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F1 Malaysian GP: Button to toast 300th Gand Prix start in Sepang

Jenson Button is confident the demanding Malaysian Grand Prix on both driver and car will not expose McLaren's weaknesses as he prepares for his 300th race start in F1.
Jenson Button is confident the demanding Malaysian Grand Prix on both driver and car will not expose McLaren's weaknesses as he hopes to end a frustrating run of races.

The 2009 F1 World Champion is expected to make his 300th race start in the sport having made his debut in 2000 for BMW-Williams as he prepares for a year sabbatical from F1 in 2017.

Button has enjoyed victory on one occasion at Sepang, on his way to the 2009 world title, while he has also achieved three further rostrum results including his maiden F1 podium in 2004 for BAR Honda.

Despite the podium looking unlikely with McLaren's current pace Button is optimistic of a strong showing from the Woking-based squad this weekend.

“Sepang is becoming a modern classic – although it's a relatively new circuit, it's one of those tracks that drivers enjoy going back to,” Button said. “The conditions are like nothing else we experience, the circuit is quite technical and fun to drive, and the atmosphere is always great.

“As drivers, we're all well equipped for these conditions as part of our training, but it does take its toll by the end of the weekend. You definitely need to be in peak physical fitness to cope with the heat. I'm ready and excited to get out there and start my 300th grand prix, and hopefully have better luck than I did in Singapore.”

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Button is confident his McLaren-Honda MP4-31 will not suffer its usual deficiencies at power unit-dependent circuits - while Honda is considering a power unit update at either Malaysia or its home race at Suzuka next week - and he is once again targeting a tight midfield battle.

“Although it's traditionally seen as a high-speed circuit which isn't usually something that our package favours, we do have a good car under braking which is necessary to handle the tight corners after the long, fast straights,” he said.

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The 36-year-old will be keen to end a run of three races outside of the points, having suffered two retirements in that time, and mark his 300th F1 race start with his first points since the German Grand Prix.

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by Haydn Cobb



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
16.09.2016 - Free Practice 1, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
25.06.2017 - Race, The race stopped, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and the Safety car
25.06.2017 - Race, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
25.06.2017 - Race, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C36
25.06.2017 - Race, 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, 1st place Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB13, 2nd place Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 and 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB13 race winner and 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren MCL32
25.06.2017 - Race, Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren MCL32 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H leads Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40 and Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
25.06.2017 - Race, 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40

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