• Australian Grand Prix

Top test times were beyond McLaren's reach - Button

ESPN Staff
March 14, 2013 « Home victory would be 'sensational' for Webber | Raikkonen unconcerned by Lotus reliability »
Jenson Button: "There were certain times that we definitely could not have done in testing" © Sutton Images
Related Links

Jenson Button has admitted McLaren was not able to match some of the headline times at the last Barcelona test, but is confident things will be different in Australia this weekend.

Mercedes Nico Rosberg was the pacesetter at the final test with Button over a second off, although at the time it was not clear whether that was down to his fuel load or the car's pace. Speaking ahead of this weekend's Australian Grand Prix, Button explained that McLaren never really hit its stride in testing and that some of the times were beyond the MP4-28's reach.

"The first two tests weren't great because we had so much to test," he said. "We had to put mileage on so many different parts that we weren't able to do any set-up work with the car. The last test was much better but we haven't run the car the same for two days in terms of set-up. It's not been perfect but I feel that on the last day of testing I got a much better feel for the car and we actually found something with the set-up and direction with the car that I liked. But if you look at testing times, there were certain times that we definitely could not have done in testing."

However, Button said McLaren was able to refine its package during testing and is confident that it will be better suited to the Albert Park circuit this weekend.

"The way that the car is here, we understand it very well," he said. "But there were certain things we tried over the winter that we haven't got a handle on and those parts are not on the car. The way the car is, I think we have a very good understanding of it."

Asked if he was worried by the quick test times in testing, Button said: "If we were racing in Barcelona this weekend then we would be. But it's different here, and I know it's going to be cooler on Sunday, but it's still hotter than the test. It's a very different type of asphalt, and as we know it's a very different sort of circuit to Barcelona.

"But we're very excited about getting out there and seeing where we stand. We're expecting quite mixed conditions this weekend so it's going to be tough to see where we are, but the important thing is to make the most of what we have. It's an important time in the year to pick up big points and a time when people maybe aren't quite up to speed with everything, so you've got to collect the big points when you can."