Jenson Button says McLaren-Honda is working tirelessly in its efforts to make up ground on its rivals after a tough opening race in Australia.
Button was lapped twice on route to 11th and last in Melbourne, while Kevin Magnussen, standing in for Fernando Alonso, failed to even make the start after an engine problem on his way to the grid.
Despite a tough opening round to the season, Button is adamant that McLaren can make progress as the year continues.
“Melbourne was certainly a challenging weekend for us, but there were positives to take from it,” Button said. “A lot of our performance was largely unknown coming into the weekend given the limited running we had over winter testing.
“Despite our finishing position, getting to the chequered flag has meant that we’re now armed with much more data about our package and we can learn a huge amount from it.
“Of course, nobody can be happy with finishing at the back of the pack, and we know there is a lot to do to bridge the gap to the rest of the field.
“However, the work going on within McLaren-Honda both in Woking and Sakura is relentless; the whole team is working tirelessly to keep developing our package to ensure we keep making steady progress.”
Button admits he is not expecting any miracles in Malaysia, but is hopeful McLaren can once again go the distance, after completing a race distance for the first in Australia.
“Malaysia will be another tricky step in the learning process for us,” he added. “It’s often an unpredictable race and the extreme temperatures will test our car and tyres to limits that they haven’t been exposed to yet in testing.
“With the possibility of rain added to the mix, it will be interesting to see how our car behaves in changeable conditions.
“Our aim is to maximise our mileage throughout the whole weekend.”
This article first appeared on Richland F1 – Image courtesy of McLaren