Jenson Button believes some rival teams will be caught out at the first grand prix of the season, saying the Australian Grand Prix "is going to be a lot trickier than what most people think".

McLaren started pre-season testing strongly but seemed to struggle for pace by the end of the final test as the team only managed to introduce minimal updates to the launch-specification car. However, Button doesn't think outright pace will be the deciding factor in Melbourne, believing the way a race could pan out to be crucial.

Asked by Crash.net in Melbourne how close to full-specification the MP4-28 will be this weekend, Button replied: "We have the upgrades on the car.

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"We had the upgrades on the car at the last test but we didn't get to run them on the final day because we had a problem. I don't know where we stand but the important thing is that this race is going to be a lot trickier than what most people think.

"I think we have a really good understanding of how to go racing - it's a lot more complicated than it used to be - but I think we have a very good understanding how to get the best out of everything in the race. So wherever we are we'll have a good race, but we'll obviously find out where we are in terms of speed on Saturday."

With the upgrades set to be seen this weekend, Button said they will need to provide a big increase in performance in order to be able to challenge Williams and Mercedes.

"I think on the long runs the Mercedes and the Williams are about two seconds quicker than us per lap. I'm not sure if that is genuine, and it also could be Bahrain - it's such an unusual circuit for testing - but here can be very different.

"Hopefully it's going to be a good chunk forward but if you look at the times of the Williams and the Mercedes then they're going to be very difficult to beat if reliability wasn't an issue or a worry, and strategy also. So I still think they can be challenged this weekend."