Jenson Button reckons McLaren will again be able to run at the front in Malaysia next weekend.

Button's result at the F1 2011 opener at Melbourne's Albert Park was compromised somewhat last weekend after he picked up a drive-through penalty. However he still managed to get solid points and eventually finished in sixth place.

With team-mate, Lewis Hamilton taking second though, the 31-year-old knows he also had the potential to be on the podium and that will no doubt be his target on April 10 at Sepang.

"When I started in F1, the Malaysian Grand Prix was one of the newest events on the grand prix calendar, but it now feels like an old favourite. I think Sepang's a circuit that's definitely improved with age: it's always been a great track, but it feels like it's grown into its own skin now, and is all the better for it," Button said ahead of the second round in the F1 2011 championship.

"This is a track where you need a very efficient car - the corners here are big and will punish any car that lacks downforce. After Melbourne, when I really felt like I had a very solid car beneath me, I'm looking forward to getting out in practice to see how our package can adapt to this circuit.

"Obviously, one of the main considerations for the drivers is to ensure we're properly hydrated throughout the race weekend. Until you've been to Malaysia, you really can't appreciate what an oven it is - it's the toughest race of the year physically, and a place where good base fitness carried over from the winter will stand you in good stead for the race.

"I won here in 2009 in some of the worst conditions I've ever experienced in a racing car - it was like driving through a river at some spots.

"Whatever the weather throws at us this year though, I think we can have another strong weekend."