Jenson Button says he’s “not getting carried away” with the performance of his revised McLaren after going fastest on Friday in Melbourne.
Button said: “Today showed that, first of all, we’ve got reliability – which is great. That’s something we’ve not had all winter, so to have a car that runs for as many laps as we want it to is very satisfying. It also means we can get stuck into our set-up work and improve the car.
"I don’t think there’s much to be gained from looking at today’s times though, so I’m not going to get too carried away.
“Still, it’s been a positive day because we’ve been able to do so much running and get a good feeling for the car on different fuel loads.
“The new exhaust has definitely brought performance to the car – it feels much better, makes the handling more complete.
“When you have downforce at the rear, you can also add it at the front, and then you put temperature in the tyres – there’s so much that comes with downforce.
“I’m so happy with how hard the guys have worked and what they’ve brought to this race – they’ve worked really hard and they’ve delivered something good here.
“We don’t yet know how good, but we’re encouraged by the step we’ve made today.”
Lewis Hamilton described the revised MP4-26 as “a big step forward”:
“Hopefully we can pick up some points this weekend – I feel positive. The grip level today felt like a big step forward.
“We don’t know what fuel loads the others are running, but our car feels like a big improvement from where we were just a few weeks ago.
“And that’s simply a result of hard work: all the men and women back at the factory and at the track this weekend have done a fantastic job.
“It’s difficult to gauge how different our car is, but there’s more downforce, which is something we’re always asking for.
“This is a major positive. Our initial feeling is that the car is good, but we’ll need to see tomorrow – still, I think we’re in the hunt for some points.”
2011 Australian Grand Prix
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