Belfast Telegraph

Lack of pace is worrying Jenson Button

Jenson Button has tempered the expectation of McLaren fans ahead of the new Formula One season by warning his car is not quick enough.

Button posted practice times yesterday that suggested he would be in the hunt for a potential podium finish in tomorrow's Australian Grand Prix.

The 34-year-old was second-quickest in the opening practice session and fifth-fastest in FP2, finishing 0.885 seconds behind Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton.

The reality for Button, however, is he is off the pace compared to Mercedes, Ferrari, and seemingly Red Bull who are back on the right path after a winter of discontent.

"The car is not as bad to drive as I thought it would be around here. It was quite fun to drive," said Button, a three-time winner in Australia. "But we're not there, and I don't think our outright pace is as good as it looks.

"I don't know where we are, but we did get some running, so some good understanding for the race, but at the moment there are a few areas where we are weak and we can't really strengthen the car. There is definitely room for improvement because we're not quick enough right now."

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