McLaren duo Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton are optimistic that their revamped McLaren will be much better in Australia than it was in preseason testing.
With the team having reverted to a simpler exhaust system for this weekend following troubles with its more radical design in testing, the team is hoping that it can deliver a strong result. Button is upbeat that the developments will deliver a step forward in form from its disappointing performance in testing.
"With the new exhaust system, if everything goes to plan, and with a few other tweaks on the car, we hopefully have made up quite a bit of ground," he said at Albert Park on Thursday. "Whether it is enough to really challenge the top teams, we will have to wait and see, but I like the approach though. I like the aggressive approach of bringing a new exhaust system here, and really fighting for it.
"If you just settle into a position and think, 'We will pick up a few points here and that will be enough,' I think that is the wrong attitude. And it is not good for the guys who have been working hard all winter. The aggressive approach is a good approach."
Hamilton also praised the efforts that McLaren has put in to the car to try and improve its situation for the first race of the season.
"We are always faced with difficulties and we are faced with a challenge, but we are looking at it positively," he said. "What I like to see is that my guys have not given up and said, 'OK, this is all we have and we must deal with it.' They have made every attempt to improve the car.
"We come here and hopefully we won't be too far behind. I've won a race in every season I've raced, so we've had the ability to pull through whatever circumstances have been and win races. Maybe we won't be on the first row this weekend but it doesn't mean in one, two or three races we can't be competing for more wins."