F1’s Jenson Button said he has a chance of out-qualifying Red Bull Racing at this weekend’s Grand Prix in Monaco, despite this F1 season’s straight run by Red Bull Racing.

Button told McLaren-Mercedes fans that unless “very unusual circumstances” arise, neither he nor Lewis Hamilton will be able to out-qualify the dominant Red Bulls in F1 2011. However he hinted that those circumstances could arise in Monaco this weekend.

Red Bull Racing has been victorious in every grand prix this season which Button puts down to “downforce”.

“We’re not really any closer to understanding that,” he told a special Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes Phone-In Session. “They are so fast in qualifying, but I don’t know the reason why. We think they have a lot more downforce than us, but we don’t understand why they don’t have that pace in the race. It’s a tough one.

Jenson Button of Great Britain and McLaren drives during practice for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at the Monte Carlo Circuit on May 26
Jenson Button practices for
the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix on the Monte Carlo Circuit.

“Maybe their car is not so good on the tyres – maybe they degrade quicker. In a few races this year, we’ve been able to race them, but in qualifying, we’re a long way off. There’s a difference in lap time in qualifying of around a second, and we’re not going to be able to find that for six or seven races. I can’t see us in the near future beating them in qualifying, unless we get very unusual circumstances, as we may do in Monaco.”

At the weekend’s Grand Prix in Monaco, however, Button will be one of only six drivers on the current grid to have previously triumphed around the streets of Monte Carlo before.

“I think experience always helps in Monaco,” Button acknowledged, “but Sebastian [Vettel] has been around for a couple of years now and he’s been very quick round Monaco.

Mark [Webber] did beat him last year, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad circuit for him. I still think he’ll be competitive, but we might see Mark challenging him more than in previous races, which is exactly what we need to put Sebastian under a bit of pressure – and you never know what might happen if we can start putting him under pressure.”