McLaren upgrades are working, says Button

2014 Malaysian Grand Prix

Jenson Button, McLaren, Albert Park, 2014Jenson Button says his McLaren is short on downforce at the moment but is encouraged that the team’s development programme is yielding results.

Looking ahead to this weekend’s race in Malaysia he said: “Sepang is a great driver’s circuit, and even if we don’t have the overall downforce we want, we should have the balance and driveability to make the car work.”

“And that’s really encouraging,” he added, “because it means we go into a race weekend knowing that we can usually get the maximum from the car during the sessions and the race.”

“Even if we don’t yet have the pace to take the fight to the frontrunners, we should have a car that’s decent in every sector, and which we’ll be able to hustle through the race – and that definitely counts for something.”

McLaren endured a trying 2013 with the uncompetitive MP4-28. They failed to score a podium finish all year long but both drivers scored top-three results in the first race of the new season.

“Australia was a really motivational race for the entire team – even though we still have work to do,” said Button. “It feels like we’ve turned a corner, and that we have a race car we can definitely work with this year.”

Button added the team were encouraged to see their new developments were working as expected when they were put on the car. “We brought some useful upgrades to Melbourne, and it was encouraging that they worked straight out of the box, but it’s essential that we keep pushing new items through the development pipeline, especially at these flyaway races, where it’s harder to bring new parts to the circuit.”

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28 comments on McLaren upgrades are working, says Button

  1. Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 24th March 2014, 18:28

    It reminds me 2007 for Mclaren. They endured winless previous season, they have a rookie driver with a huge talent and they scored double podium at the first race.

  2. Thomas A (@gremlinwon) said on 24th March 2014, 18:28

    Sounds good that McLaren are back on track. It is also good that button is happy again. Happy driver=Wins

    And he has a great new young teammate that he can mentor and also be challenged by rather than Perez who was a cry baby.

    • In_Silico (@insilico) said on 24th March 2014, 22:08

      Cry baby? How?

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 25th March 2014, 8:05

      Perez who was a cry baby.

      I believe Jenson was the cry baby in their time together.

      And he has a great new young teammate that he can mentor

      More like a young talent who will make him look obsolete

      Don’t think Jenson will be smiling for much longer. Expect massive understeer and no grip issues in Malaysia

    • Deej92 (@deej92) said on 25th March 2014, 14:19

      I think Perez gets far too much stick sometimes. I thought he conducted himself well throughout his short McLaren career. I can’t remember any “cry baby” moments.

      At the end of last season, he and Button were working well together and got good points for McLaren when Perez seemingly upped his game. It was a pity that it was after the announcement that he was going to be replaced. Perez was just unlucky that such an exciting young talent as Magnussen was lurking in the background as he did a decent job in his one season with the team.

  3. Spencer White (@jojobudgie) said on 24th March 2014, 18:55

    Good to see Mclaren back on track.
    However, it was time for Jenson to retire a long time ago and I believe the Perez/Magnussen line-up would work the best. Many people will argue that Button brings good experience and some good-quality race pace but honestly, he really is past it now. Checo deserves a second chance, he did perform scruffily at the start of the season, but he did much better later on.

    • Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 24th March 2014, 19:05

      What makes you say that he is past his best?

    • JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 24th March 2014, 19:54

      @Jojobudgie – I’d love to know what evidence you have to prove that Button is passed his best, or should retire at all.

    • gwenouille (@gwenouille) said on 24th March 2014, 20:22

      Haha, here we go again… incredible.
      The guy scores a podium on the first and only race so far and yet, “well everybody knows he’s past it”.

      Even better, he should have retired “a long time ago”. You mean before he went to McLaren to score more points than pure-gold-highly-skilled-gutsy Hamilton ?

      The more I read such things the more I’ll be rooting for him in fact…

      • rob white said on 24th March 2014, 20:52

        in the 3 years they were team mates who scored more points? cumulatively?

