"It's absolute rubbish when drivers say 'we're concentrating on ourselves'. That's crap. It's important to do your own programmes, but you look at the laptimes and you see what people are doing over a longer run. It's stupid not to."
So says Jenson Button, now the most seasoned old-hand in Formula 1, who has been through more pre-season 'phony wars' than any other driver on the grid.
For all the talk of reliability and mileage (and don't get me wrong, that sort of focus is probably more important than ever given the unprecedented regulations overhaul for this season), speed still matters. Laptimes matter. The lie detector (the stopwatch) is always running...
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Ben Anderson is Autosport's Grand Prix Editor and one of our track testers. He holds an undergraduate degree in journalism studies from the University of Sheffield and joined the title in March of 2008, after eight months working in local newspaper journalism for award-winning weekly the Surrey Mirror. He has raced karts and cars since the age of 11, and occasionally continues to do so around his reporting commitments for Autosport.@BenAndersonAuto More features by Ben Anderson