McLaren in 'better position than most' after first F1 practice day

Jenson Button believes McLaren had a better first day of Formula 1 practice than most of its rivals in tricky conditions ahead of the Australian Grand Prix

McLaren in 'better position than most' after first F1 practice day

Both free practice sessions at the Albert Park circuit were affected by showers and high winds, making it difficult for teams to get much useful running.

But Button feels McLaren had a productive day, which has put it in good shape heading into the rest of the race weekend.

"We did what we could in the conditions, and we are probably in a better position than most for tomorrow," said the 2009 world champion.

"There's a lot of testing you can do - we'd obviously like to do more but there's no point in these conditions.

"We made the best of today, probably better than some teams, so we'll see what we can do tomorrow."

Button's first victory for McLaren came in changeable conditions in the 2010 Australian Grand Prix, but he accepts that even on a good day the Honda-powered MP4-31 would not be in a position to capitalise on a similar situation this year.

"The problem is, even if we make the right calls, and I'm in the lead, we're probably not going to win!" he said.

"It it's mixed conditions, we've done our homework with the new regulations and how the tyres are working, so maybe it would make a small difference to our end result.

"We're in a much better position than last year as a whole.

"The car is reliable which is great, so you can actually do the set-up work before qualifying.

"It's not going to be two seconds quicker than last year, so we're not going to be fighting at the front just yet, but there are definite improvements and today was a good day."

Team-mate Fernando Alonso said he was pleased to try the 2016 McLaren on another circuit after all of the pre-season running took place at Barcelona.

"Sometimes you get to another circuit and have a nice surprise or a bad surprise," said the Spaniard.

"We had a nice surprise, so I'm happy for that.

"We completed more or less the programme, just some normal tests that we missed [because of the weather]."

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Series Formula 1
Teams McLaren
Author Glenn Freeman
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