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F1 Chinese GP: Button targets reliability over result in China

Jenson Button says despite recent improvements with McLaren-Honda's reliability his aim in China is reaching the chequered flag over any outright result
Jenson Button says despite recent improvements with McLaren-Honda's reliability his aim in China is to reach the chequered flag over any outright result after a mechanical fault prematurely ended race in Bahrain.

Since Honda's return to F1 as engine partner with McLaren it has struggled with reliability as well as an underperforming engine and over the winter has focused its efforts to cure its mechanical problems.

After a promising pre-season McLaren has endured underwhelming results in the opening two races, with Button struggling to 14th in Australia before a fault with his ICE unit ended his race in Bahrain after six laps.

Having uncovered the issue with the engine Button says his team must concentrate on reliability before targeting any outright results in China.

“We need to work hard on our reliability,” Button said. “We've definitely seen an improvement in that area, but anything less than 100 per cent is never enough, and it's important we take advantage of our progress to bring home the points we deserve and have something to show for all of our efforts.

“The Bahrain race weekend was bittersweet on my side of the garage. We definitely saw another step in the car's performance from Australia as we keep learning more about the handling and characteristics of the car, and bring new upgrades to each grand prix.”

Button is one of only a handful of drivers to compete in every Chinese Grand Prix since its inaugural race in 2009, when he claimed second place with BAR Honda, and say the Shanghai International Circuit holds some happy memories which the 36-year-old is aiming to add to this weekend.

“The Chinese Grand Prix is a very different challenge from the past two races, and I've enjoyed racing there in the past,” he said. “My victory there in 2010 was very memorable and a great race – it just shows how the changeable conditions can really mix things up – so I hope we can enjoy some more good racing there this weekend, and most importantly, see the chequered flag.”

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April 13, 2016 12:47 PM

So sad that Button is just hoping to finish, you would think that by now Honda would have sorted these problems out, not only is the car miles of the pace it is still suffering from basic reliability problems, probable not too surprising given that they have had to totally redesign everything from scratch. I've thought all along that they will not get anywhere near the front of the grid until 2017/8 by which time Mercedes/Ferrari and Redbull and the rest of the grid will have moved on. I will put my neck on the line and say that this combination will never win a Grand Prix, it has been seriously flawed from the start and I don't really see it catching up given the rate of improvement in F1.

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