Hamilton penalty not an automatic bonus for Button in China

Jenson Button does not believe that Lewis Hamilton's grid penalty is automatically a good thing for him

Although the five-place drop that Hamilton will suffer as the result of a gearbox change leaves the way open for Button to secure pole position, the Briton is aware that his team-mate being out of position could complicate his own strategy.

When asked by AUTOSPORT if it makes his life easier knowing that Hamilton will start down the order, Button said: "In a way it does. But it also throws it up in the air a lot more. It's a strange one: you would say it should make life easier for me, but does it? I don't know, we'll have to wait and see."

He added: "If we are in different positions on the grid, and run different strategies, sometimes you don't want that. We will have to see what happens.

"It's obviously sad for Lewis and for the whole team as well because it is an issue and we don't like to have reliability issues. We have got to hope that it doesn't happen again and we can put it behind us.

"Obviously it was unlucky for Lewis that it happened on his car and not my car, but if you don't find the problem you can't solve it and it could easily happen on my car next race so... hopefully we can find and solve that problem so it doesn't happen again."

Button is upbeat about McLaren's potential for the Chinese Grand Prix, after the team locked out the front row at the opening two grands prix.

"We were unlucky in Malaysia and obviously there were a couple of mistakes, but as a team I think we've done well at the start of the year. We come here with a few upgrades and it's not like the years before when we've sort of brought six tenths of a second of upgrades. You just can't do that in terms of the ways the cars are limited now because of the regulations, but I am very happy with what we have brought here.

"I think the team has done a great job to do that considering we're probably one of the teams that most teams are copying in terms of the design of the car so it's tricky for us. So really our war is with Red Bull, the Lotus, which I don't think has had a proper weekend yet, and the Mercedes, which obviously hasn't had a proper weekend yet. It's not going to be a walk in the park this weekend, it's going to be very, very competitive."

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