19 November 2015
Button defends McLaren, expects 'big margins' in winter
Jenson Button has risen to the defence of his McLaren Honda team and is confident it can learn from its mistakes to make rapid improvements in the winter.
Jenson Button has risen to the defence of McLaren by saying 2015 is the year to learn and make mistakes in order to get it right for next year, which has fired-up his motivation for the 2016 F1 world championship.
Despite this season looking like the 2009 F1 world champion's last in the sport, the Briton produced a turnaround by confirming he will stay with the team for 2016 and is now looking to next year as the McLaren Honda comeback campaign.
Button feels that even though he and team-mate Fernando Alonso are still dogged by reliability issues and lack of pace, it is what the team can learn from this season which motivates him for next year.
“This year is more of a testing year for us – some of the races we've done okay in unusual circumstances but, most of the time, it has been testing, trying to prove out things with the power unit but also with the car itself, with the chassis and the aerodynamics,” Button said. “Every race, we're bringing new parts and, whether or not you see it in terms of lap time, it is all learning for next year so my views haven't changed since Japan, or just after Japan, when I decided that I wanted to stay next year.
“Obviously it would be nice to see, and I think we would all love, in this team, to have more reliability, but we're trying to push and make good gains through the year, because next year is the year that is more exciting for us.”
The 35-year-old is optimistic for the challenge ahead but is also aware of the difficulty of the task to cut the lap time deficit to the dominant Mercedes by over 2.5 seconds along with finding cures to its ongoing reliability woes with the Honda power unit.
“I wanted to stay because my view is we could have a good year next year. I feel the passion within the team, how everyone is working very well together,” he explained. “It's going to be a long winter, a winter we're looking forward to. It isn't going to be an easy winter to find the time that we need - for fighting at the front we have to find 2.5secs, which is a massive gap – and whether we can do that or not, I don't know, but I know that we will make big margins this winter.”
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