Jenson Button: “I’m massively excited to get started”

Jenson Button is looking forward to turning his first laps in the McLaren-Honda MP4-31 when pre-season testing gets underway on Monday at the Circuit de Catalunya, with the 2009 World Champion believing the new car looks good.

The Briton has been retained by McLaren for a sixth consecutive Formula 1 season, and after the disappointments of the unreliable and generally uncompetitive 2015 season, is looking for a vast improvement in both areas this season, and believes McLaren and Honda have worked hard to overcome the majority of their shortcomings.

“I really can’t wait to take the wheel of the new MP4-31 tomorrow,” said Button. “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. 

“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. 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, and I’m really looking forward to beginning the process of testing those new innovations when I get behind the wheel tomorrow.”