Jenson Button has admitted McLaren needs to sort its reliability issues over the coming tests in order to stay in touch with the lead teams.
McLaren launched the MP4-26 one week later than its rivals and while the team sticks by its decision, a lack of spares at Jerez and Barcelona has meant the car has had limited running. On Saturday hydraulics issues kept Button in the garage for much of the morning before he finally completed some meaningful laps in the afternoon.
"We're not doing as many laps as we'd like, so we're a little behind some of the other teams, which is a bit of a disadvantage, but that's something we're addressing," he said after completing 54 laps on Saturday. "Over the next two days, hopefully our reliability will be better, and we'll be fully equipped with spare parts."
He said completing high mileage in the new car is crucial if he and team-mate Lewis Hamilton are to get the best from it.
"Mileage not only helps reliability, but it's also useful for set-up work," he added. "It's difficult to balance the car with the front wing when you're trying a variety of tire compounds and fuel loads. And it's taken a bit of a time, especially at a circuit like this, where getting the aero balance right is important.
However, Button is confident there is a huge amount of unlocked potential in the MP4-26.
"There's a lot more performance still to come from this car - now we just need some proper mileage to see what it can do. Hopefully, Lewis will be able to achieve that over the next two days." ESPNF1
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