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Button hoping for multiple winners

Jenson Button says that seeing a number of different winners in the early rounds of 2013 is his best hope of remaining in touch with the points lead.
Jenson Button has admitted that a repeat of last year's remarkable run of different winners over the opening rounds of the F1 world championship probably represents his best chance of being able to get back into title contention.

The Briton was downbeat after the opening round of the 2013 series, in Australia last weekend, when his McLaren proved to be off the pace of the other frontrunners. Qualifying tenth fastest led only to a one place improvement in the race, while podium finishes for the likes of Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel underlined the potential of Lotus, Ferrari and Red Bull respectively. Even former McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton enjoyed a positive weekend, finishing in the top five on his Mercedes debut, but Button was in slightly more reflective mood by the time he arrived in Kuala Lumpur for round two at Sepang this Sunday.

Acknowledging that it will take some time to understand the shortcomings of the new MP4-28 – probably until May's first European round in Barcelona at the earliest – and with the team ruling out a switch back to last year's successful MP4-27, Button told Sky Sports News that he needed the victories to be spread between as many drivers as possible if he is to have a chance of remaining in touch with the championship lead. Last year, the first seven races were won by different drivers, with Melbourne winner Raikkonen making it eight different winners by the end of the season.

"One person can't dominate - I'm already 23 points behind the leader so we need different winners every race,” the 2009 world champion conceded, "Even so, if we're picking up one or two points [per race], it's still going to be very difficult.

"However, if Kimi doesn't finish in the points again and the next guy that wins doesn't finish in the points again there might be an opportunity."

For all the talk about reverting to the car that took him to victory in the last race of 2012 at Interlagos, Button agrees that there is no point moving away from the MP4-28 – which is very different to its predecessor – this early in its development.

"It's better to stick to the plan in terms of developing what we have to improve what we have - that's always the way forward," the 33-year old insisted, "We don't know what the future holds but, at the moment, we've got a car and we're trying to make the best of what we have.

"McLaren is a front-running team and they know how to develop cars. We're obviously not where we would like to be, but we do know the curve of improvements, hopefully, will be far greater than what other people can find. It needs to be! For now though, we've got to just focus on finding a good set-up for [Sepang]. It's obviously a very different circuit [to Melbourne] and maybe we won't have such big issues.

Button cited the quality of the MP4-28's ride and the cooler than expected temperatures in Australia as the major problems facing McLaren – both of which should be improved by the smoother tarmac and hotter conditions of Malaysia – but knows that attempts to work on the car could be blighted by forecasts of wet weather for the Sepang weekend.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
17.03.2013- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
17.03.2013- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28 leads Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9
17.03.2013- Qualifying, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
17.03.2013- Qualifying, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
14.03.2013- Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
McLaren, 2011 launch, [Credit: Crash PA]
Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso - Mercedes, McLaren
Ayrton Senna - McLaren. 1993 Donington Park
Lando Norris, McLaren Autosport BRDC Awards [Credit: Martyn Pass PR]
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 off trach and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 spins
27.11.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31

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oldtimer - Unregistered

March 21, 2013 6:34 PM

Did I say Button had any imput into developing the Brawn, I don't think so, what I actually said was that he was very lucky stepping into a car that was much faster than the opposition at the start of 2009. The fact that you read something into it which was not meant is not my problem, more a result of your persistant missreading of what people actually say. What Lewis Hamilton has to do with it is beyond me. Anyway you would be well advised to stop falling of your perch because it's obviously affecting you badly.

Macca - Unregistered

March 21, 2013 12:07 PM

Macca really are a bit of a mess at the mo. One story I heard was that in the barc. tests, when JB appeared impressively fast, they had put the suspension on the wrong way round giving the car a much lower ride height and artificial pace. Incredible to think a team could make such a balls up. Anyway, here's hoping that they can turn it around.

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