Date: 1st April 2011 at 11:25am
Written by:

Last season?s three team battle for the Formula One World championship will continue this season according to 2009 F1 champ Jenson Button.

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel dominated the whole weekend in Australia, throwing down the gauntlet for everyone else on the grid.

While Ferrari?s winter testing had suggested it would be they who would be taking the battle to Red Bull, it ended up being Jenson?s McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton who ran Vettel the closest.

How close he really could have ran him is up for debate, while Vettel dominated both Saturday qualifying and Sunday?s race he still looked to be driving within himself, not to mention without the benefit of KERS.

The Red Bull ? Vettel combination looked completely untouchable in Australia and there looked like there was plenty more to come if it had needed to be called upon.

But despite the ominous form of Vettel and Red Bull, Button believes that over the course of the season Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren will continue their battle from last year.

‘Clearly, the Red Bulls are quick. But we’re a lot closer on race pace than this time last year.? he told the BBC.

‘I think Ferrari will be very strong too. It’s looking like a continuation of the battle we saw last year.’

The best part for McLaren was surprising everyone in Australia. The late development of the 2011 car had firstly seen them miss the first test, then struggle in Barcelona with pace and reliability.

They looked set to be heading for Australia behind Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault and even Sauber and Toro Rosso at one stage, however a late change of mind in design and an upgrade package for Australia brought them right back into contention.

With the opening race out of the way, Button believes there is even more to come from his car.

‘We’re very definitely in the hunt. I think there’s a massive amount of untapped potential in our car,’

‘Sunday was the first time we’d even completed a race distance with the car, which tells you how much there is to get out of the package.?


Will a McLaren improvement see the gap close between them and Red Bull? Or will Red Bull dominate again in Malaysia?

Have your say on the forum.