4 June 2015
F1 Canadian Grand Prix: Montreal balancing act for Button, McLaren
Jenson Button admits that McLaren isn't likely to find the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve as accommodating as the sinous streets of Monaco.
Jenson Button admits that this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix is a very different prospect to Monaco, where he finally broke the McLaren-Honda team's points duck at the sixth attempt.
Honda's difficult return to the top flight has been well-documented, and Button is quick to admit that the tortuous twists of Monaco's street circuit masked the engine's deficiencies more than most. Montreal, on the other hand, presents that MP4-30 with long flat-out stretches and tight hairpins that require a pretty unique set-up.
“This circuit is difficult anyway because it's very low grip, very bumpy and we run less downforce than most circuits,” the Briton explained, “It's a tricky place to drive because you're just used to hitting the apexes of the chicanes and, 'bang', you're straight on the throttle. However, if you do that with the new engines, you're straight in the wall….
“The supersoft is actually a harder tyre than last year, so it's going to be even more difficult to get the tyre working - and that's the softest tyre that we have!”
The dilemma, however, isn't one that can easily be solved by playing with aero levels, as taking too much off will fail to get the best out of the tyres and bolting too much on will leave drivers struggling for pace on the straights.
“We'll try different things, I think a lot of people will,” Button surmised, “The important thing is getting the tyres working first to be able to do some set-up work. If you come out of the garage with Monza downforce, you're never going to get the tyres switched on and you don't do any testing, so it's a real balancing act when you start lowering downforce here.
“It's a tricky one, I think Red Bull did something like that last year, but it's a tough one because, if you take too much downforce off, you don't get the tyres working. It's always a balancing act but it really is here. It's a tough one. I think we'd rather have the tyres working, but we've got to see how it plays out really this weekend.”
As a result, Button is not expecting a repeat of his Monaco result, which saw him bring the #22 car home in eighth place.
“I think Monaco, for us at the moment, is a standout race because it is low-speed corners, which I think we're stronger in than high-speed corners,” he reasoned, “But scoring four points six races in, you've got to take it, you've got to enjoy the moment.
“We're used to winning, but we're not winning so, for us to sit there and say 'it doesn't really mean much unless we're winning', we're going to be depressed for a little while!
You've got to have stepping stones to greater things. Our main goal is to win a world championship, it's not even just to win races, but you've got to have little goals on the way and I think the whole team were very happy with what happened that weekend. I think it did give everyone that little confidence boost.”
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