        • G Breese (@breesegp) said on 24th March 2014, 21:48

          Button edged it, partly down to hamiltons string of retirements in the latter half of 2012 (which one would have to argue weren’t exactly his fault)

          • smudgersmith1 (@smudgersmith1) said on 25th March 2014, 9:59

            Lewis edged it, most of us agree that he is in pure speed, faster, but credit to Jenson, he also had his fair share of mishaps and incidents that weren’t his fault….Belgium 2010 a a race he was on for a podium, Monza ditto, these things even out especially over three years or so.
            As for retiring, well lets judge that at the end of this season, I personally think he will beat Jan…but not by much.

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 24th March 2014, 21:28

      Many people will argue that Button brings good experience and some good-quality race pace

      Mostly because it’s true, whereas your comments are unfounded in fact or logic.

    • He is sooooo past it, that he got a 3rd place in the 1st race of the season. Propped over the hill thaty friend!

    • Paul (@frankjaeger) said on 25th March 2014, 4:09

      You people are delusional, you simply condemn Jenson for being older than other drivers. The guy has proven himself to be an efficient, super competent, driver whilst not in a Brawn; a driver who deserves to be in F1.

  4. ME4ME (@me4me) said on 24th March 2014, 19:21

    Last race’s upgrades were working. Let’s see if the 0.5 seconds worth upgrades works too.

  5. wayne (@waynedru78) said on 25th March 2014, 10:50

    Trouble with most ppl views on Jenson are based on the fact that Jenson isn’t an exciting driver who likes going for gaps that are not there, wheel locking everywhere, power sliding out of corners ect . Jenson is a calculated racer thinks before he acts finishes the races takes his time is very patient and gets results, for example the deemed to be king of f1 Fernando alonso couldn’t even pass the hulk now some would argue he had a software glitch but he is suppose to be the best all round driver in f1 surley he could of driven around those problems.!!!!!

    • Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 25th March 2014, 18:27

      @waynedru78 I agree with your views on Jenson. He is after all a rain specialist and a calculating driver given a good setup. But,

      Firstly , The Hulk is not some average bloke sponsored by his daddy .He can make champions cry like he did in Korea last year .
      Secondly , Alonso was literally fighting fuel consumption problems and his vacuum cleaner was not fully charged for the race. Give him a good car and he will zap .

  6. Jochenrindt78 said on 25th March 2014, 12:27

    People seem to ignore the fact that Jenson was unlucky in qulifying in OZ thanks to Raikkonens crash which robbed him of his optimum lap, I’m as excited as anyone about K-Mag’s potential, but at the end of the day they finished right next to each other in the race even though JB was hampered through no fault of his own. No-one has a clue what is happening this year until we get a few races under our belts.

  7. Jochenrindt78 said on 25th March 2014, 12:29

    P.S. JB’s VERY late dive into the pits at the safety car is just the kind of inspired experienced decision making that could give him the edge…

    • audifan said on 25th March 2014, 13:11

      jenson should certainly retire ..after all in another 12 years he will be as old as fangio was when he last was WDC

  8. tonyyeb (@tonyyeb) said on 25th March 2014, 13:42

    I think it is easy to see that McLaren owe their double podium to their reliability and poorness of their competitors. If Lotus and Ferrari had the speed of last year McLaren would probably be fighting for 5th and 6th like last season. But you can’t really judge on one race so we will see how the next 2-3 pan out. A wet race next time out will still distort the order like the wet quali in Oz did so might not be a fair comparison.

  9. timi (@timi) said on 25th March 2014, 22:45

    And long may the good fortune continue Jenson. I’m praying McLaren, Ferrari and Williams gain chunks of time so there isn’t an out-and-out fastest car. As great as it is to see a different pace-setter to red bull, it’s no more healthy for the sport. Another insanely fast car, with a best-of-the-rest competition, is the last thing F1 needs right now.

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