Jenson Button finished the day fifth fastest and the Englishman admitted that he was pleasantly surprised by how the cars performed in Melbourne although the performance of his McLaren is still a question mark for the Englishman.
On a dusty street circuit that is far from ideal for drivers to get a proper feel for the potential of their new mounts Button commented that, “ In all honesty, these cars work better around here than I’d imagined, but Sunday’s race will be very different.”
The Englishman has won the Australian Grand Prix on three occasions and after the day he commented about his performance today:
“I always enjoy this circuit – it’s quite bumpy and there’s no room for error, which always makes it fun! The long runs weren’t as much fun as I’d hoped they’d be, because you need to save a lot of fuel.”
Button then went on to comment about how different things were for drivers and while the change in style looks set to play into the hands of cerebral drivers like Button he did comment that it still plays against the natural instinct of a racing driver to be in fuel save mode:
“It’s such a different way of driving – you’re lifting off very early, and there’s lots of lift-and-coasting around the lap. On low fuel, however, it’s really fun to drive. Our car balance isn’t quite there yet – we’re still struggling a little in the high-speed corners. In the low-speed corners, we’re looking reasonable, and all our electronics are working well. I don’t think our outright pace is quite as good as it looks on the time sheets, but we’ve got a good understanding of the car and overall I’d say we’re looking okay.”