Jenson Button is bullish about McLaren's prospects for the Italian Grand Prix following the team's strong showing at Spa.
Although Button was forced to retire from the race after his crash with Sebastian Vettel, the Briton reckons the team is in great shape ahead of the Monza event.
"Obviously, my non-finish in Spa wasn't ideal for my championship aspirations, so I head to Monza next weekend determined to put myself back in the hunt for the title," said Button. "Our pace over the whole weekend in Belgium was extremely encouraging – we're developing the car at a very rapid rate, and we're learning more about it all the time, so I'm optimistic that we'll be able to maintain that form in Italy next weekend.
"We still have some work to do to make sure the package we bring to Italy is perfectly suited to the track, but I'm confident that our engineers have made some good steps forward with their understanding of our car, so we should be in good shape."
Teammate Lewis Hamilton, winner of the Belgian race last Sunday, admitted he is eager to win at Monza to complete the set of victories at historic tracks.
"I've made no secret of my wish to win this race. Monza is an incredible circuit – full of history and stories from the past. It has a special feeling in the air that you don't find anywhere else in the world," he said.
"It's a circuit that inspires you to race at your limit, and I'll be pushing hard all weekend.
"Finally, I'm looking forward to meeting the Italian fans this weekend. I pretty much grew up racing karts in Italy, so I've always appreciated and understood the passion and support of the fans for Formula 1, and motorsport in general,"