Jenson Button is hoping the new McLaren MP4-27 will hit the ground running and allow the team to enjoy a stronger build-up to the season than in 2011.
The team launched its 2012 car on Wednesday hoping it will allow it to stop Red Bull Racing's run of titles after a dominant 2011 campaign for the team and Sebastian Vettel. McLaren endured a troubled preseason last year, with several problems hindering its preparations ahead of the first race.
Button, who won three races on his way to second place in the championship, admitted he never expected to win with last year's car after he first tested it. Now the Briton is confident the same will not happen with the new car.
"I personally didn't feel we were going to win races last year after the first test," he said during the launch of the MP4-27. "Normally you get a good feeling from the first test and build on that feeling for the first race. It is tricky, especially when you have new regulations. It's difficult to know where you stand. I'm hoping we are in a good position when we wheel the car out in Jerez.
"The most important thing is to get miles done in testing, so we have time to fine-tune the car so we arrive at the first race and are not worried about anything. We are all positive now and hopefully that will continue in testing."
Button, however, is aware that beating Red Bull will not be easy, as he is not expecting the team to build a slow car after the success of the past two seasons.
"Red Bull will be strong," said Button. "You don't suddenly build a bad car after winning the championship for two years. We hope they do – but I would be surprised if they do.
"We don't know where we stand, so the important thing is stay focused on what we do, look at the next few weeks and see where we stand then."