Button: McLaren are better suited to Melbourne streets

The world champion Jenson Button says he can see plenty of room for improvement at next week's Australian Grand Prix after a disappointing debut with McLaren.

Speaking at the launch of McLaren's new supercar yesterday, the Briton said he and his team-mate Lewis Hamilton had already sat down with engineers at the factory to pinpoint what went wrong at the season-opening Bahrain event, which finished in a 1-2 for Ferrari.

"Looking at it now, there are a few things that we probably would have done differently over the weekend and there's a lot of room for improvement with the car," said the 30-year-old Button before heading off for a final session in the team's race simulator.

"It was really tricky getting the balance right (in Bahrain) but I think with what we've learned from that weekend, and what we've talked about in the meeting on Tuesday, there are a lot of areas where we see we can improve for the next race."

Button, who won the title with Brawn last year, finished seventh in last Sunday's dull curtain-raiser to the Formula One season. He is setting his sights much higher when the championship shifts to Melbourne on Sunday week.

Hamilton, the 2008 world champion, was third in Bahrain after Red Bull's early leader Sebastian Vettel suffered a spark plug problem. "It didn't go as well as I would have liked, the actual finish position, but over the weekend I felt that we all worked very well together," Button said.

Button added that Melbourne, a street circuit where he won last year in what was then the season opener, would suit McLaren better than Sakhir's desert layout. "It's always treated me well in the past so I look forward to it," he said confidently.

Hamilton, who had a difficult start to last season in an underperforming McLaren, agreed. "You would not believe how much we've learned from just that one race weekend," he said of Bahrain. "We had a meeting on Tuesday and we literally just drilled into the engineers to really dissect everything... I think we will be in a better position in the next race as our car should suit the corners better."

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