- Malaysian GP - Race
Button: We're catching midfield teams
Jenson Button says McLaren should be encouraged by its race pace compared to the midfield despite a double DNF in Malaysia.
Button briefly flirted with the top ten before an Energy Recovery System (ERS) failure ended his race on lap 41. Team-mate Fernando Alonso had been as high as eighth before a similar issue forced him to stop at mid-distance.
McLaren is clearly a long way from running at full power with its new Honda power unit but Button says the fact he could keep pace with other cars is a good sign.
"It's nice to see other cars out there for so long," the 2009 world champion said. "We were quicker than the Force India and the Sauber was there at the same sort of pace and the Lotus wasn't that much quicker. So it was a little bit of a positive surprise and it's also quite interesting to see our strengths and weaknesses compared to those cars."
Speaking about the positive race before his retirement, Button added: "I'd rather it be this way round than get to the end and be nowhere."
Button admits the inexperience of Manor rookie Roberto Merhi made a tough job all the more difficult after the safety car period early in the race.
"It was quite an interesting race because after the safety car Merhi was in front of me and he obviously hasn't read the rulebook because he didn't try and catch the safety car. I know they're not fast but they're quicker than that. We were four or five seconds back and had to close that down and it made it a bit more difficult."