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Button wary of Mercedes’ pace

Mar 1, 2013, 3:45 PM EDT

Jenson Button AP

2009 Formula One world champion Jenson Button has labelled Mercedes as being one of the most impressive teams during the final pre-season test in Barcelona.

Like many drivers, Button is trying to work out the pecking order heading to the first race in Australia in two weeks time, and despite struggling to make sense of the timesheets, he did praise Mercedes’ pace in front of the media.

“I really don’t know who is quick and who isn’t. I’d say that one team that has been consistently quick and consistent on their runs is the Mercedes more than anyone else.”

Following three disappointing seasons since returning to Formula One in 2010, Mercedes have made significant changes for the coming season. Seven time world champion Michael Schumacher has made way for British driver Lewis Hamilton, and F1 stalwart Norbert Haug also left the team’s backroom staff.

McLaren also enter 2013 amid a wave of change following Hamilton’s departure, as well as the exit of Paddy Lowe from their F1 setup. Regardless, Button believes that the team is heading in the right direction.

“I’m happy with the progress we made today.

“I still feel there’s so much more we need to do before the first race, so I’ll be watching closely tomorrow.”

Button went on to underline the importance of track time in the pre-season test, which has been made difficult by the tricky weather conditions in Barcelona.

“We need to get a lot of laps done and that’s because we need to spend a lot of time on the circuit to understand the car a bit more and also just developing the car. Dry weather for two days and circuit temperatures in the twenties, thirties is what we need because I haven’t driven in that condition since Jerez.”

Sergio Perez will have his final run in the MP4-28 tomorrow ahead of the Australian Grand Prix, before Button closes out the test on Sunday.

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