German GP: Jenson Button hopes to challenge for victories again
Jenson Button says he now has the car to challenge for victories after marking a return to the podium for only the third time this season at the German Grand Prix.
The Briton finished third but was promoted to second after Sebastian Vettel was penalised for an illegal overtake on the McLaren driver.
"We're right up there with Ferrari and Red Bull in terms of speed," he said.
Button's season so far
- Australia 1
- Malaysia 14
- China 2
- Bahrain 18
- Spain 9
- Monaco 16
- Canada 16
- Europe 8
- Britain 10
- Germany 2
"If we can sort out qualifying we have a really good chance of winning races."
Since finishing second in China, Button's form dipped and the former world champion had only picked up seven points from six races before arriving at Hockenheim.
McLaren brought a number of upgrades to Germany and Button is feeling confident they will reap the benefits of those in the coming races.
"Our upgrade package is working well. In the last couple of races, as I've said, I've been very happy with the car - the balance of the car anyway - and my feeling with it," he added.
"The results haven't been there because the pace hasn't been there with the car.
"This race gives me a lot of confidence and I'm very happy with being up on the podium."
Next on the Formula 1 calendar is the Hungarian Grand Prix, a race that holds good memories for Button.
"I'm already looking forward to Hungary," he said.
"It's a special place for me, and I feel really encouraged that we can have another great race next weekend."
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh praised Button's performance, saying it proves that he still has the "hunger" shown in his 2009 championship-winning season.
"Look where Jenson was at the end of the first stint. Vettel and Alonso were some way down the road and we had to hunt them down," he said.
"Anyone who doubted Jenson's hunger can put that now to the back of their minds."
There was some disappointment for McLaren, however, as Lewis Hamilton retired on his 100th grand prix appearance with gearbox damage after running well down the field following an early puncture.
"Lewis will know he had a quick car," said Whitmarsh.
"He will be frustrated for the next 24 hours but he will recover knowing he has a good record in Hungary and he has a fast car."