Upbeat Jenson Button declares new McLaren upgrade 'a definite step forward'

A new suite of aerodynamic upgrades have allowed McLaren to make a 'definite step forward' as it aims to kick off its championship campaign strongly with the promising new MP4-27, according to an upbeat Jenson Button

Upbeat Jenson Button declares new McLaren upgrade 'a definite step forward'

Despite a hydraulic problem limiting the Briton to just 44 laps running in the car fitted with upgrades on his final day of pre-season testing ahead of the Australian Grand Prix, Button declared himself comfortable with the McLaren he takes into the season opener in two weeks' time.

"It worked out well - the laps I actually ran in it," he said afterwards. "Immediately when we put the upgrades on it felt much better.

"There were some areas where we were lacking in the car, but we knew it would become better when we put the updates on."

Button's programme was disrupted through the morning with the hydraulic issues, which hindered his ability to fully explore the new package: "I did two runs but both were difficult because we had issues with the hydraulics, but we knew we had to get some running in so we could collect data for the new package.

"Then we had two hours plus of downtime before lunch. So we lost a good part of the day when there was a good temperature and no wind. After lunch we went out and did some short runs, basically comparing tyres and the car felt good.

"We were just about to get into the setup work and then it started raining. But it's a definite step forward.

"It's great the upgrade we got today, but we weren't able to progress with it and get a perfect set-up. Hopefully tomorrow Lewis [Hamilton] can have a nice, clean day and we can progress with it because there's still more to come. The feeling is positive though."

Button added that in spite of the positive feedback about the new package, it was still too difficult to tell whether it was enough to make the MP4-27 a Red Bull beater in the early stages of the season.

"The good thing is that it gives us what we expected," he said. "The car is feeling good. Whether we're fastest, second fastest, not fast, I don't know. But it feels we've made a good step.

"I'm reasonably happy with what we have going to the first race. I don't know where we are, but I'm feeling comfortable. Look at the times and a few people stand out as impressive. One is [Sergio] Perez because he did his time on softs, and we noticed that with [Kamui] Kobayashi at the last test - most people do theirs on supersofts. [Sauber] have done a good job. Nice to see the smaller teams competitive, but hopefully not too competitive.

"The Red Bull, in my opinion, was heavy on fuel today. They made some upgrades today that they ran. Perhaps they don't want to show their hand, so they're running fuel. We don't know how much, so why guess? Let's just focus on what we're doing."

shares
comments
Bruno Senna says 2012 Williams very easy on tyres
Previous article

Bruno Senna says 2012 Williams very easy on tyres

Next article

Kimi Raikkonen shrugs off Lotus's lost mileage

Kimi Raikkonen shrugs off Lotus's lost mileage
The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start Plus

The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start

While it launched the F1 career 
of a future world champion, STUART CODLING recalls that the BT60 was also the final nail in the coffin of a once-great marque 30 years ago. Here is its story

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022