McLaren MP4-27 'feels right' says Jenson Button

 

Jenson Button is convinced he has "a good base" on which to build a more solid start to the new Formula One season.

Button yesterday had the honour of being the first to put the new McLaren, the MP4-27, through its paces at the Circuito de Jerez in southern Spain.

Compared to a year ago - when McLaren ran last season's car for the first time in Jerez, which staged the second test - Button was all smiles.

Last February the team soon realised they had blundered with the novel concept of their exhaust that put them on the back foot.

A year on, and after completing 60 laps, Button was a happy man - in particular as there were no issues with balance and grip, the kind of areas that usually plague new cars.

"There are no niggly areas with the car, which is nice. It's quite different to last year," Button said.

"There's obviously work we need to do to improve it, but it feels right, which is good.

"You're never going to start off with a perfect car, but I feel it is more together, and it feels a very good base for the coming days."

The feeling for Button was like night and day in comparison to last year, and he is already predicting a very closely-fought start to the new campaign which starts in Australia on March 18.

"Last year we had reliability issues with the exhaust," Button said.

"For one lap it felt like you could get something out of the car, but then the degradation (of the tyres) was massive. We knew that from the word go.

"So yes, it does feel very different to testing last year, which is a good thing really because it's not like we can stick on an exhaust that will give us two seconds at the first race.

"The regulations are very different now, so I think you are going to see the cars a lot more bunched up this season - especially at the start of the year when racing gets under way.

"As we improve throughout the season the field will split a little more, but at the start you are going to have a lot of cars within a few tenths (of a second).

"That's great for the sport. It just makes it a little more complicated and difficult for us."

Button finished eighth on the timesheet, almost two seconds down on the returning Kimi Raikkonen in his Lotus, although timings are irrelevant where testing is concerned.

Raikkonen, though, also appeared to be relatively content with his day's work in the E20.

"It was a positive first day and everything went almost to plan," said the 2007 world champion.

"We had no major issues and I got a good feel for the car and the tyres, and I'm happy with the balance, which feels good.

"I also did more than a race distance and didn't have any physical problems at all, which is good, so now I'm looking forward to making further progress with the car tomorrow."

Paul di Resta completed 101 laps in his Force India and was second to Raikkonen, with Red Bull's Mark Webber fourth quickest and Felipe Massa ninth in his Ferrari.

PA

Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
Life and Style
life
Sport
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
News
Amazon misled consumers about subscription fees, the ASA has ruled
news
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn