Jenson Button says his McLaren team must 'bridge the gap to the rest of the field' and will be aiming to notch up as much mileage as possible at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The Briton was the sole McLaren driver on the grid for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix after Kevin Magnussen, standing in for the absent Fernando Alonso, failed to make it to the starting grid after his car came to a halt on the sighting lap. Button crossed the finish line in 11th place and last of the cars still running at the end of the high-attrition Grand Prix.

"Melbourne was certainly a challenging weekend for us, but there were positives to take from it," Button said. "A lot of our performance was largely unknown coming into the weekend given the limited running we had over winter testing. Despite our finishing position, getting to the chequered flag has meant that we're now armed with much more data about our package and we can learn a huge amount from it.

"Of course, nobody can be happy with finishing at the back of the pack, and we know there is a lot to do to bridge the gap to the rest of the field."

Looking ahead to Kuala Lumpur, the former world champion is anticipating another difficult race for the Woking-based team.

"Malaysia will be another tricky step in the learning process for us," he added. "It's often an unpredictable race and the extreme temperatures will test our car and tyres to limits that they haven't been exposed to yet in testing.

"With the possibility of rain added to the mix, it will be interesting to see how our car behaves in changeable conditions. Our aim is to maximise our mileage throughout the whole weekend."

Button claimed victory around the Sepang International Circuit in 2009 with Brawn GP and the track also hosted his first career Formula 1 podium while racing for Honda in 2004. However, the 2015 McLaren-Honda is a long way off any sight of a podium and the Briton is hoping to further develop the MP4-30 during the race rather than target any outright finishing positions.


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