McLaren's Button happy with Honda's F1 progress but wants more

Jenson Button believes more is needed from Honda's power unit ahead of the season-opening Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, despite a positive first day of testing

McLaren's Button happy with Honda's F1 progress but wants more

With the Japanese manufacturer returning to F1 last season, McLaren endured a torrid time, finishing ninth in the constructors' championship and using more engines than Button and team-mate Fernando Alonso scored points - 27 to 23.

TECH ANALYSIS: McLaren MP4-31

At Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya on Monday, Button completed 84 laps for a total of 234 miles, 25 more miles than the team managed across all four days of last season's opening Jerez test.

Honda is on the right track according to Button, who said: "There are no negative points to the car.

"The standout is the deployment has been very good, very consistent throughout the day, no issues, and quite a big chunk better on the long runs compared to last year.

"Obviously it shows other weaknesses with the car we still need to improve, but it was a good day, and I'm reasonably happy.

"On outright pace? Who knows. If you look at the times you would say we are miles away, but we're not going out there to set a lap time, we're going out there to do different checks.

"We're obviously not going to be the quickest car at this test, and probably won't be for most of the year, but as long as we can see improvements, the feeling of the car is good and something to build on."

McLaren regaining confidence in test

Button finished sixth quickest overall, 1.796 seconds adrift of pacesetter Sebastian Vettel, with his best lap from a set of soft tyres compared to the top four who all posted their quickest laps on mediums.

The Briton knows more is required from Honda between now and Melbourne.

"[On] deployment we've made a good step forward, but with the power unit we've a lot of work still," he added.

"They [Honda] have done a good job on working on the reliability and pushing the deployment very hard over the winter.

"But I don't think any of us will be happy going to Melbourne with the power unit. There is definitely more to come from the first race. We need that."

Button, though, can at least sense Honda has made strides, not least behind the scenes after his dealings with the Japanese manufacturer's staff.

"I said when we had our first meeting yesterday, they have so much more confidence when they are talking in English," said Button.

"But they are also confident but they really believe in what they have done and achieved over the winter.

"It's great to see that confidence because initially it was a very different situation."

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