- Second Barcelona Test - Day Two
Button hails 'really big step forward' for McLaren
Jenson Button said McLaren's century of laps on Friday in Barcelona "felt like 1,000" as the team recorded its most positive day of a troublesome winter.
McLaren came into the day with just 209 pre-season laps to its name but Button completed 101 on Friday. It meant the team could finally put the Honda power unit through its paces and test reliability, something Button was happy about after managing just seven laps a day earlier.
"There's a lot of positives out of today," Button said. "You look at the timing screens and yeah, we're nowhere near quick enough but there's a lot of progress that's been made today. A lot we can improve on for the next couple of days. All the engineers and aerodynamicists are all just sinking their teeth into what we've done today which is good. For a lot of teams 100 laps really isn't anything but for us it's like 1,000 laps because there's so much for us to learn about this package.
"Good progress made today, wasn't hard really from yesterday, but really nice to do 101 laps. Reliability has been great today; a really, really big step forward by everyone and big effort from everyone which is great to see. It's amazing what you get done when you have a reliable car because all of the comparisons and the aero work you can't do when the car stops half way through we were able to do today."
The 2009 world champion finished nearly three seconds down on Nico Rosberg's headline time but he says the team did not compromise on power in order to tick off as many laps as possible.
"There were other areas that were improved with the power unit so no, that wasn't necessary. When we get to the first race we will have more power, yes, than we have now. But I think today was a good day in terms of using the power as much as we can in the right way, in terms of torque curve, driveability, corner exits, the harvesting of the ERS pack. It's all things you think are very simple but they are very complicated to get right.
"I think not running at full power is probably the wrong way to put it. We know there's more to achieve with the power unit but I think we're trying to push as much as we can right now. Where do I think we are? I think we've made good progress but there's still a long way to go. There's a lot to work with in terms of the way the car feels but I've not really done a massive amount of set-up work, even today, because there's so many back-to-back's you do with aero parts, with ride heights, with front wings, stuff like that."
Button stopped on his 101st lap at the very end of the session due to a small electrical failure but he confirmed the engine fired up without any issues when it returned to the garage.