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

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'