Button was eighth quickest in both sessions and is optimistic regarding the long run pace of the MP4-28.
“Our pace on a long run looks surprisingly good, although we’re not quite there with our qualifying pace yet. Still, I feel happier with the car here than I have the past few weekends. There are some areas in which we’ve struggled before that now seem a little bit better, and that’s obviously positive,” he said.
“We may not be setting amazing times out there, but I’m happy that we’re heading in the right direction. And hopefully we can improve on Saturday from where we are today.”
Perez was ninth fastest in the morning but slipped to twelfth in second practice.
“We tried a lot of things during today’s practice sessions. Not everything worked; some of the things we tried made it difficult for me to feel confident with the car, especially through the faster corners. So we’ll come back on those changes before Saturday’s practice. Still, we had no nasty surprises either, which was positive,” he said.
The Mexican isn’t expecting tyre wear to be a major issue and is focused on making it through to Q3.
“I’m hopeful we can make it into Q3. I actually think Saturday will be the most important day of the weekend – everyone will be trying to save tyres so as to have as few stops as possible in the race. It’s likely to be a slow race with low degradation, so we need to give it our all on Saturday.”