Jenson Button says he is "excited" and "extremely motivated" coming into his 17th season in Formula One this weekend.

McLaren struggled in 2015, but despite a demoralising season the 2009 F1 World Champion added that he wouldn't be out there if he wasn't still in love with the sport and racing.

"Definitely [motivated], I wouldn't be here otherwise, there's no point. I'd be at home," he said ahead of this weekend's opener in Australia.

"I'm very excited, as soon as you get in the car you want to give your maximum because you want to do the best job you can for yourself. You look at every single tenth here and there compared to your team-mate, compared to everyone else out there. If you make a slight mistake it's very frustrating, so the buzz is still there."

Button is, however, realistic about where McLaren will be and is under no illusions about how far they will have to go to improve.

"I don't know yet [what will be a representative position for us] because I don't know where we stand," he confirmed.

"It won't be winning races - that would be a great success if we can achieve that. Seeing an improvement and building a lot on what we have from race one and seeing more of an improvement of what we saw throughout last year. We did improve but it wasn't enough so we need to have a bigger improvement curve through this season, that's what we need to see."

"Work has been flat-out at both factories," he continued. "[Engine] is definitely an improvement, but there's still a lot we need to do before we are properly competitive.

"In terms of deployment it's a big step forward but it brings us pretty close to other manufacturers. In terms of power we've still got a long way to go but also in terms of aerodynamics of the car we've still got a long way to go. There's a lot of room for improvement and a lot of work in the pipeline.

"The important thing now is that we have reliability with the power unit so we can develop a lot faster, which is good to see.

"Aerodynamically we've had some improvements from winter to now but still there's more needed and we're pushing very hard to bring more downforce to every race, not just downforce but useable downforce."

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