Button eyes overdue pole
Jenson Button heads into qualifying with the edge on his rivals but is refusing to suggest it is enough to end his long wait for pole position.
It was at the Monaco Grand Prix of 2009 Button last led away a Formula One field, and although there have been victories, the top spot on the grid has eluded him.
However, the McLaren star has the upper hand in one respect as he was the only driver in practice on Thursday to run the supersoft tyre.
A team decision ahead of the second session, with rain forecast, saw Button run for a handful of laps on the softest of Pirelli's rubber, and which is only used for places such as Monaco and the next race in Montreal.
It allowed Button to emerge the quickest, but aside from that, the data gleaned is something no other team currently possesses.
It means they are left with just one hour of practice to evaluate and understand the tyre prior to qualifying.
Whether it is good enough for Button to grab pole, however, he is wary as he said: "I don't know. We'll have to wait and see.
"Pole is possible for about 10 cars out there because as we all know it's about who gets it right on the day.
"So far this year second has been my best a couple of times.
"You have to be positive and hope you can get the best set-up, the best feeling with the car and put together the best lap."
Given Button's honest admission he has struggled to understand the tyres this year, which have played a considerable role in providing five different winners for the opening five races, his reticence is appreciable.
But at least the 32-year-old, 16 points adrift in the standings of joint leaders Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso, and the team are armed with useful information.
"We ran the tyre to get a baseline, an understanding of where the car is on it," said Button.
"Although it's a tyre we had here last year and the compound is the same, the construction is different, so we had to see if it works in the same way.
"It's the tyre we will qualify on in Q3, and the tyre we will start the race on, so to get a good balance is going to be very important.
"The thing with that tyre is to get a long run on it with high fuel, which no one did, because we don't know what's going to happen.
"It's information we don't have, but it was nice to stick that tyre on just to see how much grip it has compared to the other, and it wasn't so bad."
At least Button felt comfortable in the car overall, but knows he and McLaren have work to do to realise their full potential this weekend.
"From first practice to second the car improved," said Button.
"There was something in P1 I didn't like with it, so we tried something different, and it worked.
"I'm happy with the way the car felt, but we're still not there yet. We were quickest, but it wasn't massively quick.
"There is a lot of room for improvement, and we know the direction we can take."