Jenson Button says he would be happy to have McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso 'annihilate' him in the United States Grand Prix if it meant the latest specification Honda engine was a vast improvement.
Having been given its first mileage during free practice in Sochi, the upgraded Honda engine will get a full outing at the Circuit of the Americas, albeit only in the hands of two-time champion Alonso.
With this in mind, Button – who will continue with the existing specification power unit this weekend - says he wants Alonso to prove significantly quicker than himself this weekend as it would at least represent a much desired step forward.
“Normally when you are team-mates you want exactly the same, but I'm hoping it is a good upgrade, he's really quick and he annihilates me all weekend,” the 2009 world champion said. “It's unusual to say that, but when you are fighting for a world championship at the front everything has to be the same.
“I've always pushed for that, but in our situation it doesn't matter. It's about getting it on the car, proving it out reliability wise and I'll have the same engine in the next race.”
Hoping to get use of the new engine in Mexico or Brazil, Button says he won't sacrifice a power unit change this weekend since he believes McLaren can fight for the points.
“This is a good chance for us to get some points and much better than Sochi. Now I've said that, we probably won't score points, but in Sochi we scored points because we were reliable and we did nothing wrong. Here we should be more competitive and be able to fight for points.”