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Button not ruling out title challenge

Jenson Button says McLaren can still challenge for the F1 title this year - but insists that the Spanish Grand Prix will be key
Jenson Button has refused to rule out a championship bid for McLaren despite a difficult start to the 2013 season.

The team has suffered in the early part of the year with the new MP4-28, although Button was able to make his two-stop strategy work to clinch a first top six finish of the year in Shanghai.

Despite that, the Briton already finds himself 40 points behind Sebastian Vettel in the title race and he admitted that the Spanish Grand Prix – which follows this weekend's Bahrain race – could be key to his hopes for the remainder of the year.

"Barcelona is always important, and for us it needs to be a good step forward - not massive, but in the right direction," he told Sporting Life. "If we can keep building on the package, and if it is in the right direction, it does work and gives us a few tenths then that would be great.

"I know what's coming and I don't think it's going to give us the nine tenths of a second we need. But as long as it does what it's supposed to do then we can start developing with that package.

"If we get what we think we'll get in Barcelona, then that will be a positive and we can move from there. But I'm not ruling out anything (with regard to the title) just yet."

Button added that he needed to score as many points as possible to minimise his losses this weekend in Bahrain, with the team currently behind where it had expected to be at this stage of the season.

"We're losing a lot of points which is a pain, a bit of a problem, at this point of this season,” he said. "It's difficult at the moment. Getting double-digit points in China was good, but we need to do the same this weekend. If we can carry 20 points over into Europe, and then if we can get a good package on the car, it's a positive.

"But we're definitely worse off than we expected to be at the start of this year, even though we knew it would be more difficult compared to other teams because a lot of them carried over their car from last year."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
14.04.2013- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28 leads Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W04
14.04.2013- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28 leads Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
14.04.2013- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28 leads Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28
McLaren - Honda MCL32
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32 F1 launch, [Credit: McLaren]
McLaren MCL32, McLaren-Honda, [Credit: McLaren]
Fernando Alonso - McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren Honda MCL32
Lando Norris joins McLaren`s Young Driver Programme
McLaren, 2011 launch, [Credit: Crash PA]
Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso - Mercedes, McLaren
Sebastian Vettel, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, ROC [Credit: ROC]
Ayrton Senna - McLaren. 1993 Donington Park

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