Jenson Button believes the updated McLaren MP4-25 he tested today will be quicker once the team have improved its set-up.
Speaking to reporters at the Circuit de Cataluna today he said:
There’s definitely more to come with this car. We went from having high fuel in the car to going out and doing lower-fuel runs and it’s very difficult because you haven’t done any set-up work. The day was too short for me today, really.
Given another day of testing I know what I’d do to the car to improve it. Hopefully Lewis will be testing a few things that are useful tomorrow. Because to be out of the box with a package that’s this consistent and with the pace that we’ve got, I’m very happy.
I don’t think we are at our maximum yet but we will do our best tomorrow to get the maximum out of the car. The set-up changes the team are thinking about for tomorrow could help us quite a lot and improve the balance. It’s a good update but we’re not getting the best out of it yet because we haven’t done enough laps.
A rain shower during testing in Barcelona today meant the team weren’t able to perfect the set-up of the revised car before embarking on a race distance run this afternoon. He said:
This morning was frustrating because it was wet but it wasn’t wet enough to get any useful running in. It was greasy – the worst possible conditions you could have.
So it wasn’t perfect, especially when you’ve had an update on the car. This afternoon we did one run which seemed OK and then we thought ‘we’ve got to get into doing some mileage and reliability checks’. Do a race distance and give the boys a chance to do some pit stops.
Our race run was great, we didn’t get any red flags until the last couple of laps of the last stint. The boys did a great job not only with reliability but also with pit stops. It was quite fun because there was a lot of other cars out on the circuit doing the same sort of thing, especially the Ferrari. And there was a little bit of rain for five or six laps.
It was a lot of fun and it was interesting to see what happens through a race, from 150, 160-odd kilos down to zero fuel. It’s about managing the tyres and managing the fuel load. There’s a lot more that you have to think about than last season.
In 2009 you had to think about looking after the tyres, but it was over a 22-lap period and you obviously had a lot less fuel in the car. Now the car is very heavy and it’s going to be very tricky. But we got a lot of useful information today.
He also gave his thoughts on how the competition is shaping up and tipped Sauber to shine in the opening races:
If you look at the times today on the long runs the Ferrari is competitive – but we all knew that. Others I don’t really know about. But the Sauber’s going to surprise a few people, I think it’s quicker than most people realise. They’ll be up there at the first race.
There’s five or six teams that could be competitive but it’s all a bit of a guessing game at the moment and it will be until we qualify on Saturday at Bahrain. And I think that’s great for the sport and it’s exciting for the fans of F1.