Jenson Button has admitted that he has been surprised at the way Ferrari has turned its season around, after the Italian team's preseason struggles left some questioning if it would even win a race this year.
With Fernando Alonso, the first driver to take more than one victory, currently leading the championship and on pole position for the British Grand Prix, rivals are in no doubt how strong a threat for the title the Spaniard now is. Button himself, who won the season opener in Australia, has taken his hat off to the work that Ferrari has done to improve its F2012, as well as acknowledging how Alonso has made the best of opportunities that have come his way.
"I actually said after the first race I was surprised how far they were off the pace," he said ahead of the British GP. "With Ferrari you always expect them to find the time. But it was a long way [behind]. So I am surprised how quickly they did turn it around. I think they were fortunate in some places, for example Malaysia, but they have done a great job this year and especially Fernando, he has been consistent and really got the job done when it was necessary. They have done the best job with what they have had this year and they have not made a lot of mistakes."
Button is facing a tough time ahead of the Silverstone race, with him having lost big ground in the point standings in recent races, and tire struggles hurting his qualifying form once again. Starting from 16th on the grid, Button knows he needs to be aggressive in Sunday's race, but also that he must get to the finish to try and get himself back in to the title hunt.
"I have more of a points deficit than Lewis, but you want to be aggressive through the race," he said. "There are lots of opportunities, and you have to race clever. But stating the obvious, you need to be there in the end and, if you finish the race tomorrow, there is a very good chance if you have had a reasonable race of scoring some good points because of the mixed conditions.
"It is not going to be easy out there. There seems to be very, very low grip when it is wet out there, which is unusual and something I cannot remember at Silverstone. It feels very, very slippery, and there will be more mistakes. It is about trying to keep your cool when others aren't."