McLaren result “better than we expected” – Button

2014 Australian Grand Prix

Jenson Button, McLaren, Albert Park, 2014Jenson Button said McLaren’s third and fourth place finish in the Australian Grand Prix was better than they expected heading into the race.

Button gained four places from his starting position to finish fourth, while Kevin Magnussen took a podium finish on his debut.

The 2009 world champion hailed a “great job” by his new team mate. “In qualifying I think in the wet was probably even more impressive than today’s podium,” he told reporters after the race.

“But a great result for him and the whole team. Third and fourth – it’s better than what we expected, it really is, and a good starting point for this season.”

McLaren now lead the constructors’ champions for the first time since the 2012 Chinese Grand Prix almost two years ago,

“It’s been a long time since we were leading a constructors’ championship,” said Button. “It’s a really good feeling.”

“You always want more. But this is a good starting points. We have some improvements for Malaysia. We’re not leading the constructors because we were quickest, we’re leading because we got both cars home and were relatively quick.

“With some updates hopefully we can challenge the Mercedes and Williams, who I think are very quick.”

Button faced a recovery drive after failing to reach Q3 during yesterday’s qualifying session. “Starting tenth was always gong to be tricky,” he said.

“I said to the guys I want to get a good start, it’s the easiest place to gain places – but it’s also the easiest place to have a shunt, especially with the way the cars are under braking.

“There were so many accidents on lap one, so I actually found myself going backwards a little bit.

“But an enjoyable race. The team did a great job in the pit stops. Also I just got in when the safety boards flashed up I saw it and quickly dived in the pits which made a big difference as well.”

Button added he was pleased not to be too restricted by fuel saving in the latter stages of the grand prix. “It was an enjoyable car at the end of the race.”

“The last stint I didn’t have to save fuel, I pushed as hard as I could to catch Kevin and Daniel [Ricciardo] but it just wasn’t enough and the tyres were obviously pretty old compared to those guys.”

2014 Australian Grand Prix

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38 comments on McLaren result “better than we expected” – Button

  1. Mach1 (@mach1) said on 16th March 2014, 10:37

    I was pretty impressed with Button today. Sure, bad qualifying which seemed to be out of his control. But a really good drive I thought.

    • Aced (@aced) said on 16th March 2014, 10:48

      A good drive. I thought he did get a bit lucky with the safety car. However, I was still impressed he managed to close the gap to just 3seconds on Magnussen even after being stuck behind Hulkenberg and Alonso for quite some time.

    • While Rosbergs’ dominance was overwhelming and Bottas’ drive impressive, the McLaren/Button combo was definitely the smartest of the field. Both stops were very well timed; not only the safety car stop (which obviously was a bit of a lucky shot) but surely the second one, in which he overtook both Hulkenberg and Alonso (if I remember correctly).

  2. Albert said on 16th March 2014, 10:37

    A shame that everybody will credit Ron Dennis for this, when it was under Whitmarsh that this car was designed and made.

    A shame indeed, since this could/should have been Whitmarsh’s year redemption, but most people will hail Dennis as a hero just because he talks loudly.

    • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 16th March 2014, 10:50

      Whitmarsh did enough damage in the years that he was there.

      He doesn’t design the cars, but he did decide to ditch a race winning 2012 car design to placate Button’s difficulties driving it. Ending up with a complete dud of a car.

      Worse yet he did have a hand at picking the wrong drivers and losing the right tone.

      • Albert said on 16th March 2014, 15:27

        @patrickl

        but he did decide to ditch a race winning 2012 car design to placate Button’s difficulties driving it.

        That was not why they ditched it. And even if it were, it would still be a perfectly reasonable decision. A “race-winning” car is of limited use if your driver can drive it properly, see Webber.

        Worse yet he did have a hand at picking the wrong drivers and losing the right tone

        Yep, big mistake. Such is life. Not too different from Dennis bringing Kovalainen.

        And there again, that has little to do with my post.

        • Albert said on 16th March 2014, 15:29

          It’s meant to say “*can’t drive it properly”

        • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 16th March 2014, 19:03

          That was why they ditched and it was a bad decision whichever way you look at it. The usual option is to improve the car. Especially if the car was good already and there was only one season (with that type of car) to go anyway.

          Problem with Whitmarsh is that he isn’t a leader. Dennis is. If it takes a “loud” voice then so be it. At least he gets things done and he did so before Whitmarsh too.

          • Albert said on 17th March 2014, 11:01

            @patrickl

            That was why they ditched and it was a bad decision whichever way you look at it. The usual option is to improve the car.

            Nope.
            http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/109224

            The usual option is to improve the car. Especially if the car was good already and there was only one season (with that type of car) to go anyway.

            Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Be less ready to judge a team’s decisions when you have 12+ months of hindsight.

            Problem with Whitmarsh is that he isn’t a leader. Dennis is.

            Pointless speculation at best. No one here has worked for the McLaren F1 team to assert that with even remote confidence.

            At least he gets things done and he did so before Whitmarsh too.

            That sounds like McLaren had won every championship Dennis led. Which it didn’t. The performance of McLaren 2010-2012 was pretty much comparable to most seasons under RD. 2013 was terrible, sure, but they jumped back fabulously this season so far. So there you have it.

      • Carl Craven said on 16th March 2014, 17:38

        Button gained 6 places to fourth, seven if you include to third, not four as the article suggests

    • Mach1 (@mach1) said on 16th March 2014, 11:03

      I don’t think this will be the case. It is only the first race and as many people have pointed out, Ron’s recent record is not that impressive in terms of results.
      McLaren did need a refresh and cold water in the face. They seemed out of energy and tired last year. Hopefully whatever changes they made will work.
      I’d be more concerned that they could not close a gap on a supposedly weak Red Bull. What is going to happen when Red Bull get things working correctly!!

