Button cautious about defence

Jenson Button (SUPPLIED)

Formula One world champion Jenson Button has set his sights on the successful defence of his title, but remains less certain about his path back to the winner's podium after a disappointing season opener.

Despite feeling "completely at home" with McLaren and fellow world champion Lewis Hamilton, the British driver said his new team would still be playing catch-up at the Australian Grand Prix this weekend.

"I think Red Bulls are very strong, I think the Ferraris are very strong, and then it's probably us," Button, champion with Brawn GP, now Mercedes, said in a track-side interview at the Albert Park street circuit yesterday.

"But I'm hoping with the circuit change and a few little updates we'll be closer to them and maybe challenging them here."

Button started eighth and finished seventh in a frustrating race in the season opener in Bahrain on March 14, reeling in Red Bull's Mark Webber but ultimately being shut out by Mercedes' seven times world champion Michael Schumacher who finished sixth.

 

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