Button looking for consistency
Jenson Button believes he needs to find the consistency that has so far eluded him if he is to make a real impact this season.
Button started the current campaign on the right foot, winning in Australia as McLaren seemingly set themselves up as the team to beat this year.
No-one, however, could have predicted what has since unfolded as overall there have been five different winners in the opening five unpredictable races.
In the championship standings two-time winners Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso lead the way on 61 points, with the top seven drivers covered by 20 points - fewer than for a win.
Contrast that to a year ago when Vettel won four of the initial five races, collecting 118 points, with his nearest challenger 41 points adrift.
Given his current failure to understand the Pirelli tyres, Button knows if there was another runaway leader this year his season would be virtually over by now.
As it is, with the 32-year-old just 16 points adrift of Vettel and Alonso, he appreciates his difficulty with the rubber is not having too much effect on his hopes - so far.
Ahead of Formula One's blue riband event of the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday, Button said: "When different people keep on winning, and the leader finishes fifth say, it's not such a problem. To be fair, I've only finished three races in the points, and the last one (in Spain) wasn't really in the points.
"I've had a first, a second and a ninth, and I'm 16 points off the lead, which is not much.
"It's amazing how many points people are getting this year. We've had 125 points up for grabs, and the leaders have 61.
"It just shows you how mixed up and crazy this season is. Obviously, you want to be as consistent as possible, and the people who understand the tyres are consistently scoring good points. They're going to be the people at the end.
"So we have to get that consistency. Of course we want to be consistently winning, but I don't think anybody is going to be doing that for a little while yet."
Unsurprisingly, Button admits he far from expected what has been witnessed so far, especially after setting the pace Down Under.
"We started the season strong, the winter was good, and the first race was more than I could have hoped for," said Button.
"Since then it's been very mixed. We were quick in Malaysia and China, but at the last two my race pace has not been competitive, and we're still trying to work it out."
Button appreciates, though, he and McLaren cannot afford to spend too long trying to discover the answers to the raft of questions being posed by Pirelli, else he will find himself cut adrift.
After witnessing Pastor Maldonado's shock win for Williams in the Spanish Grand Prix 11 days ago, Button said: "Pastor qualified 17th in Bahrain, then qualified second - which turned into pole - in Barcelona.
"That is what is difficult to understand because I don't think Williams had a massive upgrade there compared to everybody else.
"Understanding why the car works sometimes and doesn't at others, that's very difficult.
"We can do as much set-up work as we like, but engineering wise, certain things say they should work, and they don't, which is what we don't get.
"We've a few ideas as to why things didn't work out in Spain, and for some of the areas we know what we did wrong on Saturday, but not all of it in the race.
"Hopefully we'll have a better understanding here going into Saturday."
Around Monaco, however, driver skill counts for so much more than at other venues, with 2009 winner Button hoping experience and talent will hold him in good stead.
"It's just madness driving around here - in a good way," added Button, who finished quickest at the end of a rain-hit practice.
"We all love driving around the streets of Monaco. It's one of those circuits that's very unforgiving.
"In Monaco, one slip up and that's it. Game over. This place does bite back if you make a small error. But that's why we love it."