Jenson Button has played down fears the arrival in F1 of several struggling new teams is a safety concern.

Jenson Button has played down fears the arrival in F1 of several struggling new teams is a safety concern.

Ferrari and Felipe Massa have expressed reservations about the fact Lotus and Virgin were several seconds off the pace at recent February tests.

The third new team HRT, meanwhile, will make its track debut on Friday with two rookie drivers at the wheel of a car that has not turned a single lap.

In an interview published by Italy's La Stampa, the reigning 2009 world champion Button was asked if the new teams are set to make the sport more dangerous.

"It's not so much a question of danger," the McLaren driver replied, "but it will make it more difficult for us to work in practice.

"It could be we're starting a fast lap with low fuel and you come across a Lotus or a Virgin with full tanks running 12 seconds slower.

"Even in qualifying, with 24 cars on the track, it will be crucial to get it right.

"In the race it will be better, because the difference between first and last will be more like 3 or 4 seconds," the Briton added.

 

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