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Button - small step forward for Honda 02 Apr 2007

Jenson Button (GBR) Honda Racing F1 Team. Formula One Testing, Day Four, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday, 30 March 2007. World © Hartley/Sutton Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Honda RA107.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Australian Grand Prix, Race, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, 18 March 2007 Jenson Button (GBR) Honda RA107. Formula One Testing, Day Three, Sepang, Malaysia, Thursday, 29 March 2007. World © Hartley/Sutton Jenson Button (GBR) Honda RA107.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Australian Grand Prix, Race, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, 18 March 2007

Jenson Button is cautiously optimistic that the Honda team’s performance is improving, following last week’s test at Sepang. Button, 15th in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, is now hopeful of a better result in this weekend’s Malaysian race.

Honda had a troubled weekend in Melbourne, where the RA107 struggled for pace, proving particularly unwieldy under braking. However, after running 150 laps assessing aerodynamic improvements in Malaysia, Button is feeling slightly more confident.

“The car definitely works better around the Sepang circuit, partly because braking stability is not as important here but also because we have made some improvements over the week,” explained Button. “We have by no means solved everything yet and there is a long way to go but we have made a small step in the right direction.”

Fellow Honda race driver Rubens Barrichello was also in test action in Malaysia, completing over 120 laps. Despite being interrupted by an engine failure during his second day of running, Barrichello was similarly pleased with the new additions to the car and the team’s overall progress.

"We had a very busy programme in Sepang to work on the car and improve it from Australia,” explained the Brazilian. “Aero work was the main focus along with controls systems comparisons where we have found some new direction. The new aero parts have given us some positive results in improving the balance of the car and the consistency but we know that we have a lot of work still to do."

Honda, currently without points after coming fourth in last year’s constructors’ championship, hope the improvements will help them close the gap on the frontrunners after Button finished a lap down on Melbourne race winner Kimi Raikkonen.