Apr 2, 2013, 7:15 AM EDT
Jenson Button is not writing off his championship chances despite a disappointing start to the season with the MP4-28.
“The championship is still on as far as I am concerned and I am aiming for that. Definitely,” he told the Daily Mirror.
Button could only manage ninth on the in Australia where the new car was beset by handling problems including poor ride over the Albert Park circuit’s bumps.
But the car fared better on the smoother Sepang circuit and McLaren made some progress with their set-up. Button was on course for at least fifth place when a pit-stop problem ruined his race.
Button hailed the performance as a “massive turnaround”.
“Most of the race in Sepang we were quicker than the Lotus. Most of the race we were quicker than Ferrari. Who would have thought that five days before?
“We are still not where we want to be and we got a bit lucky with the circuit being so smooth which helped a bit but a lot is understanding where the downforce is.
“The car is still not perfected, it was really thrown together for Sepang.
“The great thing is there are so many cars that are competitive and taking points off each other, which is exactly what we need.”
Button pointed out that Sebastian Vettel made a weak start to the 2009 season yet came close to beating him to the title that year. Vettel failed to score in Australia and Malaysia yet finished just 11 points behind Button.