11 June 2013
Button plays down Silverstone chances
Jenson Button is resigned to the fact that he won't be a contender for the podium at his home race as McLaren's malaise drags on.
Jenson Button has warned British F1 fans not to expect him to lead the home challenge for honours at Silverstone later this month.
Although his McLaren team has been making progress, albeit painfully slow, with its troubled MP4-28 over the first third of the season, and should bring another raft of upgrades to the car for the British Grand Prix, Button accepts that his dream of winning on home soil is likely to have to wait another twelve months after being lapped in Montreal at the weekend.
Having both missed the cut in Q2, Button and team-mate Sergio Perez also failed to score, ending a 64-race run of points for McLaren, and the Briton, while acknowledging that Silverstone presents a different challenge to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, says he remains pessimistic about the team's chances of reaching the podium in 2013.
"Going to Silverstone we're looking to have a much better result than [in Canada],” he told Britain's Guardian newspaper, “We do have some parts on the car, which should help us - but it's not going help us get to the front.
"The fans in the UK are amazing. It's so nice to get the support from the British fans, to see the union jacks and rocket red [McLaren] hats, [but] we're not going to get the result I'm sure all the Brits want - and we want.
“But we will fight on and do the best we can. There are no positives from this weekend. The one positive is that Silverstone is a different circuit."
McLaren's malaise has not only seen Button slip 107 points behind Montreal winner Sebastian Vettel in the drivers' standings, but also puts the team behind Force India in the constructors' race.
"The pace isn't there," the Briton explained, "We could have been in the points, but even then we would have been eighth, ninth or tenth. We still would have been lapped by the leaders – and that's the shocker, really. We still wouldn't have been quick, but we could have had a better race."
McLaren has maintained that it will work itself into position to contend for wins this year, but Button is beginning to doubt whether that will be possible given the superior pace – and continued development – of the cars from Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes and Lotus.
"No one knows the answer to that,” he sighed, “It's pointless for me to try and answer. I don't know if we're going to win a race this year.
"[But] I'm still in a great team, probably the best team to find your way out of a situation like this. It will happen. It just takes time – [but] it will be so much sweeter when it happens!"
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