Jenson Button is not likely to keep up with his new teammate Lewis Hamilton in the opening part of the 2010 season.
That is the admission of Button's friend and former rival David Coulthard, who previously rebuked commentators' claims that Hamilton will blow away the 2009 world champion this season.
After experiencing seating position problems at Valencia last week, Button trailed Hamilton's pace at Valencia as the pair got their first taste of the new MP4-25.
The situation seemed to play out fears that Button walked into the lion's den by switching from Brawn to McLaren.
"I'd expect Lewis to have the upper hand in the early part of the year," former long time McLaren driver Coulthard is quoted as saying by the Mirror.
"But it's a great chance for Jenson to show he's a great driver and a worthy champion," the Scot added.