Button reckons Ricciardo will challenge Mercedes

Friday 18th April 2014, 13:12 by TF1T Staff 

Red Bull Racing, Getty Images

Jenson Button believes Mercedes might not have things all their own way this weekend after witnessing Daniel Ricciardo's long-runs during practice.

The McLaren driver believes Ricciardo could be quick enough to muscle in on the action upfront, despite being almost half a second slower during FP2.

The Red Bull driver was behind the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso, but Button doesn't expect the Spaniard to mount much of a challenge.

"I would say that the Ferrari probably isn't the car that will take it to Mercedes," said the Briton. "In qualifying maybe, but in the race, Ricciardo in the Red Bull looks very strong.

"He's [Ricciardo] a lot quicker than his team-mate and also able to do seven more laps I think on the long run. So he looks very good, the car is obviously working reasonably well in his hands so it's going to be a bit of a mix-up I think.

"A lot of it I think is that some people are getting the tyres working and some people aren't. You can see the big differences up and down the pit lane with graining and not graining."

Speaking of his own fortunes this weekend, Button admitted McLaren are currently off the pace.

"There are a few things we can do overnight but I'm not sure we are quite as competitive as the last race here. But then again, in Bahrain we also struggled in P2 on the long run so maybe it will be better in the race."

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