      • likeitsays said on 16th March 2014, 19:37

        well that’s what i was thinking until ricciardos disqualification. The stewards report says they exceeded the maximum fuel flow rate “consistently” i believe was the verb used. Despite warning as well.

        We’ll have to wait for the outcome of the appeal but it could be that they were racing with an illegal performance advantage today. Even if redbull are correct and the sensors are not accurate enough everyone else used them and abided by them. The rules say the fia sensor is the primary sensor for judging fuel flow. Sorry dan hope im wrong.

    • Mr win or lose said on 16th March 2014, 12:00

      Well, McLaren have become winners again. Magnussen is better than Pérez, Bouillier is better than Whitmarsh and the Mercedes engines have become a real asset too. They are much more resolute than last year, making most out of circumstances. Button’s pitstops were very well planned.

      • Albert said on 16th March 2014, 12:05

        None of those have anything to do with Ron Dennis.

        Also Boulier better than Whitmarsh? Based on what exactly?

      • Aced (@aced) said on 16th March 2014, 12:22

        I think they were still very fortunate the broken tip on JBs wing during the pit stops didn’t cause a puncture. I was actually surprised it didn’t as he went completely over it with the left front.

    • DaveW (@dmw) said on 16th March 2014, 15:34

      Dennis has done more than enough to show that his team succeeds by more than his loud talk. It’s ridiculous to say that he had no effect on the development of the car over the winter, when he was back in charge. Welcome back, Dennis, to F1. Now we have another capable team fighting at the front making things interesting. Martin, we’ll see you in the conference room at 3 for cake and coffee and a fond farewell.

      • Albert said on 16th March 2014, 15:53

        @dmw

        Dannis came back after the winter. In fact, the car had already been submitted to the FIA crash test when he came back. If he had any input in this car’s development, it was extremely minimal incomparison to Whitmarsh’s, that’s simply how it is.

  3. gwenouille (@gwenouille) said on 16th March 2014, 14:32

    So, so, so…

    A little note for @mashiat, @gunusugeh, @howard, @karter22 wanting Button to retire, just because he missed Q3 (because of a yellow flag).

    A podium is still not good enough ?

    • Paul (@frankjaeger) said on 16th March 2014, 16:55

      @gwenouille Hahaha what a dig! Love it :)

    • Ady (@ady) said on 16th March 2014, 17:03

      The haters see bad luck (such as a yellow flag in Q2) as proof that he shouldn’t be in F1. They then also claim that he is the luckiest driver in F1 when he does well (although he was fortunate today with SC).

    • Oople said on 16th March 2014, 17:27

      @gwenouille
      I take off my hat to this comment.

      Never before have I seen such a knee-jerk reaction to a qualifying result…
      Hopefully now those people have been silenced.

    • JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 16th March 2014, 23:14

      @gwenouille – Fantastic comment :) I’m still amazed how many people continue to underestimate him.

    • frow67 said on 17th March 2014, 9:59

      +10 …..wonder if anyone will comment now on his iminent retirement ?? with alll the technical issues this year and the further change to Honda next year then Mclaren need a calm , intelligent driver to oversee the changes and leave them in a good place to then develop Magnussen and whoever will eventually come in for JB maybe for 2016

    • Mashiat (@) said on 17th March 2014, 13:08

      @gwenouille If you read my reply to the reply to my comment, I wasn’t speaking as a result of this qualifying session. I was speaking as a result of the previous two or three seasons. Perez isn’t a Alonso or a Hamilton, but he still beat Button in Qualifying last year. And one can expect Mag. to perhaps have the edge on quali, especially as McLaren themselves feel he is quicker than Checo. So, no. I wasn’t pulling it out of the hat as a result of one quali session.

      • Nick (@nick101) said on 17th March 2014, 13:22

        I was speaking as a result of the previous two or three seasons. Perez isn’t a Alonso or a Hamilton, but he still beat Button in Qualifying last year

        Oh my, here we go again.

        Tell me @mashiat, how many points did Hamilton and Perez get for out qualifying Button?

  4. Paul (@frankjaeger) said on 16th March 2014, 17:15

    A good performance for the McLarens. with Button’s dissected nose.

    I think they’ll be getting ‘unsteady Andy’ to operate the jack for their next few races

  5. Andrew (@andrewsf1) said on 16th March 2014, 18:53

    “Fuel saving takes away the fun” – Button
    See it’s not as bad as some were saying. I’m pleased to hear that a driver can push as hard as he can, at least during the last stint.

  6. Deej92 (@deej92) said on 16th March 2014, 20:36

    That was a terrific drive from Button after a qualifying result that was hindered by the yellow flag.

    Now with McLaren leading the constructors’ championship, where does the title sponsor sign…

  7. frow67 said on 17th March 2014, 9:39

    Agree…Button still rates as one of the top 4 or 5 drivers in the current F1 paddock, in fact a lot of commentators reckon that he is probably the best overall driver and complete package & if Mclaren can develop the car quicklty he will be right up there fighting for wins / podiums possibly even WDC. Quite why he gets so many negative comments is a mystery.. another subject and another mystery is why Hulk is so well rated, he has been overlooked now for the last 3 – 4 seasons by the big boys so they must all know something or see the same thing i.e. he maybe is not just quite good enough ?

  8. I’m sorry guys but I’ve been watching F1 for many years now and if the Mclaren team were a private company with the budget the team have they would ALL have been sacked by now. How the whole team aren’t walking round with their held down, I really don’t know. God they are being beaten by a drinks company !!!
    Blooming terrible forget the rest of the season go home and come back in 2016

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