McLaren-Honda's Jenson Button says he can't wait to drive the new MP4-31 on Monday, when pre-season testing begins at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya.
Button will be in action on the first and third day of the test and speaking after the online launch on Sunday of the Woking squad's latest car, he added that he is “massively excited” ahead of the new F1 2016 season.
“I really can't wait to take the wheel of the new MP4-31 tomorrow,” said the 2009 F1 World Champion. “All Formula 1 drivers need a winter break, but I'm massively excited to get started on the 2016 season now, and I have to say the brand-new McLaren-Honda MP4-31 really looks the part.
“Moreover, having spent quite a bit of time at the McLaren Technology Centre recently, I can tell you that there's a huge amount of palpable positive energy there at the moment, despite the challenging yet steep learning curve we all travelled along in 2015.
“In fact, the immense amount of sheer hard work that has gone into the development of the MP4-31 over the winter makes me immensely proud, and consequently I go into the new season with even more motivation and belief.”
2015 was a tough season for McLaren-Honda, with the squad managing just six top-ten finishes. However, Button is optimistic that this year will be far better and maintained they do have a “strong platform to build on”.
“Despite the ups and downs we saw last year, there were steady improvements all year long, and that gives us confidence in the design direction we're taking,” he explained.
“There are a lot of positives we can build on, and a strong platform to take forward. I'm not about to make any over-optimistic predictions – Formula 1 is far too unpredictable for me to do that – but, from what I've seen so far, the aero detailing on the car looks fantastic.
"I'm really looking forward to beginning the process of testing those new innovations when I get behind the wheel tomorrow.”