Jenson Button was happy to have a trouble free and relatively competitive Friday in Bahrain, especially after ending the second free practice session with the third fastest time.
The McLaren-Honda driver ended the best of the rest behind the Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, and for the first time in a while feels confident he has a good car beneath him.
The former World Champion still knows there is work to be done to find more speed, especially on the harder of the Pirelli tyres, but does not expect to be inside the top three for the rest of the weekend.
“Today was good – FP1 and FP2 were both competitive, and it’s nice to have a car that feels good beneath me, one we can really work with and see good gains,” said Button.
“It was only practice today, but it was a lot more fun than normal! High-fuel runs weren’t too bad either – overall it’s been a positive day. There’s still a lot of work to do tomorrow on long runs, especially on the harder compounds, when I’m sure the other cars will be more competitive tomorrow.
“But, we were third quickest today, and that’s a positive. There are certain areas where we need to improve, and I think we still can improve. We have to do a good job as a team tomorrow and make sure we don’t make any mistakes.
“We had no problems today reliability-wise, everything was good. It’s fun to have a car that’s enjoyable to drive. The balance is reasonable and the car is feeling nice around here, which is definitely better than Melbourne.
“I think when you’re third in FP2 and it’s not because of changeable conditions or anything, you’ve got to be thinking about getting into Q3 – it has to be the aim.
“I think there’ll be cars that slip in between us, but it’s a positive start, we didn’t do anything unusual, and hopefully we’ll continue to improve tomorrow.”