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Button has work to do, says Fry

ESPNF1 Staff
March 16, 2010 « F1 dream lives on for Lopez | »
Jenson Button admits he must do better © Sutton Images
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Mercedes GP managing director Nick Fry says Jenson Button will spend the next two weeks wondering what he has to do to beat team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

Fry was one of many to warn Button he was making a big mistake in joining McLaren and taking on Hamilton before the start of the season. "There's clearly a gap that Jenson is going to have to close," said Fry. "It's absolutely self-evident. I'm sure he'll now be looking at what he can do to close the gap to Lewis, who does have home-team advantage at the moment."

Having worked closely with Button for a number of seasons at Honda and then Brawn GP in 2009, Fry is in a better position than most to assess Button's current predicament. "He'll have to be looking at all aspects of his own performance, not only how he drives, but also the way he works with the team. Jenson will know all those things, and he's got to work hard."

And Button, who finished four places behind his team-mate in Bahrain, is refusing to make excuses for his seventh-placed finish, 45 seconds behind race-winner Fernando Alonso.

"There's room for improvement," said Button. "I'm not entirely happy with the car, but that's a set-up thing because the car is a good one and there is pace in it. That's witnessed by the fact Lewis did a great job to get on the podium, and it shows the team has done a very good job."

Button also admitted to a possible "weakness" in not being able to adapt the car to his preferred driving style in Bahrain. It's an issue he is looking to address in Melbourne.

"But there are a few areas of the car I need to look at, improve, a weakness you might say, to make it my own a little bit more, so I'll be working on that in Melbourne on Friday [in practice].

"For me, it's the low-speed aspect, but the pace is something we can work with and improve in Melbourne. Our car is reasonably competitive, but it is not on the same pace as the Ferraris at the moment."