Mar.12 (GMM) Jenson Button has ruled out scoring points in Melbourne this weekend, but flagged a growing sense of optimism from within the Honda camp.
The Japanese squad's new 2008 car was badly off the pace in recent group testing, but team members say a bodywork update at a subsequent Jerez session - where the RA108 circulated alone - delivered a significant performance gain.British driver Button suggests that the improvement is so exciting that the Brackley based team now has no idea where the car will slot in on Sunday's Australian GP grid."I don't think we are going to be challenging for points but we are going to be a lot closer, actually racing in the mix with the slower part of that middle pack," he is quoted as saying from Melbourne by the Daily Telegraph on Wednesday."I don't think they've got a lot to worry about - a lot of the teams - but I think we'll be a little bit closer," he added.Button's Brazilian teammate Rubens Barrichello is also encouraged by the Melbourne-spec package that he tried at Jerez."In my 16 years of formula one, I never had an improvement as big as I had last week," he said.