Heat a concern for McLaren – Button

2014 Malaysian Grand Prix

Jenson Button, McLaren, Albert Park, 2014Jenson Button says the high temperature at the Sepang International Circuit is exacerbating the weaknesses of the McLaren MP4-29.

Air temperatures climbed to 34C during the second practice session today and track temperatures reached 51C at one of the most punishing tracks for tyres on the calendar.

“We’re finding it tough out there today – especially in the heat,” said Button after setting the eighth-quickest time during practice, seven-tenths of a second off Nico Rosberg.

“We’re not as strong as we’d like to be in high-speed corners and, when you have downforce issues, they’re further amplified by the hot weather. So our long runs were tricky – in terms of both tyre degradation and outright pace.”

Button cautioned that race pace rather than one-lap performance was the true measure of a car’s potential at this track.

“I’m sure people are getting excited about individual lap times, but they don’t count for too much around here because you can usually overtake. It’s the long runs that you need to analyse, and that’s where we’re finding it a bit more difficult.”

However he reported encouraging results from McLaren’s development parts this weekend which include a reshaped nose:

“We’re now going through the data, but the upgrades we brought here seem to be giving us something – so that’s encouraging – but there’s a lot of work still to be done.”

2014 Malaysian Grand Prix

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4 comments on Heat a concern for McLaren – Button

  1. BasCB (@bascb) said on 28th March 2014, 13:54

    Not half a second improved then?

    • Renee Rehe said on 28th March 2014, 16:11

      I suspected that McLaren might have been a bit too optimistic in saying they will be much faster in time for Malaysia. Sad though.

  2. Palle (@palle) said on 28th March 2014, 19:03

    It also looks worse, because Ferrari and Red Bull have upped their game. But lets see what 3rd training brings for qualifying and “for sure” the heat will take its toll on power packs come race day. Here I suspect Renault to be more vulnerable than the rest, but with a potential of at least 6 cars being faster than McLaren it will be very difficult for them to reach the podium. Fingers crossed though.

  3. bukester (@bukester) said on 29th March 2014, 6:44

    I can’t remember when Button was last interviewed without whining about something .

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