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F1 Bahrain GP: Boullier: Vandoorne good… but Button could have been better

Stoffel Vandoorne impresses Eric Boullier, but he feels Jenson Button would have fared better in the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Eric Boullier says he was disappointed Jenson Button wasn't given the chance to show the full potential of the improving McLaren-Honda during the Bahrain Grand Prix on a weekend where he was overshadowed by his point-scoring F1 debutant team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne.

Button retired early from the Bahrain race whilst running ahead of Vandoorne, with Boullier believing he could have ascended to seventh position at the finish had he not suffered Honda power unit problems.

With Vandoorne – making his F1 debut in place of the injured Fernando Alonso – going on to finish tenth and score a point, attention naturally revolved around the Belgian and his eye-catching weekend performance, which included out-qualifying Button.

However, Boullier was quick to acknowledge Button's efforts and was frustrated he wasn't given the chance to show the steps forward made on the MP4-31.

“He did a good weekend. He didn't put a foot wrong and he is did a very good job, but to be fair, we believe Jenson could have had a good result today, at least seventh. That could have been a different story.

“With the pace we had with the car, and he was very happy with the car balance. We could save a lot of fuel on the first lap of the race and then you know with the pace we had with Stoffel and the pace we had with JB where we could have been. Obviously it is if, but it would have been somewhere around there.”

Even so, Boullier remained impressed with Vandoorne's efforts, which will strengthen his hopes of landing a full-time race seat in 2017.

“I think having done such a weekend for him it is a massive boost to his confidence. It is also a boost I guess for his career. I know a lot of people have some eyes on him. So it is good for him.”

Should McLaren consider Vandoorne for one of its own seats, it is Button that is likely to be under threat as his contract comes to an end this year, while Alonso has a deal in place for 2017.
by Ollie Barstow



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
03.04.2016 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 and Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
03.04.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 and Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard
Lando Norris, McLaren Autosport BRDC Awards [Credit: Martyn Pass PR]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 off trach and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 spins
27.11.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31 and his girlfriend Brittny Ward (USA)
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31 and his girlfriend Brittny Ward (USA)
27.11.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31

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Hypoc

April 05, 2016 11:04 AM

Button was on fire those first 7 laps, able to keep up with Toro Rosso and Ferrari-2, shame his honda died again. But all praise should go to Stoffel, impressive debut, some nice fights and overtakes and the first point for McLaren this season, well done! Good luck in Super Formula!



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