Jenson Button believes McLaren will be able to make rapid progress having completed the Australian Grand Prix.
Finishing 11th, Button managed a race distance for the first time in 2015 after McLaren was hit by reliability issues throughout pre-season testing. While he admits that the race was difficult to manage, Button says the mileage should allow McLaren and Honda to make vast improvements over the coming weeks.
“Points really don’t mean anything to us anyway right now, there’s so much more to achieve and to do really before we’re majorly competitive,” Button said. “But a good day for us. Our longest stint was 12 laps before this weekend so I think that’s pretty impressive. We’re obviously a long way off but still, it’s a good starting point.
“There was a lot of fuel saving in the race and it was pretty tough for me out there but I still enjoyed it. I had a little bit of a battle for about 20 laps with Perez which was quite fun. I didn’t expect that, and then it was just about bringing it home. There’s a lot of useful data there which can hopefully give us a big step forward in Malaysia.”
And Button also says he was able to gauge the relative strengths of the MP4-30 against other cars during the race.
“Compared to the Force India we’re quicker in the corners and I pull out a big advantage. With the Red Bull and Sauber we look sort of similar through the corners in different ways - high speed corners they’re better than us, low speed I think we’re as good if not better - obviously Mercedes are just better everywhere.”
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