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Jenson Button has refused to put thoughts of a world title bid out of his head after McLaren’s troublesome start to the 2013 campaign, explaining that there is plenty of scope for success as the development race comes into play.
The Briton, who could finish no higher than ninth in Australia while team-mate Sergio Pérez struggled to an 11th place result, believes his team should draw confidence from Fernando Alonso’s efforts with an under-par Ferrari last season.
"There is that side of it, which is very positive," Button said ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix. "Fernando was one and a half seconds off the pace of us at the start of the season and almost won the title. So yes, it is possible for a front-running team to make up the deficit. If it's the same as their situation, I don't know."
Although significant upgrades will take time to be applied to the MP4-28, Button is hopeful that the outfit's 'very different approach' will ultimately pay off.
"There are always strengths and weaknesses, and then it's about how many of each, but it's not the place we'd like to be at the start of a year," Button went on to explain.
"For us, a lot has changed with the car over the winter and for most of the teams that's not been the case. They have developed what they had last season. We just took a very different approach. At this moment in time, we're obviously not as happy as we were hoping to be, but it's only the first race and there's so much we can achieve."
Button heads into this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix as a past winner of the event, having triumphed at Sepang during his title-winning year of 2009 with Brawn GP.
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