6 May 2015
F1 Spanish Grand Prix: Button raring to go after Bahrain no show
McLaren-Honda's Jenson Button is keen to get his 2015 F1 season back on track at the Spanish Grand Prix having had to sit out the last round in Bahrain.
Jenson Button has perhaps more reason than anyone for anticipating the restart of the 2015 F1 season, having had a longer break between races than his rivals.
While the majority of the grid has had three long weeks since last sitting on the grid, Button's wait has been seven days longer thanks to McLaren's decision not to start him on reliability grounds in Bahrain, and the Briton is keen to discover what improvements have been made to the Honda-powered MP4-30 in that time.
Neither Button or team-mate Fernando Alonso have yet scored a point in 2015 – leaving McLaren at the bottom of the teams' championship alongside minnow Manor-Marussia – but work has been continuing apace behind the scenes at Woking and, after Alonso's eleventh place finish in Bahrain, the team is optimistic that points are now within reach.
“Coming into Europe after four 'flyaways' and a three-week break is always an exciting feeling,” 35-year old Button, who won in Barcelona en route to his 2009 world title, commented, “It's like the second phase of the season is beginning and, especially after my difficult weekend in Bahrain, I'm raring to get back out there and see how our car fares around this track.
“We've made good strides over the past few races, and that effort has continued right through the break between Bahrain and Spain, so I'm excited to see where we are and to work with my engineers to keep pushing the boundaries of our previous performances at every opportunity. The key to all of this, though, is reliability, and that's the most important element if we are to really push our package to its limits from Spain onwards.”
The entire F1 field is familiar with the Circuit de Catalunya, having spent many a winter testing on its tarmac, and Button is well aware of the challenges it presents.
“The Circuit de Catalunya is a great place to kick off the European season - and a fun circuit to race on, with long straights, high-speed corners and tricky chicanes that require you to get the most out of the car throughout the whole lap,” he said, recalling a difficult pre-season with the current McLaren-Honda package, “It really challenges the car and you need good balance and aerodynamic downforce to get the best consistency, and, ultimately, performance. It's also difficult to overtake there, so we'll be working on our qualifying performance from the outset to try and push us up the pecking order.”
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