Jenson Button has attempted to play down suggestions that the Brawn GP team will run away with proceedings at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, claiming that Australia may have masked the comparative strengths of its rivals.
Button and team-mate Rubens Barrichello annexed the front row of the grid in Melbourne, and came away with a 1-2 finish after the Brazilian was gifted second spot by the accident involving Robert Kubica and Sebastian Vettel, but Button is keen to leave any predictions until after later in the Sepang weekend.
"I don't know, we have to wait and see," he said, when asked if he expected to enjoy the same performance gap over the rest of the field, "We don't really know how much advantage we had in Melbourne either. It's difficult to say with the safety cars and what-have-you, but it wasn't a perfect weekend in Melbourne.
"If we get a perfect weekend here, obviously we'll be looking strong, but this is a very different circuit and I think that some of the other teams could be strong here. I think that the cars with KERS, as far as we know, will have a bigger advantage than they had in Melbourne, so they are obviously to watch out for, especially Ferrari, so we'll wait and see.
"We hope we've got an advantage, but we won't know until qualifying on Saturday. It's difficult to say, after one race, that we're unbeatable. Red Bull were obviously quick, quicker than what we expected in Melbourne - I didn't think that they would be the team that would be up at the front. I also think that Ferrari will catch up, they always do. Those two teams are the teams for me that are going to be competitive going forward - and also BMW.
"It's a very strange mix with teams this year. It seems to be very close - we seem to have a slight advantage and then everyone else is very close and in the mix. It makes it exciting and I think different people will stand out at this race."
Regardless of whether his rivals can close in, however, Button remains confident that the Brawn BGP001 will be a potent weapon in Malaysia.
"You have got to hope so," he admitted, "In winter testing, we were strong on two different circuits, [we were] strong in Melbourne, and you would expect us to be competitive here. I enjoy this circuit - it is a very fast flowing circuit and I think it will suit our car pretty well. There are some very low speed corners which I think will suit us and, mechanically, our car is strong, so I am looking forward to getting out there."