Jenson Button says he is looking forward to leading McLaren
into the 2013 season, with the Briton seeking to mould the team around him following the departure of Lewis Hamilton.
Having partnered his fellow Brit for the past three seasons, Button will take on the role of team leader for 2013 alongside Sergio Perez – who makes the switch from Sauber as Hamilton's replacement.
With the opportunity to now take on the senior driver position, Button said he was excited about leading the team into the post-Hamilton era and moulding the team around him.
"I really enjoy being the lead driver and being the guy who can really help the team improve the car and sort of mould the car around me," he told ITN
. "So I'm really looking forward to 2013 because of that; I've got a couple of months to really mould the team and the car around me at the factory.
“The good thing about McLaren
is that they really listen to what a driver has to say - we're an important part of the puzzle - it's not just driving the car it's developing the car and that really means a lot to me."
The Briton added that he expected new team-mate Perez to have a say in the development of the car as the season goes on, but said his experience would be vital while the Mexican integrates himself into the team
"I'm pretty excited about the direction of development,” he said. “Sergio; obviously coming in to the team it's really for him learning about the team and about the car and then during the season when he gets a handle on it he can help with the direction. But at the moment it's impossible because he hasn't driven a McLaren
before so he doesn't really know how it's going to be."