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Button takes hope from Alonso

ESPN Staff
March 20, 2013 « McLaren apologises for Webber's ECU problems | Bianchi wants to build on strong debut »
Jenson Button finished ninth in Australia after qualifying three seconds off the pace © Sutton Images
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Following McLaren's poor start to the season, Jenson Button admits he can take some encouragement out of Fernando Alonso's performance in 2012.

Alonso started last season in a Ferrari which was well off the pace but still managed to secure consistent results as the car improved to ensure he was in the title battle right up to the last race of the season. With Button struggling to cling on to ninth place in McLaren's new MP4-28 in Melbourne he admits there are similarities between the two situations that he will take hope from.

"There is that side of it, which is very positive," Button is quoted by Sporting Life. "Fernando was one and a half seconds off the pace - of us at the start of the season - and almost won the title. So yes, it is possible for a front-running team to make up the deficit. If it's the same as their situation, I don't know."

While Button has been largely downbeat about the chances of McLaren showing improvement in Malaysia, he is more optimistic looking long-term.

"There are always strengths and weaknesses, and then it's about how many of each, but it's not the place we'd like to be at the start of a year. For us, a lot has changed over the winter with the car, and for most of the teams that's not been the case. They have developed what they had last season. We just took a very different approach.

"At this moment in time, obviously we're not as happy as we were hoping to be, but it's only the first race and there's so much we can achieve."