Jenson Button says it’s impossible to predict the starting order from testing times, claiming various variables make it hard to read individual pace.
“Nowadays, it’s even harder to get a good read on relative pace – there are four very different compounds of tyre: you can be running on 20kg of fuel, or on 120kg; you can be using KERS, you can be using the rear wing.
“It’s almost impossible to look at a lap time and accurately say how that time was achieved,” he told the official F1 website.
Despite this, he knows it’s difficult not to look at test times and get carried away, or disappointed, depending on where a car is positioned.
“Obviously, it’s hard to resist looking at the timesheet as an indicator of pace – there’s an old saying that the stopwatch never lies – because that’s what you spend all season doing.”
However, he urged it wasn’t a similar case for testing.
“That’s never the case in testing. I quite like the mystery – it just makes it more exciting when we get to the first race!”