Jenson Button wants there to be no excuses for him and McLaren not to start the season in the kind of form needed to win the championship. Having seen first hand last season how a strong start to the campaign can be so important for deciding the championship, the reigning title winner believes that the build-up to the 2010 season will be just as vital as the actual races.
At the AUTOSPORT International Show, where he confirmed he will test the new MP4-25 for the first time at Valencia on Feb. 3, Button said: "When you have the base from the first test then it is a great base to build on. We had that at Brawn last year, and we need to start the year with a good car. If we don't, we can get there, but it is very difficult to get there for the first race because it is only one month away. We are hoping for a positive test and there is a lot of work to do before that. I am in the simulator quite a lot before the first test, and I am at the factory a lot.
"So, I want to get ready for the first test like it is the first race, because I don't want an excuse when I get to the first race alongside Lewis [Hamilton]. I want to be ready for the first race 100 percent."
Button is encouraged by the huge improvement in form that McLaren delivered over the course of the 2009 campaign, having started it in dire trouble, and thinks that momentum can carry on into 2010.
"I studied the whole season of McLaren last year after the year, and it made massive improvements," he explained. "The amount of parts they put on car in 2009 was immense, there was no other team like it.
"People will say, did they concentrate too much on 2009? I don't think they did. A lot of the parts that we used in 2009 will be carried over to 2010, so I think they did the right thing. I think 2009, I am not going to speak for the team, but from my point of view it was a good year for them because they struggled at the start of the year and I think that made them stronger. It made them realize they can build these amount of parts to put on the car and improve it through the year. And maybe we all sometimes need a wake-up call. So I am positive they will be there next year. For me, every day I am always thinking about how I can improve myself and the team.
"There are 70 percent of athletes or sportsmen who win a world championship, they don't succeed the following year. I have to try and be positive and think about the 30 percent who did and work out why they won again. That is something that we never think about going into a season. I have got the right people around me and I've spent a few days thinking about that and working on it, and I am going to be doing that all the way up to the first race."