F1 »

Button prepares for 'difficult' McLaren debut in Mexico

Jenson Button is expecting the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez to produce a big challenge to his McLaren Honda team due to its high speed layout and dizzying altitude
Jenson Button is expecting the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez to produce an almighty challenge to his McLaren Honda team but is relishing the prospect of heading into the unknown.

The Mexican Grand Prix has made its long-awaited return to the Formula 1 calendar this season after a 23-year absence, with the circuit undergoing severe refurbishment and the track being revised from its original layout to meet safety standards.

The race is forecast to produce the second-highest average speed on the F1 roster only behind Monza and is situated considerably higher than any other F1 venue at 2,200 metres (7,218 feet) above sea level.

With oxygen levels at 78 per cent compared to at sea level, McLaren expects the performance of the MP4-30 and the Honda power unit to be heavily effected, as more work will be placed on the turbo to compensate for the lack of oxygen entering the internal combustion engine along with less aerodynamic downforce.

Still feeding off his sixth place result in the US Grand Prix, Button is aware McLaren is likely to struggle in Mexico due to its underperforming power unit but feels the new circuit could act as an equaliser with its competitors.

“Austin was an exciting race and the mixed conditions meant we were able to race on a more level playing field with our competitors until the track dried out towards the end,” Button said. “If the weather stays dry next weekend in Mexico, we know we'll have a much more difficult grand prix on our hands, so we need to take the opportunity to gather as much data as we can and work on maximising our strategy for our car's performance.

“The circuit itself looks really interesting - I remember as a kid watching some incredible battles there and the drivers hanging onto their cars around Peraltada, which looked mega, if a bit scary!

“The altitude is easily the highest we have to deal with at any grand prix on the calendar, so that in itself will be something new for all the teams to work with, and the fact this circuit has the second highest top speed after Monza will mean it won't be easy for us.

“Saying that, having good balance and downforce in the car will be crucial so we'll get stuck in with set-up and see how we fare on Friday morning.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
24.10.2015- Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Honda MP4-30
25.10.2015- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Honda MP4-30
Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso - McLaren
George Russell, Mercedes junior programme, [Credit: Mercedes]
Kevin Magnussen - Haas F1 Team [credit: Haas F1 Team]
Valtteri Bottas, Nico Rosberg
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Motorsport in 30 Seconds, 11th January 2017
Ayrton Senna - McLaren. 1993 Donington Park
Nico Hulkenberg - Renault Sport F1
Renault Formula One Team, launch date, [Credit: Renault F1]
Force India reveals the launch date for its 2017 F1 challenge
Nigel Mansell - McLaren-Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas
M-Sport reveals its Ford Fiesta RS WRC challenger

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.