Button: 'Mercedes one second ahead of rivals'

Friday 14th March 2014, 11:22 by Ryan Wood 

Daimler/Mercedes

Jenson Button has claimed that the Mercedes works team is about a second clear of the rest of the field over a long run following practice for the Australian Grand Prix.

Whilst practice is difficult to judge, Mercedes did finish fastest with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg half a second clear of third placed man Fernando Alonso.

Button however believes they're much further ahead over a race simulation, not only compared to McLaren, but the entire F1 field.

"We were two seconds off them [Mercedes] in the test and we're over a second off them here in the long runs," said the Briton after second practice.

"I think everyone's about a second off them, they're very quick."

He played down McLaren's pace after he finished fifth fastest with only the Mercedes, Alonso and Sebastian Vettel ahead.

"I don't think our outright pace is as good as it looks in practice but we're OK; our balance still isn't there.

"We're nowhere near the quickest. It's a little bit surprising that [Mercedes is] much quicker than everyone else, including the Williams - which looks a bit of a handful to drive in high-speed corners which is a surprise as well."

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