Jenson Button believes his stirring British Grand Prix performance has provided all within McLaren with a much-needed confidence boost.
Button agonisingly missed out on his first podium on home soil after 15 seasons in Formula One by just 0.8secs as he reeled in Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo over the closing stages at Silverstone.
After what has so far been another troubled season for McLaren which has failed to yield the results Group CEO Ron Dennis had planned on his return to the helm, fourth place - whilst still far below expectations - was a shot in the arm.
Coming into this weekend’s German Grand Prix, Button believes there has been a discernible difference in mood in the McLaren camp.
“It was a good weekend for us. For us to qualify third and finish fourth was a lot better than we expected going into that weekend,” said Button.
“It’s very unusual you have a weekend where you achieve more than you set out to do.
“And it definitely helped the attitude and atmosphere within the team.
“I’ve noticed the difference - a lot! Not just with the guys at the circuit, but back at the factory (in Woking) as well.
“It’s always nice when you overachieve, especially in your home country, so as a team we should be happy with what we did.
“Of course, it’s not where we want to be, but you have to enjoy when you feel you’ve done more than your car will let you do.
“We almost beat two Red Bulls, which was a definite improvement from where we were at the previous two races.”
Following the two 90-minute practice sessions at Hockenheim, Button and team-mate Kevin Magnussen were seventh and fifth respectively.
Button finished 0.880secs adrift of leader Lewis Hamilton who edged out Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg by a mere 0.024secs.
With the car sporting a number of upgrades, most notably a new rear wing - although only on Magnussen’s car - the team’s initial belief they will be closer to the leaders this weekend has so far been borne out.
But in searing temperatures, as the mercury hit 32 degrees centigrade whilst the track rose to a scorching 58, Button is concerned the heat could take its toll.
“Looking at the timesheets you’d say we look quite good, but we’re finding it a little bit tougher over the long-runs as I think we’re overheating the tyres under traction,” assessed Button.
“It’s difficult to manage the tyres in these temperatures, and it’s especially hard to get the supersoft working correctly without overheating it.
“As ever we’ll just make the best out of what we’ve got, and I think we can push a bit harder tomorrow.”