Button: GP2 will be close to Formula 1
5 February 2014 – Jenson Button says GP2 cars will be close to matching Formula 1 lap times at certain circuits this season, with the field getting to grips with one of the biggest technical regulation overhauls in the sport's history.
Turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 power units made their on-track debut at the Circuito de Jerez last week alongside a host of aerodynamic and chassis changes, with drivers later describing a massive difference behind the wheel.
And with times more than five seconds slower than the same stage last year, Button reckons Formula 1's primary feeder category could find itself level as the teams journey through the early stages of car development.
"They [GP2] will be a lot closer at certain circuits," Button commented. "At the high speed circuits we will be quicker but not that much quicker, but then again this was the first test of the year with a very new package."
Button added that tyre changes and additional weight count for the majority of time loss, estimating 1.6-1.8 seconds, but he is confident that the situation will improve significantly as the season progresses.
"Last year hardly changed at all in terms of the regulations, so at the first test we were always going to be quite quick and then improve for the first race, but not by a massive chunk," the McLaren driver went on to explain.
"At the first race this year everyone will be much quicker. Three races in there will be another second or so. By the end of the year we might not be that far off , just a couple of seconds when we get a real handle on it."