6 June 2015
F1 Canadian Grand Prix: Button sets sights on Manor after penalty
McLaren-Honda's Jenson Button expects a tough race in Canada after engine change penalty means 'threatening anyone other than the Manors is going to be difficult'...
Jenson Button failed to qualify for the Canadian Grand Prix and will suffer further pain in the race itself after being forced to take an engine change penalty.
The Briton ground to a halt on track at the end of morning practice in Montreal, giving the McLaren-Honda team insufficient time to effect either a repair or replacement before the afternoon session got underway. As a result, he was forced to watch from the pit-lane with the knowledge that he would likely have to take an additional penalty as he exceeded the mandated limit on power unit parts.
“It is a tough one,” he admitted, “Initially, it was an electronic issue and that caused a problem with the ICE. The guys are doing a great job of taking the car apart and putting it back together, so I will have a good car for tomorrow, but I didn't qualify, I don't know where I am starting from or how much of a penalty I have...”
Although he has won from the very back in Canada before, Button is not expecting a repeat this time around and, knowing that any likely penalty will fall in the race itself, is setting his sights low.
“It is a pity, but these things happen,” he sighed, “Hopefully, we can have a fun race tomorrow, but I don't think I will be overtaking many cars. It'll be a tough day but we'll do the best we can. I think we need to look at the penalties first, but threatening anyone other than the Manors is going to be difficult.”
Button's problem struck not long after team-mate Fernando Alonso took to the track after sitting out most of FP3, and the Briton was particularly frustrated by his luck having felt that McLaren had made progress with the set-up of his MP4-30.
“Yesterday, we weren't very happy with the car in practice but, this morning, we were much happier after we made some really big changes which worked really well,” he confirmed, “We did a lot of set-up practice and the car was feeling much better, so I was looking forward to it, but it happens.
“It felt positive until the moment it stopped, [but] still, I don't know if we're going to be very quick here – if you look at Fernando's lap, it was obviously a good lap, but the two cars behind him had ERS issues, so it's going to be a tough race even for him, starting 13th.”
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