F1 »

Button worried by lack of McLaren pace

Jenson Button might have won last year's Australian GP, but on Friday he couldn't even crack the top ten at the end of free practice.
"Clearly we're not as quick as we'd like to be," was Jenson Button's blunt assessment at the end of the first day of free practice in the 2013 F1 world championship.

That was something of an understatement. Last year's race winner was almost two and a half seconds off the Red Bull driven by Sebastian Vettel at the end of three hours of free practice running at Albert Park in Melbourne, and things weren't getting any better as the day progressed.

"Our short runs weren't particularly encouraging, to be honest," he admitted. "We're a couple of seconds off the pace, by the looks of things, and that's always going to be disappointing for a team as successful as Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.

"In a situation like this one, all you can say is that there's a hell of a lot of work for us to do, and that we're well up for it," he continued. "This team is incredibly good at turning things around, performance-wise, when that's what's required."

But the British former world champion was under no illusions that it was looking like Saturday was going to be a tough time of it for the team, based on their showing in free practice so far.

"Qualifying won't be easy, but I'm pretty sure we'll be able to do a better job on Saturday than we've done today," he said, leaving unspoken the implied 'it could hardly be much worse.'

"I'll be surprised - and very happy - if we are in the top ten on Saturday," was his assessment of where McLaren stood on the basis of Friday's performance. And things hadn't appeared to be improving as the day went on.

"Our car appears to be lacking in grip and consistency, and is suffering from significant understeer and poor ride," contributed team principal Martin Whitmarsh. "Try as we might, we didn't move forward in performance terms during the course of the day, either."

"We have quite a few weaknesses with the car," Button elaborated. "Ride is a lot worse than what we expected and Martin's already pointed that out. We've been working with that today to try and improve the car around the ride, but we haven't really found a direction yet.





Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
15.03.2013- Free Practice 1, Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28
15.03.2013- Free Practice 2, Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28
15.03.2013- Free Practice 2, Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28
15.03.2013- Free Practice 1, Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28
15.03.2013- Free Practice 2, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
15.03.2013- Free Practice 1, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
15.03.2013- Free Practice 1, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
20.04.2014- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
20.04.2014- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
20.04.2014- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
20.04.2014- Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
20.04.2014- Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM07 during pit stop
20.04.2014- Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 during pit stop
20.04.2014- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
20.04.2014- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
20.04.2014- Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
20.04.2014- Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM07
20.04.2014- Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM07

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


oldtimer - Unregistered

March 15, 2013 1:38 PM

McClaren appear to have screwed up big time yet again, why this keeps happening I don't know, perhaps it is time they replaced their top design staff because this is'nt the first time this has happened. Whitmarsh has a lot of questions to answer as all the build up to this season was that they would be shooting for the championship and look where they are. Button say's he sees no reason to move, I can't see anybody else rushing for the drive if this goes on.



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.