McLaren's Jenson Button was 'quite happy' following practice today for this Sunday's Australian Grand Prix, the opening round in the 2012 F1 World Championship.
Conditions were mixed throughout practice, and while Button was only 15th fastest in the second session, his quickest time from the morning, a 1 minute 27.560 seconds, remained the best of the day.
“Even though it doesn't mean too much, it's always nice to start the season with the quickest time of the day,” Button said.
“Our car feels very different compared with the last test – the circuit is different and the average corner speed is a lot lower, but the car is still working well for me.
“There are still a few areas where I think we can improve, and we didn't get as many laps in today as we'd have liked, but it's been a positive day. We did some set-up work this morning and then spent the afternoon understanding how the car reacts when running wet or intermediate tyres.
“The weather didn't help, but it's been the same for everyone. Overall, I think we're quite happy, but there'll be a lot of discussion tonight as we choose our direction for tomorrow.”
Lewis Hamilton meanwhile was also pretty pleased, even if he did trail his team-mate in both sessions. Hamilton ended the day second on the combined times, his best effort a 1m 27.805s, which was 0.245s off the sister MP4-27.
“We spent the morning making sure we could switch the tyres on. Then, in the afternoon, we didn't do any running in the wet because the forecast says it's likely to be dry for the rest of the weekend,” Hamilton explained.
“In those circumstances, it's important to remain calm, look after the car and make sure we focus on the rest of the weekend. Tomorrow, it'll be important to get out early in the session and maximise our dry running so that we can work on set-up and make sure our car is in the zone.
“Our car feels there or thereabouts but, as in testing, we don't know the fuel-loads the others were running: it still looks close between ourselves, Red Bull and Mercedes. It's going to be interesting tomorrow – we'll get a better understanding of who's going to be quick. I'm massively excited to see how the rest of the weekend goes.”