Crash.Net F1 News
Button: Tough times now will boost McLaren later
30 July 2013
Jenson Button has revealed his belief that the tough, traumatic times that the McLaren team are going through in 2013 will only make them stronger in the future.
"I think the season was very difficult for us, Button admitted in Budapest this weekend. "But I really so think that we've grown together as a team and we've improved over that period of time.
"I think it's really helped us as a team, and it also helps in the way that you fine tune every single detail when you're in that position," he added. "You try and get every hundredths of a second out of every part of the car because you know you have to, because that can make the difference of getting into Q3 for example.
"I really think it's helped as as a team for the future," he insisted. "When we have a competitive car, we'll be ready for it."
However Button admitted that the thought did little to assuage the disappointment of how 2013 had gone for the team so far, heading into the mid-season August summer break.
"It's been alright, but I think it's been tough to get a good rhythm this season," he said.
"McLaren is known for fighting at the front, fighting for race wins, definitely fighting for podiums pretty much every Grand Prix, so when you don't have that it's mentally very tough," he explained. "I've had bad seasons before, I know how tough it can be, but for McLaren it's something that doesn't happen very often."
"It's been extremely tough," agreed his new team mate, Sergio Perez. "It's my first season with Mclaren and it's been very difficult first of all to get to know the car.
"Since the first time I drove it in Jerez to now it's changed completely," he said. "Every weekend, on Fridays we're always trying a lot of things and then on Saturdays we start with a new car."
But Perez said that as the season progressed, things were getting better - especially with the way that the team dynamic was working.
"My understanding with the team has really grown up a lot since the start of the season," he said. "Right now I'm in a position to always maximise the full potential of the car, exploring the car and the limits and where we set up the car trying to maximise every single little [thing.]
"We're getting very strong with my group of engineers … We have a lot of room to improve, it's only my tenth race with McLaren," he pointed out.
Asked by journalists to give his season so far a mark out of ten, Perez said "For myself, six or seven - because I have good room to improve together with the team."
Button wasn't as comfortable giving himself a score, even when pressed to do so by the reporters.
"I don't want to put a number on it," he replied. "To be fair it would be a complete guess. I mean, what does five mean, what does eight mean?
"Ten's perfect, and obviously I am but I don't want to state the obvious!" he said, drawing laugher from the crowd, before then moving on to make a more serious point.
"It should never be a ten, because we should always be willing to improve - and never think we're the best," he said.