Button buoyed by McLaren progress

Fri Feb 27, 2015 3:14pm EST
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By Alan Baldwin

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Jenson Button saw signs of real progress at McLaren on Friday after a day's work where he completed 101 laps of the Circuit de Catalunya in Formula One testing.

"Wow, we have something to talk about. I'm sorry I'm late but I had a really long debrief with the engineers," he said, grinning to a crowd of reporters who had waited for him to appear in the team hospitality tent.

"Good progress made today, it wasn't hard really from yesterday," added the Briton who had managed only one timed lap the day before.

McLaren, the second most successful team in terms of race wins, have had a woeful pre-season with the start of their new partnership with Honda beset with reliability problems.

To put it all into perspective, Button's lap tally from Friday was one more than they had managed in the first five days of testing.

"The reliability has been great today, a really big step forward by everyone," said Button whose double world champion team mate Fernando Alonso is absent from the final test after crashing heavily at the circuit on Sunday.

"It's amazing what you get done when you have a reliable car...so a lot of positives out of today. If you look at the timing screens we're nowhere near quick enough but there's a lot we can improve on for the next couple of days.

"All the aerodynamicists and engineers were just sinking their teeth into what we've done today. For most teams 100 laps isn't really anything. But for us it's like 1,000 laps because there's so much still for us to learn about this package."   Continued...

McLaren Formula One racing driver Jenson Button of Britain drives his car during pre-season testing at the Jerez racetrack in southern Spain February 4, 2015. REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo