McLaren drivers play down Friday pace
16 March 2012 – McLaren promised much in Friday practice for the Australian Grand Prix, with the Woking cars heading the field in the opening session. Afterwards, both Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton pointed out areas in which improvements must be made.
There was just 15th and 16th places for the team in the second session, as both drivers elected for no representative lap time on a green circuit fresh from heavy rain. However, both Englishmen remained focussed after the one-two result of earlier on.
“Even though it doesn’t mean too much, it’s always nice to start the season with the quickest time of the day,” 2009 Champion Button began. “Our car feels very different compared with the last test – the circuit is different and the average corner speed is a lot lower, but the car is still working well for me.
"There are still a few areas where I think we can improve, and we didn’t get as many laps in today as we’d have liked, but it’s been a positive day.”
Team-mate Lewis Hamilton – also a Melbourne race winner in his title year, 2008 – delivered a similar reaction to Button, remaining calm about the team’s capabilities.
“Our car feels there or thereabouts but, as in testing, we don’t know the fuel loads the others were running - it still looks close between ourselves, Red Bull and Mercedes,” Hamilton added.