Jenson Button says he is having an even better time at McLaren this year than when he was en route to the world title last season.
On the back of a sensational victory in the Chinese Grand Prix, his second triumph in four races, the current championship leader reckons he is experiencing the time of his life after settling in brilliantly with his new team.
"Last year was an amazing year, and the experience of winning six races at the start of the year, fighting for the championship toward the end, and winning the championship was very special," said Button in China, as he reflected on his Shanghai success.
"I've won the championship now. That's always been my aim. This year, I've had four races and two victories. And, yes, it's the best time of my life, so far. You can write that as big as you want.
"But I also know it's not going to be a walk in the park for the next 15 races. Every race we go to, it's going to be tough. Not like last year, when in the first three races we had a better car than everyone. This is the fourth race where the Red Bulls have been quick. We're chasing them down although leading the championship, so it's quite weird. But it's a nice position to be in.
"You're hungry to improve the car and improve your performance in qualifying, and we go to Barcelona thinking we can do a better job than we did in China – especially on Saturday."
Button believes that his early season success with McLaren is the result of the supreme effort he made over the winter to get himself fully integrated with the team.
"It's a big learning curve again and I'm the new boy in a team," he said. "But I made sure this winter that I came to grips with working with my engineers and everyone within the team quickly. I knew that was so important for this year.
"We're all here to fight for the championship. That has to be our main aim. But for me, before thinking about that, I had to concentrate on making sure I felt part of the team. And when I did that I knew I could start working on making the car a part of me, and we're getting there. There are still a couple of things we're working on to make a bit more my style which will help me hopefully over the next couple of races. But even so, I think it's great we've got two wins."
Button has praised the fact that teammate Lewis Hamilton is keeping him on his toes – even though their contrasting styles are being highlighted in races this year.
"I'd love to fight for the championship in a more exciting way, but there's more chance of being consistent," he explained. "Lewis has had some amazing races to watch. I watched the last couple of races and Melbourne was a pretty exciting race. The last one, for the first part of the race, was pretty exciting. So, yeah, he's doing a great job and I think we're both doing a fantastic job.
"It's good to have a teammate who's that competitive. The guy will never give up. He's like a pit bull. He is going to fight until the end and I love having a teammate who's like that. He's amazingly quick. He's an exceptional driver.
"That's also nice because we push each other very hard and we are going to be pushing each other very hard this year. It's shown over the last few races, I think. We haven't really had a race together, except for this one, at the end."