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Button takes hope from Alonso woes

Jenson Button says McLaren can take hope from the way in which Ferrari and Fernando Alonso battled back to challenge for the F1 title last year
Jenson Button has said he hopes that McLaren can follow the lead of Ferrari in turning its car into a race winner on the back of a difficult start to the 2013 F1 season.

Twelve months ago, Ferrari headed into the opening round of the season with a car that was off the pace after a difficult pre-season programme, although the team was still able to fight its way into contention for the title – with Fernando Alonso only missing out on honours in the season finale in Brazil.

This time around, it is McLaren seemingly playing catch-up after both Button and Sergio Perez were off the pace in Melbourne, with Button trailing in ninth and Perez failing to score in eleventh.

Speaking ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang this weekend, Button said McLaren could take heart from the way Ferrari had responded to its issues and vowed that the Woking-based team would do what it could to return to form.

"Fernando was one and a half seconds off the pace - of us at the start of the season - and almost won the title,” he told Sporting Life. “So yes, it is possible for a front-running team to make up the deficit. If it's the same as their situation, I don't know.

"There are always strengths and weaknesses, and then it's about how many of each, but it's not the place we'd like to be at the start of a year. For us, a lot has changed over the winter with the car, and for most of the teams that's not been the case. They have developed what they had last season. We just took a very different approach.

"At this moment in time, obviously we're not as happy as we were hoping to be, but it's only the first race and there's so much we can achieve."

Expanding on his thoughts in McLaren's Malaysian GP preview, Button said he wasn't getting his hopes up about what could be achieved on track at Sepang this weekend, although he was quick to point out that the weather could lead to a surprise when it comes to the result – as was the case last year in a rain-affected race.

“For this weekend, I don't think we can expect an improvement in our fortunes, but the thing about Malaysia is that it can be so unpredictable – particularly with the later start time on Sunday afternoon, which tends to see late-afternoon showers fall,” he said. “We saw that last year, when Fernando won, and we know that the unpredictable weather can make it a lottery for everyone.

"That's something that could play into our hands – I do enjoy driving in changeable conditions, and would love the challenge of being able to run competitively in a car that we all know is not quite capable of challenging for victories yet.”




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
17.03.2013- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28 leads Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9
17.03.2013- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28 leads Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9
17.03.2013- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28 leads Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9
McLaren runs SAP livery in Shanghai
17.04.2014- Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
17.04.2014- Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
17.04.2014- Press Conference, top to bottom Left to right: Adrian Sutil (GER) Sauber F1 Team C33, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM07, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Sauber F1 Team C33, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
17.04.2014- Press Conference, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
17.04.2014- Press Conference, top to bottom Left to right: Adrian Sutil (GER) Sauber F1 Team C33, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM07, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Sauber F1 Team C33, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
17.04.2014- Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
17.04.2014- Press Conference, top to bottom Left to right: Adrian Sutil (GER) Sauber F1 Team C33, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM07, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Sauber F1 Team C33, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
17.04.2014- Press Conference, top to bottom Left to right: Adrian Sutil (GER) Sauber F1 Team C33, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM07, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Sauber F1 Team C33, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
17.04.2014- Press Conference, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
17.04.2014- Ferrari tech detail
17.04.2014- Press Conference, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
17.04.2014- Press Conference, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
17.04.2014- Press Conference, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05  and Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
17.04.2014- Press Conference, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T

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Ben - Unregistered

March 20, 2013 7:08 PM

I faill to understand why people have such a short memory, or could it be that they are relatively new to F1? Button is at best just an above average driver. He is not even close to Kimi. Remember that he was sacked at Renault and replaced by then test driver Fernando Alonso. Yes Alonso was his test driver at Renault. Button was supposed to be the leader at Renault but was often outqualified by his teammate Jarno Trulli. Thus the decision to sack him. The car with which Button could not win at Renault was the same car the test driver Alonso won 2 World championships. What does that tell you? Button won his first race in F1 after 113 races. I remember Briatore calling Button at the time "lazy" and a "playboy". And responding to critics who felt he shouldn't have replaced Button with Alonso the test driver, he said "only time would tell if I am wrong". And we have since answered that equation.



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