Jenson Button has joked that he hopes he is beaten comfortably by Fernando Alonso in qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix as it would mean the updates to the McLaren-Honda will have worked.

Alonso is being granted an updated specification McLaren in Austria, which includes design tweaks and a revised shorter nose, with the team justifying the decision to focus on the Spaniard because he will also be testing at the Red Bull Ring after the race.

With this in mind, Button admits he would like to see Alonso prove significantly quicker than him over the race weekend as it will indicate a much-needed step forward by the team.

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"In theory, yes [I want him to be faster]," he said. "Strange to say, but yes!"

Regardless, McLaren is destined for a difficult weekend all round due to looming penalties for Alonso and possibly also Button, who says he would prefer to move onto a fifth Honda engine before Silverstone and especially before Hungary.

"First of all, one of the cars has got a penalty - the other car - and we might have a penalty as well, we've just got to decide tomorrow during practice what we're going to do.

"From a racing point of view you would probably rather have a penalty if you're going to have one here or Silverstone, you don't want it in Hungary; such a small circuit, it's a circuit where we could be reasonably competitive. The heart says take the penalty here so we don't have anything in Silverstone and you can give it your all and you might get something out of the weekend. So if we have to take a penalty I would much rather take it here and get it over and done with."