Jenson Button has revealed that a little homework back at base has given him greater confidence in his McLaren heading into this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix.
The reigning world champion struggled to eighth place in round three of the season, in Malaysia, last time out and, despite winning in Melbourne the weekend before, admitted that he was still unhappy with the handling of his MP4-25. Although his Sepang woes were largely influenced by a poor qualifying position, the result of a rain-affected Saturday session, the Briton took time out from the two-week break between races to head back to the UK and work on ironing out the bugs ahead of this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix.
“Shanghai is a track I enjoy, a good drivers' circuit and a place that benefits from a well-balanced car," he revealed, "I think I've made some real progress in that area as I wasn't completely happy with the balance of the car in Malaysia.
"I spent a day back at the McLaren Technology Centre looking at how we could have done things differently in Sepang, while also looking ahead to Shanghai and, along with my engineers, I think we've developed an even better understanding of the MP4-25. We know how to fine-tune the car's balance and how to develop it over a race weekend. Of course, it's a continuous process, but the overall feeling is that we're moving forwards – which, again, is always a positive.”
Team-mate Lewis Hamilton is also looking forward to China, having converted 20th on the grid in Malaysia to sixth on the road at the chequered flag, and has good memories of most previous races at the Shanghai circuit.
“I really enjoy driving here – I drove one of my best races here in 2008, winning from pole position - but it's hard to believe that we're heading into the fourth race of the year as the races have gone by so quickly," he noted.
"After Malaysia, I had a little bit of time to reflect on the year so far, and I'm pleased with the results that Jenson and I have been able to achieve in some challenging circumstances. After three races, we've been satisfied with our race pace, and we feel comfortable that we'll be up at the front. Overtaking is possible at this circuit, particularly at the end of the long back straight, so I'm pretty confident we'll have another competitive weekend.
"Now I'm really looking forward to an uninterrupted weekend in China so we can focus on racing and competing with the other leading teams in the championship."