Amid all the negative debate surrounding the sound and power of new era Formula 1 cars, it was refreshing to hear Jenson Button praise the new Mercedes V6 turbo engines at the end of his first full day of testing at Jerez on Wednesday.
After a trouble packed first day in Spain, Button in the McLaren MP4-29 was on track for day two which ended with him top of the timing sheets.
Button told media afterwards, “The power of the [Mercedes] engine is nice. It’s very torquey, it feels like the most powerful engine I’ve driven. It obviously isn’t in terms of outright power, but as a racing driver you feel the torque and power at the low speed and at 300 km/h you don’t really feel the difference.
“It’s coming out of the corners when you have so much torque that it’s exciting. A lot to improve with the car in that area, but with so many tools at our disposal I know exactly how we can improve the car,” explained the 2009 F1 World Champion.
“I think the positive thing is we have the ERS unit to fill in the gaps. I would say it’s a very drivable engine at this early stage. There are moments when you are part throttle through the corner and there’s all sorts going on. We’re used to revs, we’re used to downshifting but this is so, so different,” said Button.
Testing continues at Jerez for another two days – Thursday and Friday – before teams return to their bases for almost a month. The second chapter of testing begins in Bahrain later next month. (GP247)
Subbed by AJN.