Button hopes McLaren can challenge Ferrari this year


Jenson Button is hopeful McLaren will be able to challenge Ferrari by the end of the Formula One season.

After a dismal 2015 in which only one team scored fewer points, McLaren have shown signs of progress this year to sit sixth in the constructors' standings.

With further improvements planned in the closing stages of the campaign, Button - who will take a backseat role from 2017 with Stoffel Vandoorne moving into the line-up - hopes they can start pushing Ferrari in the coming months.

"You have to have aims in this sport. We've made massive gains over the last 12 months and if you look at what we have coming in the future, we should be able to fight towards the end of the year with teams that are above us at the moment. Ferrari would be one of them," he told Sky Sports.

"If we could challenge them it would be an amazing way to end the year. In Malaysia when we get the new upgrade we'll see some performance gains. We could be fighting with the red cars."

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier believes their cars will be more suited to this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix than the previous outing at Monza.

"Despite spending the next few weeks far away from the UK, our development push is still ongoing and we're still working hard on achieving performance improvements right up to the end of the season," he said.

"Although we weren't in a points-paying position in Monza, we did see some promising performances throughout the weekend, so we're hopeful of a greater chance to show what our package is truly capable of at the Singapore Grand Prix."