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2015-02-26 11:35

BUTTON ON THE FUTURE: McLaren's Jenson Button says the season-opening 2015 Australian GP could see a mixed grid and not another Merc-dominated event. Image: AFP / Mark Thompson

BARCELONA, Spain - Jenson Button is predicting an unpredictable grid for the season-opening 2015 Australian GP in Melbourne in March.

As the final four-day test of the winter pre-season begins on Thursday (Feb 26) in Barcelona the McLaren driver said the pecking order had changed since 2014.

"A year earlierr it was clear that Mercedes and Williams were ahead of the competition," he said, "but this time it's really hard for me to see the pecking order.  We could have a pretty mixed-up field in Australia."


Indeed, a mix of teams has often seemed competitive at recent tests, including the obviously improved Ferrari, the fastest-at-Catalunya Lotus, and the usual suspects Mercedes, Williams and Red Bull.

He said: "It's really difficult to see who's fast and who still has work to do. I think Mercedes is at the front but when you look at the long runs Ferrari looks strong.  Williams... it's hard to tell... and Red Bull and Sauber are looking solid."

As for McLaren, it's been a difficult and tumultuous period as the great names reunite for the complex challenge of the V6 era.

Button said: "I've been through a few difficult winters. Here (at McLaren) in 2010, the exhaust kept falling apart. In most cases, you get your problems under control.

"I'm convinced we will see significant progress from some teams this year and that makes it all pretty exciting."

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