Jenson Button believes that in the first season of the all new V6 turbo Formula 1 era the cars will not be much quicker than the GP2 feeder series.
Button, who topped the testing times on day two at Jerez at the wheel of the McLaren MP4-29, said, “We’ll be quicker [than GP2], but not that much quicker. Then again, it was the first test with a very new package. They’ll be a lot closer on certain circuits.”
“Last year, in terms of the regulations, things [had] hardly changed at all so at the first test we were going to be quite quick, and you improve for the first race, but it wasn’t a massive chunk.”
“Whereas now, when we get to the first race, everyone is going to be much quicker, and three races in, there’ll be another chunk in terms of laptime.”
“By the end of the year we might not be that far off [the pace of 2013 cars], maybe a couple of seconds, which will be pretty good when we get a real handle on where we are.”
“This year’s tyres, we think, are half a second slower. The cars are also heavier, about one to 1.2 seconds through weight, so that’s 1.6, 1.8 seconds already from those two changes.
“So this year we were always going to be slower,” concluded the 2009 World Champion.
Button’s teammate Kevin Magnussen set the fastest time of 1.23.276 during the four days at Jerez, which compares to Felipe Massa’s best time of 1.17.879 a year earlier at the wheel of a Ferrari.
The GP2 lap record around Jerez stands at 1:24.262, set by Kamui Kobayashi in 2008. (GP247)
Subbed by AJN.