Button clocked a time of 1:25.854 in the second practice session of the Australian GP, while teammate Hamilton registered 1:25.986. Alonso was third fastest on the day (1:26.001), while world champion Sebastian Vettel timed 1:26.014 after 35 laps and came fourth.
After a difficult start to the season, the McLaren team updated the MP4-26 with a heavily revised exhaust and underbody arrangement, no doubt easing the brow of team principal Martin Whitmarsh.
"Today was a good, solid day," Whitmarsh said. "Today we saw a decent correlation from simulator to race track."
Button was bubbling too, noting: "To have a car that runs for as many laps as we want it to is very satisfying."
But, Whitmarsh and Button both know the hard work starts on race day...
"You don't get any points on Fridays," Whitmarsh helpfully explained. "All I'll say now is that we're going in the right direction."
Heading in the right direction is good, especially when Red Bull's Big Brain Adrian Newey reckons the RB7 is ‘three-to-five tenths' quicker than its nearest opposition. Plus, Vettel has customarily nicknamed his RB7 ‘Kinky Kylie' ("it has a tight butt, is supple and good to look at").
With that in mind, your predictions for Sunday, if you please. To help you think, here's a vid of Button wranging around the Bathurst track in his McLaren.