Button concedes Mercedes and Williams favourites


5 March 2014 by TF1T Staff

Jenson Button believes the Mercedes works team and its power unit customer, Williams, are the favourites for the opening race of the season in Australia.

The McLaren driver, speaking to Sky Sports, agreed with the general consensus that those two teams have stolen a march in terms of reliability and performance and even admitted he was pleased to see Williams doing so well.

"It has been a messy winter for a lot of people in terms of mileage on circuit," said the Briton. "The two that you would pick out that look strong and consistent are Mercedes and Williams.

"In a way it is not good when you are behind certain teams, but I am happy for Frank Williams that they have a competitive car so far this year. I think those are the two teams to beat right now."

McLaren are considered to be behind Ferrari and then Force India in terms of pace, but the team have yet to run its upgrade package due to delays in Bahrain.

Button reckons that could move them ahead if all goes well in Melbourne.

"I'm not really sure Ferrari are third quickest," he added. "The Force India looks quick, the Red Bull when it is running is very quick, so I don't think we know at all.

"We didn't have our upgrade on the car in testing - we did actually have it on, but we didn't get to run it as we had a few issues - so for the moment we don't really know where we stand.

"Those two [Mercedes and Williams] are the teams that I think looked strongest over winter testing, whether that will be the case when we get to Melbourne - it is a very different circuit to Bahrain - we have to wait and see."