Jenson Button is confident the demanding Malaysian Grand Prix on both driver and car will not expose McLaren's weaknesses as he hopes to end a frustrating run of races.
The 2009 F1 World Champion is expected to make his 300th race start in the sport having made his debut in 2000 for BMW-Williams as he prepares for a year sabbatical from F1 in 2017.
Button has enjoyed victory on one occasion at Sepang, on his way to the 2009 world title, while he has also achieved three further rostrum results including his maiden F1 podium in 2004 for BAR Honda.
Despite the podium looking unlikely with McLaren's current pace Button is optimistic of a strong showing from the Woking-based squad this weekend.
“Sepang is becoming a modern classic – although it's a relatively new circuit, it's one of those tracks that drivers enjoy going back to,” Button said. “The conditions are like nothing else we experience, the circuit is quite technical and fun to drive, and the atmosphere is always great.
“As drivers, we're all well equipped for these conditions as part of our training, but it does take its toll by the end of the weekend. You definitely need to be in peak physical fitness to cope with the heat. I'm ready and excited to get out there and start my 300th grand prix, and hopefully have better luck than I did in Singapore.”
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Button is confident his McLaren-Honda MP4-31 will not suffer its usual deficiencies at power unit-dependent circuits - while Honda is considering a power unit update at either Malaysia or its home race at Suzuka next week - and he is once again targeting a tight midfield battle.
“Although it's traditionally seen as a high-speed circuit which isn't usually something that our package favours, we do have a good car under braking which is necessary to handle the tight corners after the long, fast straights,” he said.
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The 36-year-old will be keen to end a run of three races outside of the points, having suffered two retirements in that time, and mark his 300th F1 race start with his first points since the German Grand Prix.
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