Button Upbeat on Imola Chances

Jenson Button is confident his BAR team will put their poor first three races behind and fight at the top at this weekend's San Marino Grand Prix

Button Upbeat on Imola Chances

BAR, yet to get a car across the finish line this season, have been working hard during the three-week break to get back on track.

Renault, who lost out to BAR in the Constructors' Championship last year, have scored 36 points.

With a new aerodynamic package in his car, Button set an unofficial Barcelona circuit record in testing before teammate Takuma Sato did the same at Paul Ricard, in France.

"I'm quite excited," Button told reporters at Imola. "It's been the best few tests I've had with the team, the amount of miles. We found quite a bit with the aero. I think we've made a good step forward. I don't want to get too excited because I am really excited."

The team retired both their cars from the season-opening race in Australia, and then suffered mechanical failures in Malaysia and Bahrain, leaving them with no points after the first three rounds of the season.

Button, however, is convinced the team have solved their reliability problems.

"We are going to be reliable, that's one thing that's sorted. It's just how competitive we are going to be on the circuit which hopefully we will be," he said.

"I think the top two will be the Renault and the Ferraris. I think Ferrari will be quick. But for me the Michelin tyres are so superior that they will suffer. They've suffered in every race so far with wear so they are probably going to have to bring a harder tyre here, even though it's cooler conditions.

"Their race pace might be good but I think their qualifying will suffer."

The Briton, who scored 11 podiums last year, made no secret of the fact the start of the year has been extremely disappointing after the team set the target of scoring their first victory.

"It was obviously very disappointing but it's behind us now," Button added. "We can't do anything about it. If we can turn it round it will be such an achievement for us. I've been thinking about the win but it's a huge step to make.

"It would be a big leap but if we are able to do that it would shock a few people and would put us in a very strong position for the rest of the year."

The San Marino Grand Prix, where Button scored his first Formula One pole position last year, will be a fresh start, he claims.

"It's like another season. This is where it really kicks off for us. We got plenty of experience from the first two races - what not to do in some cases. But we are obviously getting some good experience and coming here now we are all really excited about the rest of the season.

"Hopefully if we can get a good result here it will show we can be strong for the rest of the year."

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