Jenson Button has downplayed the advantage McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton will have this year, but the World Champion admits he will need some time to adapt to his new team.
Button took his first world title in 2009 with the Brawn GP team, but decided to move to McLaren to partner Hamilton from this year. Although some believe Button will have a hard time with the team Hamilton has been linked to for over a decade, the Briton reckons his teammate's advantage will not be that big.
"I'm not going to say he (Hamilton) starts with a big advantage," Button told the Reuters news agency. "I will say that it is all new to me with this team.
"I've got to get to know a lot of people within the team and to know how they work and it's going to take a little bit of time."
He added: "For me, the important thing is that I'm confident in my ability and I think that everyone is entitled to their opinion.
"All I can say is that I'm excited about working with Lewis, because that is exactly what we are going to have to do to be competitive this year.
"Really, it makes my life a lot easier because I'm in a much more relaxed position than people telling me that I was going to destroy my teammate. I can just focus on doing the best job I can and getting the best out of myself and also getting the best out of the team. In a way, I don't think it's a negative thing."
Button acknowledged his motivation to retain his crown might not have been the same had he stayed at Brawn for another year.
"Maybe if I stayed where I was it would have been harder to get a second title. Maybe I wouldn't have been so motivated. But moving to where I am now I think it has really motivated me," he said.
"It is something that really excites me and something I am going to work really hard on achieving with the team this year. I am more motivated than ever to have a good season this year. I feel a lot more relaxed, a lot more confident in my ability and also the way that I work with the team."
And the Briton says he is really looking forward to fighting against seven-time champion Michael Schumacher this year. "I think it is amazing for the sport," he added "I think having four World Champions racing, and one of them who has achieved more than anyone else in the sport, is great.
"It's an unusual decision by Michael but he's obviously got his reasons...you've got to say fair play to [team boss] Ross [Brawn] for getting him on board. It's great having him back on the grid and I look forward to the challenge this year with him."