Button: The car isn't quite there yet
28 February 2014 – Jenson Button exuded positivity regarding the potential of the McLaren MP4-29 but admits that the car 'isn't quite there yet'.
Button set the fifth fastest time on the second day of the third test in Bahrain but spent a significant portion of the day stuck in the garage after his MP4-29 developed a gearbox problem.
Button nonetheless returned to the circuit and racked up 52 laps.
"We had a problem within the gearbox – it took a while to change, as anything within the power-unit does these days – but we got back out at the end, and everything ran smoothly, which was good," he said.
"It was a shame to lose that time – it’s the first major issue we’ve had this winter; but it’s better to suffer it here, rather than at a race weekend."
Button believes the basic performance of the MP4-29 is good but reckons the team still has to extract its potential.
"We were still able to do a long-run on high-fuel this afternoon. The basic car is good, and there's a great deal of potential there, but there’s still a lot of work to do," he said. "We have a good understanding of the power-unit, and we know how to race it, but, in terms of balance and grip, the car isn’t quite there yet.
"But I know we've got some good improvements in the pipeline – and they should help us close the gap to the front of the grid."