Jenson Button remains in a confident mood after his success in Australia, and thinks that McLaren should be able to deal with the extremely different Malaysian conditions without too much trouble.
The new McLaren MP4-27 looked fantastic in the relatively cool conditions in Melbourne, but the tropical heat and long sweeping corners of the Sepang circuit in Kuala Lumpur will test another set of the car’s capabilities. “Within the team we’ve talked about Malaysia, and obviously it’s a very different place than Melbourne,” said Button.
“We’ve got a very good understanding of the car, and there’s still more to come, but we’ve only driven it in cool conditions.”
The McLaren F1 team have had an uncharacteristically good start to the season. For the past couple of years they have had difficulty in getting the car to perform in the first few races, and they are better known for their strong research and improvements to the car during the course of the season. With Hamilton taking pole and both their drivers finishing on the podium, McLaren must be delighted with their success over the winter period, and if they can continue this form during the Malaysian Grand Prix Red Bull Racing will be facing a formidable challenge.
On the other hand it would be foolish to underestimate Red Bull, who have been overlooked somewhat after taking 2nd and 4th down under. Button thinks that Malaysia might witness the resurgence of a few teams who hadn’t quite got their setups sorted in Australia, and the British driver believes that Red Bull could well show some dramatic improvements.
“There are a few cars that maybe didn’t get the best out of what they had at the weekend,” said Button. “I’m sure Red Bull are going to be massively quick this race. I don’t think qualifying went very well for them, and Seb put his car in the gravel in practice. But they were quick in the race, so they’re going to be there.”