At the launch of McLaren's 2013 contender, Jenson Button was sidelined by Sergio Perez, the first time he will not be teamed up with Lewis Hamilton. Button however is confident McLaren has just presented the best car it has ever built.
“I’m going into my fourth season as a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver and, more than ever, I know and understand the strengths and abilities of this team. This year is really about continuity and consolidation.
“Obviously, the biggest change for 2013 is my new team-mate, Checo. It’s always interesting and inspiring to begin working with a new face, and it already feels like a very positive working relationship.
“I know from personal experience that it can feel initially daunting when you walk into the McLaren Technology Centre for the very first time, but I also remember how quickly I was made to feel at home and how welcoming I found the whole McLaren family. I’m sure Checo already feels very much at ease here.
“We were extremely strong throughout the whole of the 2012 season, but, for one reason or another, we couldn’t quite pull it all together to challenge for the championships. That’s something we want to address for 2013. I’ve seen just how closely everybody has been working together on this car, and I think we’ve got the basis for a very strong season.
“We’ll be working extremely hard during the pre-season to ensure we go to the first race with bulletproof reliability. Operationally, too, I think we’ve learned and developed from last year, and that will help us run a much smoother and stronger campaign.
“I also want to say that today’s demonstration of some classic McLarens makes me feel incredibly proud to be a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver. I don’t think anybody with a love for motorsport could fail to be moved by sound and fury of the cars we saw here today – they’ll always make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.
“This year’s car is the best we’ve ever made – I know the engineers have left absolutely no stone unturned in wringing every ounce of performance from every available area. I cannot wait to get behind the wheel and attempt to carry forward the incredible legacy that lives beneath the skin of every single man and woman who works at McLaren.”