Jenson Button feels McLaren is at a disadvantage compared to his rivals because of the lack of running the team has had with its new car.
Neither Button or teammate Lewis Hamilton have been able to complete the sort of distances done by some of their mail rivals, and the 2009 World Champion had another frustrating day today in testing at Barcelona. Button lost valuable time in the morning while the team fitted new parts to his car, and he ended up covering just 54 laps. The Briton conceded the situation was far from ideal with time running out before the first race.
"We are not doing as many laps as we would like," Button told reporters after the test. "The most laps we've done I think it was yesterday with 77 laps. But we are testing a new car so we are a lot of mileage down on most teams.
"It's obviously a disadvantage but that's something we are addressing and hoping that over the next two days the reliability and the spare parts are all here and we can get some more mileage done. Mileage is important to help the reliability and find out more things, but also for setup work. We haven't had a lot of time to do setup work. Most of our running has been to put miles on the car and make sure everything is working correctly."
Button, however, admitted it was impossible to compare the performance of cars at the moment, but insisted it was too early to judge his McLaren team's pace given its lack of running.
"There are so many different things going on," he said. "Normally in testing it is very difficult to get a an understanding anyway. In the old days without refuelling you could pretty much understand, but now it's so difficult what people are running, also what tires people arerunning. So it's very difficult to know the pace of people.
"I think the thing that's interesting is to look at people's consistency. That's where you can really see a good car. The Ferrari does look very competitive in terms of consistency, but other teams do as well. Even Toro Rosso looks reasonably strong in terms of consistency. The Red Bull is pretty good, but not as good as the Ferrari.
"I still don't know where we stand, and I think it's unfair to judge us at this point because the amount of laps we have done is not massive and we really need some good days of running to really unlock this car."
Despite the lack of mileage, the McLaren driver believes his team made the right decision in waiting until the second test of the winter to try the new car for the first time.
"I still think it was the right thing to do, because we were to back-to-back the tires, which I reckon it was important for us to do and I also think it was important to spend as much time possible on the car to bring it to the second test. So yes, I think it was the right thing to do."