DON'T count on McLaren-Honda winning this weekend's Australian Grand Prix, the three-time winner of the season opener that will also carry the weight of the team's efforts on his shoulders says.
Jenson Button spoke exclusively to Wheels today, revealing difficulties facing the new team, powered by Honda engines for the first time since 1992, including a crash in pre-season testing for new team-mate, Fernando Alonso, which has sidelined the Spaniard for this weekend's event.
"I did say in testing that a hundred laps for us is like a thousand, really, in terms of experience and how much we learn compared to our competitors," Button said.
"So every lap we achieve this weekend, it's a lot of useful information: how the car is working, the power unit on this type of track. I'm just excited to get out there and see what we have really as we're a little bit unsure of the pecking order in Formula One at the moment."
The Brit says that he has no chance of adding a fourth victory to his Melbourne tally this Sunday, and that's "truthful" as opposed to tempering expectations.
"The difference is everybody else has one year's experience ... We're one year behind. So it's always going to be difficult to compete at the first race with the guys who've been driving around lap after lap in winter testing, and have been able to develop their car more than we have in winter testing."
Button was at the Australian reveal of the Honda NSX supercar due in showrooms in 2016. The Australian Grand Prix takes place this Sunday, 15 March, with first practice commencing tomorrow.