As the new format of qualifying got underway in Melbourne, McLaren-Honda’s Jenson Button is contempt with the way Saturday’s action played out.
Button, who will start P13, said: “I feel good. This is basically where our car is.
“We have improved the deployment quite a bit with the power unit so hopefully we can be more competitive in the race. As for qualifying? No different.”
The Brit also admitted that their Honda powered car is more suited for racing than qualifying.
“I think we’ve probably got a better race car than a qualifying car, to be fair,” he revealed.
“It’s a change around from last year – we have deployment pretty much the same as everyone else now… almost as good as everyone else.
“It’s gonna benefit us a lot in the race, especially on the longer circuits – maybe not so much here, but definitely in Bahrain.”
Button’s teammate Fernando Alonso, who will start in P12, echoed similar words and admitted that they expected not be competing in Q3.
“I didn’t have any hopes of going into Q3. It’s a very exclusive group,” the Spaniard said.
“There are just eight cars and we need quite a bit to be in that group.
“But when we had the new tyres we were 10th ahead of Ricciardo and ahead of other people that we would not have imagined.
“So I’m very happy. If we had had another set of tyres, we would have been close to Q3, too.”