Button delivers his verdict on new BAR007

It is all too easy for teams for teams and drivers to get carried away with expectations at new car launches - only to see their dreams come crashing down at the first test. But as Jenson Button tells autosport.com after the BAR007's first run, his victory plans are well on course

Button delivers his verdict on new BAR007

It is hard to believe that just one year ago Jenson Button had yet to step onto a Formula 1 podium. Yet when the opportunity was thrust into his hands early in the 2004 campaign he and BAR made sure to grab it - going on to deliver the team its best ever season in F1. Expectations are much higher this year, and the team is openly talking about a win-or-bust mentality for 2005.

With autosport.com grabbing the chance to be the first to speak to Button after his first test at Valencia in Spain this week, the Briton exclusively reveals just why he feels BAR is going to have an extra special campaign.

It's been very good and, most important, it's been very reliable. This allowed me to do a lot of laps in the last couple of days and the lap times are good. There's a long way to go before the first race, but to get the car out of the box and get good times to start with, it is promising. The only other car we can compare it with is our Concept car and it compares well to that.

It's more physical, solely because we're doing more laps. The car is not easy to drive; it's more difficult because there's less downforce. But physically it's not so much more demanding. The thing is we're doing 130 laps a day and that's what makes it more tiring.

It just means we've got the train more, but that's not an issue. I do a lot of training, anyway, and I'm now heading to Monaco, where I'll be doing one week of training before the next test. With the way the regulations are now, in regard to the engines and the tyres, we have to do a lot of tests, to see if they last the distances required, so we're doing very long runs.

It's great to get the car out early and it was always our aim to get it out as early as possible. There's a lot of changes in the regulations and we want to do as much running as we possibly can. I'm sure there will be an update kit before the first race, which every team will do, but we thought it was more important to get the car onto the circuit as quickly as possible to get as much knowledge as possible from it. There's still a lot of work going on in the wind tunnel, but we wanted to get the car out on the circuit and make sure everything was running reliably and that we could do a lot of laps with Michelin to improve the tyres.

Pretty useful, because in this first two days of testing the 007 has been running pretty smoothly. We had a small problem on the first day of running, which cost us a bit of time, but today we've done 127 laps and a lot of tyre testing, doing lots of comparisons. We've also done some set-up work, and the balance is improving. We cannot say this car is going to win the world championship, but we're happy with it so far. The times are good, compared to the concept car, and if you look at the Sauber, they seem to be struggling even though they've already had a few days of testing at this very same track. So, it's nice to be in a strong position only after two days of testing.

I did follow the Sauber for a bit and to me it looked very stable, but I was gaining a lot on Jacques on braking.

Not at all, because I love this kind of pressure. And also I'm very confident with what I can do and I'm looking forward to this season. It's never going to be easy to win races, but that is our aim - to challenge Ferrari for race wins. Hopefully we'll be able to do that consistently and that will give us a chance to challenge for the championship as well.

We have to win this year. We're a team that wants to move forward every season and to move forward we have to win a race. There's no reason why we can't win in Melbourne. We want to be ready for the season when it starts and that's why we're doing so much testing. A win is what we need and from then on it will be a case of consistently challenging for the victory with whoever will be up there. I know Ferrari will be, but McLaren and maybe Williams will be up there too.

I don't think it will change much. If we win a race it will be because we're quick enough to win. People say that when you win your first grand prix you get used to winning and everything gets easier, but that's not the case. If we have a car quick enough to win then we'll win, and then there will be more victories because the car is quick, I'm sure. But we won't be winning more races because we've changed the way of thinking. But the first win is very important for the whole team and it has to happen in 2005.

It's definitively growing and there's a great atmosphere in the team, but it's never going to happen that everyone is 100 per cent happy. But it's great to have such an open relationship with Honda; they've got a lot of input also in the chassis, as well as the engine. They've got some very interesting ideas, which is going to help the team massively in the future.

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