Jenson Button allays fuel shortage fears

Jenson Button's McLaren

Jenson Button’s McLaren

Fears that cars will run out of fuel in the Australian Grand Prix are wide of the mark, according to McLaren’s Jenson Button.

New turbocharged engines and a reduction in the amount of fuel dictated for use in the race have led to concerns over how teams and drivers will manage the fuel consumption.

This year the FIA has stipulated a maximum 100kg (135 litres) fuel limit for the race which is a third less than last season.

The 2009 world champion admitted Albert Park is the third worst circuit on the calendar for fuel consumption, but is confident drivers will not run out of fuel as teams battle to learn the intricacies of the new regulations.

“I don’t think people will run out of fuel,” Button told Speedcafe.com.

“Here fuel consumption is quite a big thing I think. I would say Melbourne is probably the third worst circuit in terms of fuel consumption.

“Its not going to be plain sailing and flat out for the race but it never is.

“In previous years we have never fueled the cars so we can go flat out in the race because it is not the quickest way to get to the end of the race.

“We are always fuel saving at the end of the race.”

Unlike reigning world champions Red Bull, McLaren has successfully completed a race distance in pre-season testing and although Button admits fuel strategy will be a challenge, he is relatively assured with his MP4-29.

“Its very difficult to find the right maps to run in terms of fuel usage and the energy recovery system to get the best out of it,” he continued.

“When you throw strategy into the mix it is going to be very difficult.

“We have a done a couple of race runs and we feel a lot more comfortable.”

Button will start just 10th on the grid, six places behind his rookie team-mate Kevin Magnussen, after a difficult wet qualifying session.

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