Jenson Button feels that taking part in the Bahrain Formula 1 test last month would have been "useless" in preparing him for his one-off grand prix return with McLaren in Monaco this weekend.

Button appeared to have made his final F1 appearance in Abu Dhabi last year, only to be drafted in by McLaren for Monaco following Fernando Alonso's decision to enter the Indianapolis 500.

Button was offered the chance to test the McLaren-Honda MCL32 car following last month's Bahrain Grand Prix, but opted against doing so, meaning his first running in the new-style 2017 car will come on Thursday in Monaco's opening practice session.

Speaking in Wednesday's FIA press conference, Button said he felt well prepared for his return to F1 despite not having driven the car yet.

"Preparation has been good, apart from I haven't driven the car with these new regulations. So it's not perfect but the option was to do half a day in Bahrain which I thought was absolutely useless for me to do, completely different type of circuit," Button explained.

"I said to the team I think it's best if I do a few days in the simulator. Obviously as drivers we love the simulator, so I was raring to go. I spent a lot of time in the simulator just getting a feel for it. It's been interesting.

"Most of the stuff's the same, but there are a few things that are obviously different. Different in regulations and it changes from year to year, technology and what have you. A few things to learn, but it's still a racing car. Just got to get used to it being a bit wider."

Button was not immediately announced as being Alonso's replacement by McLaren, leading to speculation that the Briton was uneasy about coming out of retirement for the race.

However, the 2009 F1 world champion stressed he would not be racing if he did not want to, having consulted those closest to him: his girlfriend and his dogs.

"I asked my dogs, they said we can be without you for a week or so. My girlfriend said you've got to do what you've got to do, and I said yes," Button said.

"And it was my decision. I could have said no if I wanted to, as we all can. Nobody wants a racing driver that doesn't want to drive. Really excited. Obviously preparation could have been better if I had the opportunity to test the car in a proper test, but it's not the way Formula 1 works. You've got to be ready.

"I think fitness-wise, that's not an issue. I think the neck is going to be a bit sore after Thursday, even around Monaco. But we've got Friday off, so a little bit of rest. 'Mikey Muscles' [Collier] is back for a one-off race, my physio, so he's going to be rubbing me once again.

"It's an exciting challenge, and that's what it's all about, it's what we're here for. Really looking forward to it."

 

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