Jenson Button says is ready for an 'interesting challenge' when F1 returns to American soil for the United States Grand Prix next weekend.
The McLaren driver has never finished higher than eighth while competing in the USA and failed to finish four of the final five races that were run at Indianapolis before it dropped off the calendar after the 2007 race.
Button makes the trip to Texas seeking to return to the podium for the first time since Singapore having been unable to hold off Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull in Abu Dhabi last weekend, and he said he was looking forward to competing at the Circuit of the Americas for the first time.
“Visiting a new circuit is always an interesting challenge,” he said. “You approach it in a very different way from a track you've visited before – Thursday's trackwalk and those first laps are all about exploration and understanding as you gather information from lots of different sources in a bid to build up a complete picture of the track and what's required to get the best from it.
“On paper, the circuit looks to have a little bit of everything – the plan-view certainly looks familiar; you can see elements of the Maggotts/Becketts complex from Silverstone; there's a reverse of Istanbul Park's Turn Eight, too; and I can even see a bit of the Hockenheim infield, too.
“Whether those elements will blend together to make a satisfying whole remains to be seen, but there are a couple of long straights into tight corners, too, which should at least open up the possibility of overtaking.
“I think we're in for a fantastic weekend – I really cannot wait to get out to Austin and see the city, the people and the track. I think it's going to be brilliant.”
Team boss Martin Whitmarsh meanwhile insisted that F1 was returning to America 'at the right time'.
“I've always maintained that Formula 1's presence in the United States is crucial, so I'm personally pleased and satisfied that we're finally returning to America after spending far too long away from its shores,” he said. “On a wider level, the arrival of a state-of-the-art, purpose-build grand prix track is perfect for Formula 1, and this is a golden opportunity for the sport to finally put down roots and find a long-term home.
“From a business perspective, too, we are in the right place at the right time. This is an invaluable commercial opportunity for the sport, for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and our partners.”