The Jenson’s team-mate Hamilton set the top fastest time at the circuit in pre-season testing and Button believes the track will still suit the modified MP4-25 next race.
There are some fast corners, like turn nine and the final corner, but the majority of the track is made up of pretty long corners where you really need the car to do all the work,he added. It’s a circuit that really rewards precision, and punishes aggression. And if you’ve got a car that wants to understeer, then you’re going to have a difficult race. Fortunately, our car does seem to have a very good neutral balance in the high-speed corners – it’s probably the most impressive aspect of the car – and we went well during pre-season testing, so I think we go into this weekend feeling pretty well prepared.
The 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton said he was looking forward to getting his hands on the modified McLaren, but admitted it might still be outpaced in a dry race.
“We’ve got a couple of fairly significant upgrades coming for this race,” he said. “And while it would be naive to think that these will move us up the pecking order – because almost all the teams produce a major bodywork update for Barcelona – we’re optimistic that they’ll once again help us to bridge the gap to the leading cars. And, of course, we’ve proved in the past that we’ve been both extremely capable and prolific at adding performance to the car across the course of the season, so I’m hopeful that we’ll be heading into Barcelona in good shape. If it’s a dry race, then, realistically, I think it’s going to be harder for us to be up at the front. As we did in China, we’ll be putting additional emphasis on qualifying; it will be more important than ever in Barcelona as, traditionally, it’s always been a track where overtaking is very difficult. Given that most cars will only be stopping once, we have less scope for passing, so a good grid position will be vital here.”
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