us a little bit, as I think we are probably doing a better job with our diffuser than maybe a lot of other teams. When they took away the blowing, that hurt us a lot, so having that back should help us.
"I think it will help Red Bull as well, but I don't think we are scared of anyone this weekend, and I don't think there will be anyone who has a big advantage over us. We come here with some updates, and we are going back to the old regulations, so I am looking forward to this race."
When asked if he believed McLaren would have the form that helped it challenge Red Bull as recently as Spain and Canada, Button said: "I am hoping better, and I think we will be better if we get everything working and everything works as we expected.
"I think we will be on good form here and we can really challenge the Red Bulls and Ferraris. Qualifying might still be reasonably difficult but I don't know – we have to wait and see. I think our race pace will be very good."
Button reckons that Ferrari's form at Silverstone was flattered by both the characteristics of the circuit and the blown diffuser clampdown that hurt both McLaren and Red Bull Racing's competitive form.
"I think Ferrari was very quick at Silverstone because they have a good car around high-speed circuits," he said. "They also had some good upgrades and the engine mapping changes, I am sure it helped them, because suddenly they were so much faster than Red Bull and us. In the race, Red Bull and us were quite similar to what it was in the past, but not Ferrari – suddenly it was a big step for them."
Although McLaren's recent troubles have prompted criticism in the press about its season and speculation about the future of team principal Martin Whitmarsh, Button says the mood at the factory is actually very upbeat.
"There is a good atmosphere, even though we had a tough time last weekend and we had a tough race the weekend before," he said. "There is still a really good atmosphere and I think it just goes to show that a lot of the stuff that has been written about Martin for example is not correct.
"There is a great atmosphere and we all respect Martin very much. He is a very passionate guy in terms of the sport and I think he is a very intelligent guy who does a great job, he gets the troops in order and is very positive. I am very happy with the way things are going, and obviously tough races, we all have them, but we can move on and up."