Jenson Button in confident mood ahead of new season

 

Jenson Button today touched down in Australia with a smile on his face knowing he has a car to fight for this season's Formula One world title.

The athlete in Button yesterday competed in a 10k road run in Japan as part of his build up towards this Sunday's curtain-raising race to the 2012 campaign in Melbourne's Albert Park.

For Button, team-mate Lewis Hamilton and all within McLaren, there is a general mood of optimism after a relatively successful pre-season.

Although the MP4-27 did not top the timesheet once on any of the 12 days spread across Jerez and Barcelona, anybody with an eye for detail could tell McLaren are ready for a championship push.

Last season Button and the Woking-based marque were forced to settle for distant runner-up positions in the drivers' and constructors' championships respectively to the all-conquering Sebastian Vettel and his Red Bull team.

On this occasion the title race would appear to be too close to call, in particular as Lotus and Mercedes are threatening to come flying out of the traps.

From Button's perspective, after a turbulent winter for McLaren last year from which the team never really recovered despite three wins apiece for himself and Hamilton, the signs are good.

"Arriving in Melbourne I'm a lot happier than I was last year," said Button.

"We've had a good winter in terms of reliability most of the time, except for my final day when the car had a hydraulics issue.

"But I feel we have made good progress with the car, and there's nothing I'm afraid of with its balance. It listens to changes which is really important

"So I'm very happy with the direction we've taken and with the package we have on the car, very happy, and I'm happy with what we've achieved so far.

"As long as we find a good set-up with the new package we should be looking pretty good for the first race.

"So it's been a really good winter. The whole team will say the same in terms of what's been happening with the car."

Button also claims to have his head "definitely in the right place", so with the correct mental approach and with the car beneath him, half the battle has already been won ahead of the first shots being fired in anger this weekend.

"I feel in a very good place with the team, that I've a great bunch of engineers and mechanics around me," said Button.

"There's nothing I would look at and say 'that's an area where we are weak' or 'maybe that could be better'. It's all gone right at the moment."

Button has even taken on the services of nutritional specialists BeFit Monaco to assist him with his diet and ensure his body is receiving the right food when it needs it most.

Even at the age of 32, an old dog can learn new tricks as he said: "It sounds crazy but when you are at the top of any sport you've got to look for anything, to run through different things.

"Certain things work for certain people, can keep you positive and in the right frame of mind for when the time you need it within the car, and also out of the car.

"It's all going really well. I'm enjoying it. It's been a lot of fun."

Adding to the sense of anticipation is the fact there is a greater air of uncertainty as to who has the early upper hand that surrounds the start to this season than many previously.

The two-time winner around Albert Park said: "It's been very difficult to read pace over the winter because a lot of teams have been playing their cards close to their chests.

"I think it's going to be extremely close, and I can't wait to find out where we sit in the pecking order."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
News
science
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power