Honda F1 website

MARCH 14, 2013

Button could struggle to continue winning Australian ways

Jenson Button is leaving nothing to chance.

When he won the Australian grand prix in 2009, 2010 and 2012, he stayed in the very same Melbourne hotel room.

The Briton has done the same for this weekend.

And that's not all. "Yesterday I rode the same bike that I've ridden down here for the past three years," he is quoted on Thursday by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

"And I drank a beer in the same pub that I always do. Not that I'm superstitious!"

In fact, not all is going to plan for Button, who arguably had the very best car in the field as he finished last season with a win in Brazil.

Bucking the trend up and down pitlane, McLaren has not just evolved its 2012 car for the last season of the V8 engine rules.

The MP4-28 is all new, and the Woking based team is just starting to 'understand' it.

"If this was the Spanish grand prix in Barcelona, I would be worried," said Button in Australia.

"Some of the test laps that were being done there (Barcelona), we couldn't do.

"But Melbourne is completely different."

Indeed it is, and so is the weather in the southern hemisphere, but still it might not be enough. Some believe Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari and even Lotus are ahead of McLaren at the moment.

Auto Motor und Sport cited paddock whispers that, on low fuel, Button was a second behind a comparative specification of Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes as the test season concluded.

A McLaren engineer is quoted as saying: "It could take three or four races before we can reap the benefits of our approach."