Jenson Button believes BAR is ahead of McLaren in the performances stakes after the first race of the year in Australia, and can challenge Williams in Malaysia. It was evident to everyone that McLaren was far from its best over the Melbourne ...
Jenson Button believes BAR is ahead of McLaren in the performances stakes after the first race of the year in Australia, and can challenge Williams in Malaysia. It was evident to everyone that McLaren was far from its best over the Melbourne weekend. Button qualified fourth and teammate Takuma Sato seventh, while the McLaren pair of Kimi Raikkonen and David Coulthard were 10th and 12th on the grid respectively.
Raikkonen retired from the race with an engine failure and Coulthard managed to scrape a single point in eighth. Button finished sixth and Sato ninth. "I think we are ahead of McLaren if you look at the lap they stopped on in the race, the first pit stop," said Button. "We are looking strong in qualifying compared to them and also in race trim I would say we seem to be quicker."
Button set exactly the same time in second qualifying as Williams' Juan Pablo Montoya, but the Colombian got the third place grid spot as he was faster in the first session. Button is hoping to be close to Williams' performance at Sepang but won't be satisfied until the wins start happening.
"I think we can be a lot closer to the Williams in Malaysia" he commented. "It's a great start for us and we're not jumping around in joy because we want to be quicker, we're not winning yet and we are never going to be happy until we are."
While Ferrari and tyre partner Bridgestone definitely had the upper hand in Melbourne's cool, cloudy conditions, the Michelin runners expect to fare better in Malaysia's heat. "A podium is definitely still realistic," Button added. "I think at the next circuit we are going to make a big step forward from here because we will know the tyres a lot more."