F1 »

McLaren not ready to benefit from Red Bull war

Jenson Button believes that McLaren is too far back to benefit from the civil war raging at rival Red Bull.
Jenson Button has admitted that, if there is any on-track fall-out from the Red Bull team orders row, it is unlikely to help his cause too much in the coming races.

The Briton, who made his views on the 'Multi21' saga – and Vettel's reaction to it early in the Chinese Grand Prix weekend – quite clear in the build-up to this weekend's race [ see separate story], conceded that his McLaren team was too far adrift of the likely pacesetters to gain anything other than a few extra points should the two Red Bulls get together on Sunday.

“It is interesting to witness what is going on there, but we are not in that battle at the moment,” he told the official F1 website following the opening day of practice in Shanghai, “I don't think that it is fully settled between Seb and Mark right now, but that's my personal opinion.”

Button's comments on Vettel also touched on the whole subject of team orders, and he admits that he is happy with McLaren's arrangement whereby its drivers are allowed to fight with each other – as he and former team-mate Lewis Hamilton showed throughout the three-year stint together at the Woking squad.

“I know where I stand - we don't have team orders,” he confirmed, “I've always had a good time with my team-mates - especially with Lewis over the last couple of years - and that's the way it should be.

“But, yes, it's a tricky matter. We all know that we should have a fair race, that we can do our own race, but we are also racing for a team and, with the way the tyres are working now, it is a great excuse [to use team orders]. I have enjoyed working with the tyres so far this year [but], of course, there is a lot of degradation with the tyres and, if you have two guys at the front who are fighting it out, it's possible that you lose the win. I'm guessing this was the reason for both [Red Bull and Mercedes].”

Button's admission that McLaren will not be in the fight for victory again this weekend comes despite a three-week break between races in which the Woking team has been working hard to overcome the early deficiencies apparent in its MP4-28.

“During the first two races, we were pretty happy with the performance of the car, especially in Melbourne - and temporarily also in Malaysia - although it is clear that we are still not quick enough,” he confirmed, “These three weeks since Malaysia have really been good for us to analyse the data that we have collected in the first two races. We are here with a few new parts that hopefully will help us, not only here but also for the development in the future. Looking back to Melbourne and Kuala Lumpur, we've been three to four tenths off the quick cars, and I am pretty sure that we can pull that back in a few races.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
12.04.2013- Free Practice 1, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
12.04.2013- Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
12.04.2013- Free Practice 1, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
17.03.2013- Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9 pole position and Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9
12.04.2013- Free Practice 1, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
Kevin Magnussen - Haas F1 Team [credit: Haas F1 Team]
Ayrton Senna - McLaren. 1993 Donington Park
Renault Formula One Team, launch date, [Credit: Renault F1]
Lando Norris, McLaren Autosport BRDC Awards [Credit: Martyn Pass PR]
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
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 Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race,Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H  leads Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12

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.

Arthur - Unregistered

April 13, 2013 10:12 AM

Personally, I thought Jenson did well in qualifying. He showed his mind is on full alert, and those harder tyres will stand him in good stead. A top 5 finish is possible. Despite the negatives offered by some, he has not whinged, nor has he put a foot wrong. No, does not throw the car around, makes very few mistakes, and costs McLaren nothing in collateral costs. He will win races.

D-Fuct - Unregistered

April 13, 2013 12:53 PM

Crikey - if McLaren are needing that kind of leg up then they must be in deep treacle. I'm sure the anti JB brigade will be along any moment to set the record straight...

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

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