Feb.1 (McLaren) Jenson Button joined Vodafone McLaren Mercedes as the newly crowned world champion at the end of the 2009 season and re-signed a new multi-year deal with the team last autumn.
His runner-up position in the 2011 world drivers’ championship, including victories in Hungary and Japan and a career-best last-to-first final-lap win in Canada, along with nine further podium finishes, underlined his credentials as one of the most respected and complete drivers in Formula 1 history.
The 2012 season will mark his 13th season in Formula 1.
Jenson said: “With the regulations remaining relatively stable, we’ve really been able to focus on the detail with this year’s car. I still think we had a very fast package last year – it was very strong in certain areas – and our race pace was almost always fantastic, but we’re hoping for a further step forwards in 2012. With Mercedes-Benz, I think we also had the best overall engine and KERS Hybrid package in the pitlane.
“We were also able to continuously develop throughout the year to match Red Bull – and that shows that we have the knowledge, effort and resources to sustain our efforts across the course of a whole season, which can be crucial.
“I know that the whole team is extremely proud of the MP4-27. It may look like a direct evolution of last year’s car, but we’ve analysed every area of performance over the winter and the whole car has benefited from lots of fresh thinking and new ideas in every area. I’m really looking forward to getting behind the wheel in Spain next week.
“I know that everyone will be watching us very closely to see what progress we make during the pre-season tests, but I genuinely believe we have every reason to feel optimistic about the progress we’ve made and our competitiveness this year.”