Jenson Button says McLaren-Honda have made the biggest step forward with its power unit for 14 months as the team began to show glimmers of good pace on the second day of the second pre-season F1 test at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Another productive day for the team despite a brief mechanical issue before lunchtime, Button completed 120 laps as he got the chance to stretch the revised Honda engine in the MP4-31.
Though he admits the car is down on power and straight line speed compared with its rivals, he feels McLaren has made a bigger stride at this test than it has in the last 14 months.
“I would say it's the biggest improvement that I've felt with the power unit over the last 14 months, which is good,” he said. “I think the improvement is good but obviously we're still a long way off of the other guys and you can see that in the speed traps.
“But you can definitely feel the difference in the initial part on the straights. I think the important thing is we're able to do quite a few laps, we were held up a little but by a few little niggly things today and some red flags but I felt that we could have done a lot more laps today and I think it shows the reliability, which is really important.
“We've got that sorted I think, fingers crossed. So we can really, really push the performance with the power unit and that is what is happening.”