Jenson Button says McLaren has to start “unlocking the car's secrets” as it looks to move up the grid at the Spanish Grand Prix.
McLaren suffered a disappointing double-DNF in the Bahrain Grand Prix before an even less competitive showing in China saw the team fail to finish with either car in the points. With the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend likely to see a number of upgrades throughout the field, Button said there was more work that McLaren needs to do if it wants to fight nearer the front.
“For us, it's not simply about bringing new parts to the circuit: it's about understanding and unlocking the car's secrets, and using that understanding to take bigger steps with performance,” Button said. “We're still at the early stages with our car, and, for us, it's less about the components that we fit to it, and more about the bigger picture – finding a useful direction, gaining trust in our measurements and pushing ahead.
“We all know that this team has the capacity to develop a car through a season, so I hope and trust that we'll start to push forwards again soon.”
Button also hinted that McLaren may struggle this weekend due to the characteristics of the Barcelona circuit.
“The Circuit de Catalunya is a demanding racetrack for any car – its combination of long, sweeping corners places the emphasis on aerodynamic performance, which is an area where we're lacking at the moment. It's always been a place where a competitive car will shine and a less-competitive one will struggle.”