2009 world champion Jenson Button says that 2012 F1 title predicting an “extremely close” fight. In 2011 Vettel and Red Bull dominated entire season, but this year McLaren drivers optimistic after pre-season test. McLaren’s MP4-27 is quick over a single lap while it also possess good long-distance pace with little drop-off in times.
“You always want more laps and more time in the car, but, unlike last year, we’ve had a very solid start to our pre-season,” said Button.
“It’s been very difficult to read pace over the winter because a lot of teams have been playing their cards close to their chests. I think it’s going to be extremely close, and I can’t wait to find out where we sit in the pecking order.”
“I think the new rules have definitely made it a more competitive place – it’s easier to pass here now than it ever was.
“And I think the potential of a second DRS zone will be a real benefit – last year, along the startline wasn’t quite enough for overtaking – I think we’ll get more benefit from a second zone.”
But how McLaren will perform next weekend, team boss Martin Whitmarsh is not even willing to guess other to say that the Woking team is hungry for success.
“As is often the case, you can complete thousands of kilometres of testing, analyse hundreds of thousands of lines of performance data and read pages of web and magazine editorial and still not have a clear idea of overall form going into the first race.
“We’ve had an extremely productive winter – I’ve never seen Jenson and Lewis looking so healthy, committed and prepared for a new season. There’s a real hunger within the whole organisation – I’ve witnessed it in conversation with our heads of department, our engineers and our mechanics: we want to win more than ever and we’ve left no stone unturned in our quest for performance.
“Make no mistake, this will be a long, arduous and difficult campaign, and I’m naturally reluctant to stick my neck out and make any predictions, but my greatest hope is that we go to Australia and put on a world-beating show to demonstrate to the world that Formula 1 is back, and back with a bang!”
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