Jenson Button believes BAR’s testing form proves they are serious contenders for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona this weekend – although his team are waiting on a different result today.
The Englishman, who took his first podium of the season with third two weeks ago at Imola, has been in excellent form in testing at Barcelona recently.
BAR-Honda responded to their difficult start to the season by testing extensively, and Button found extra speed at Barcelona to set an unofficial lap record prior to the San Marino Grand Prix.
He is certain BAR are capable of maintaining their Imola form this weekend, where he expects another strong points finish.
The 25-year-old said: “Barcelona is a circuit which I have always enjoyed driving at. It’s very fast flowing and seems to be a race that we have always done well at.
“Following our test there at the beginning of April, I hold the unofficial lap record so the car is obviously in good form.
“We have been testing in Mugello this week, which is a similar type of circuit to Barcelona in that they are both very fast. We have been quick in testing so are positive that the team can go to Barcelona next weekend and get a good result.”
Button’s build-up to the race has been overshadowed by a legal row with world governing body the FIA, though.
The FIA met yesterday in Paris to question why Button’s car was underweight when it was drained of fuel following the San Marino Grand Prix.
They will hand down a verdict later today and BAR sporting director Gil de Ferran confessed the issue has been a distraction as they look for their first grand prix win.
The Brazilian said: “Besides the issues we are currently dealing with off the race track, we are very optimistic going into the Spanish Grand Prix.
“It was clear that we had a good race with both cars in Imola and since then we have been able to make further progress during our two-day test in Mugello.
“If you also bear in mind the very successful test we had in Barcelona prior to the San Marino Grand Prix, when Jenson broke Takuma Sato’s lap record, it all seems to be conspiring towards another strong showing. Hopefully we will again be challenging for victory.”