Jan.3 (PVM) Jenson Button believes that McLaren can challenge the dominance of Red Bull in 2012, but is urging his McLaren team to start the season strong from the outset and avoid last year’s pre-season fiasco which had them on the back foot from the outset.
Button told TotalRace, “We have to start the new season stronger, this is something we want to do. Let’s make things more difficult for them [Red Bull]. Our weakness last year was the winter and we must work to prevent this from happening again.”
Last year McLaren delivered the MP4-26 a test late and thereafter had huge problems that forced them to burn the midnight oil to deliver a competitive car in Australia for the season opener. By the end of the season the team were best of the rest behind the pace setting Red Bull team.
Button believes that the energy drinks stable still have the edge, “We are still not fast enough. But we were their closest rivals and beat them on occasion. So we can beat them, but they still have a bit more pace and that’s what we fight to find in the winter.”
For many pundits Button has been a revelation since he moved to McLaren, growing in stature and beating his highly rated team mate Lewis Hamilton.
The 2009 world champion makes no secret of the fact that he is thoroughly enjoying his tenure with one of the most successful F1 teams in history.
“It’s a great foundation and I think the team should be happy, as our partnership is still very new. It was often difficult to fight against Red Bull, but when we beat them it was even more special because we know how competitive they were,” said Button who will start his 13th year in F1 and will be making his 209th start when he lines up on the grid the season opener in Melbourne on 18 March.