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F1 Bahrain GP: McLaren gives ‘a lot of confidence now’ - Button

Jenson Button says the progress made by McLaren-Honda is coming along well as he shows flashes of genuine pace during the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Jenson Button believes McLaren has reason to be excited for the future after showing arguably its most encouraging weekend performance since the switch to Honda power during the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Though a somewhat unsatisfying weekend in terms of results after Button retired early on from the race with technical difficulties, there were glimmers of potential from the MP4-31 package, with the 2009 champion believing he had a car to take him as far as seventh in the race.

Indeed, though he struggled in Q2, Button says his lap in Q1 – on low fuel, fresh tyres – was indicative of the potential the MP4-31 has and how far it has come twelve months on when Button barely completed a lap in Bahrain.

“If I compare my lap in Q1, I think we have been reasonably happy with the car in terms of the way it feels, the speed it carries through corners, the confidence under braking. It is moving in the right direction. In Q1 it is the happiest I have been with a race car in a while.

“I felt that with a bit more front-end we could put together a pretty good lap in Q2 and be knocking on the door of Q3. We are going in the right direction and it feels we are knocking on the door of Q3, which is a step forward. It is not where we ultimately want to be but we are moving in the right direction.

Indeed, Button says he gleans 'a lot of confidence' from the car and though the Honda power unit still requires work, he feels it is improving all the time.

“The car gives you a lot of confidence now, which is positive. It seems to keep making a step since Barcelona to the first race and to here. I think we surprised a lot of people in FP2. I don't think we were going to hold onto third quickest in qualifying but I don't think we were able to show our true pace which is a shame because it is on the up.

“In terms of outright power, we are improving all the time which is great to see, and in terms of reliability as well, which is fantastic. There is always more we need to do with the car and the power unit as a package. I think the important thing is to look at the positives that we can take out this weekend.

“We have new parts coming, new options with the power unit, so it is all moving in the right direction. Last year was a tough year for us for many reasons but I think we are the right path which is great to see.”
by Ollie Barstow



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
02.04.2016 - Free Practice 3, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
02.04.2016 - Qualifying, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
02.04.2016 - Qualifying, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
Jenson Button (McLaren-Honda MP4-31) during night practice at the 2016 Bahrain Grand Prix
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)

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theoldgitspeaks

April 08, 2016 4:49 PM

The car is not powerful enough to do more than gain a few points, the midfield is as usual very close. If it were possible to gain extra power just like that others would have done it, a gap of 1 and a half to two seconds is not going to be bridged anytime soon but hopefully by the end of next season they will be near parity with Mercedes and Ferrari, problem will be that they will have moved on by then and I also suspect that the new rules for next season will favour the leading teams. Playing catch up never works in F1, if it's not right in the first place it never will be.



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