Russia

Last Race: 12th Oct Russia

Russia GP Results
Pos Driver
1 Lewis Hamilton
2 Nico Rosberg
3 Valtteri Bottas

Button: Mercedes setting the pace

Friday 14th March 2014

Share:

Button: Mercedes setting the pace

Button: Mercedes setting the pace

Jenson Button admitted that he was surprised at how much faster than everybody else Mercedes was during Friday's first day of practice in Australia.

Mercedes pair Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg topped the time sheets on the first day of practice ahead of the season's first Grand Prix, while Fernando Alonso in a Ferrari was third fastest, albeit about half a second off the pace.

Button was second quickest in the first sessions but dropped down to fifth overall later in the day, but was surprised that rival teams Williams was so far off the pace, despite being powered by Mercedes engines as well.

"We were two seconds off them [Mercedes] in the test and we're over a second off them [in practice] in the long runs," Button told Autosport after FP2.

"I think everyone's about a second off them, they're very quick.

"I don't think our outright pace is as good as it looks in practice but we're OK; our balance still isn't there.

"We're nowhere near the quickest, [but] it's a little bit surprising that [Mercedes is also] much quicker than everyone else, including the Williams - which looks a bit of a handful to drive in high-speed corners which is a surprise as well."

Button added that fuel reservation could be a key aspect during Sunday's race and that Mercedes' raw speed could help them in that regard.

"I don't know if other people [are having to] save fuel a lot but it seems we have to in the race," the former World Drivers' Champion told Autosport.

"This is a very difficult circuit for fuel saving and using 100kg, so this whole race for us is going to be tricky with how much we have to back off.

"This is probably one of the worst circuits for fuel usage so it's going to be a tough one on Sunday.

"Outright pace is always [desirable], because if you have a quick car you can save fuel more easily - just back off more.

"At the moment we're reasonably reliable, engine's working really well, and our pace is alright.

"We're not as quick as the quickest cars but then we're a lot quicker than the slowest cars, so we're not in too bad a shape."

Setting Up In Austin

Editor's Picks

Button 'Not Fearful' Of Alonso

Button 'Not Fearful' Of Alonso

Jenson Button says he would have no problem partnering Fernando Alonso at McLaren as "nothing scares" him...

Alonso's Ferrari Highs & Lows

Alonso's Ferrari Highs & Lows

Fernando Alonso is on his way out at Ferrari, but there have been plenty of highlights and low points...

Never Shoot Down F1 Rumour

Never Shoot Down F1 Rumour

Sporting rumours should always be taken with a pinch of salt, but F1 has proven time and time again that where there's smoke, there's fire...

PlanetF1 Fantasy League

PlanetF1 Fantasy League

The season may be underway but you can still enter the PlanetF1 Fantasy League and win prizes on a race-by-race basis...

Winners & Losers: Russian GP

Winners & Losers: Russian GP

The Russian Grand Prix was a great event but a poor race, thanks to Pirelli's failure to do basic research...