Australian GP: Button admits points all McLaren can hope for

Jenson Button believes that a top 10 finish in the Australian Grand Prix would be "very positive" for McLaren considering how far off the pace the team's 2013 car is

Australian GP: Button admits points all McLaren can hope for

McLaren endured a tough start to the season in free practice at Albert Park, as both of its drivers were more than two seconds off the pace set by Sebastian Vettel.

Team boss Martin Whitmarsh suggested last week that targets were low going into the season-opener, and Button said in the paddock on Friday that McLaren has a lot of work to do.

"The way things have gone today, I think points would be very positive," said the 2009 world champion.

"We're obviously not quick. The feeling is not good with the car, so we've got a lot of homework."

Button admitted that he knew the MP4-28 was off the pace in testing, but he thinks the gap in Australia has been exaggerated by the team not getting the most out of the car yet.

"After the last test we knew we didn't have the pace," he said. "We couldn't have got anywhere near the laptimes the other guys were doing in testing.

"We were over a second off, and it's even more here. And that's not right.

"You always hope that when you get to the first race and it's a bit warmer that things will turn your way, but at the moment they haven't.

"We have quite a few weaknesses with the car. Ride is a lot worse than we expected, so we have been working with that today trying to find a direction.

"It's not easy at the moment but I'm sure we can do a better job than we have so far."

Button said that it was key for the team to work out overnight "if the car is doing what we think it's doing", and his new-team mate Sergio Perez added that the car was difficult to understand on track.

"The car is so unpredictable," said the Mexican. "It's not only doing one thing, it's doing so many things that it will be very difficult for us to set up.

"The car is quite inconsistent through the corners. It's quite difficult to drive and to extract the maximum performance.

"It will be very hard to get some points [this weekend], but anything can happen. We could have some surprises with the weather."

AUTOSPORT Australian GP coverage:

FP1 FP2 Qualifying Race Gallery Live commentary Official quotes

shares
comments
Australia Friday quotes: Force India

Previous article

Australia Friday quotes: Force India

Next article

Australian GP: Splitter damage caused Hamilton's off

Australian GP: Splitter damage caused Hamilton's off
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button
Teams Racing Point , McLaren
Author Glenn Freeman
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Plus

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future Plus

The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future

The Formula 1 world reacted with surprise when it learned Lewis Hamilton’s long-awaited new Mercedes deal guarantees his presence on the grid only until the end of 2021. Both parties claimed publicly they were happy with the arrangement but, asks MARK GALLAGHER, is there more to it than that?

Formula 1
Apr 17, 2021
How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again Plus

How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again

Driver-turned-DJ Jaime Alguersuari lost his love for motorsport when he was booted out of Formula 1 just as he was starting to polish his rough edges. Having drifted from category to category then turned his back on racing altogether in 2015, he’s come full circle and is planning a return in karts for fun

Formula 1
Apr 17, 2021
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Plus

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Plus

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well-aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead on pace. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent Plus

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent

While Japan's fever for motor racing is well-documented, the country has yet to produce a Formula 1 superstar – but that could be about to change, says BEN EDWARDS

Formula 1
Apr 15, 2021
Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration Plus

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration

For too long, F1's richest teams have justified being able to spend as much as they want because that's the way they've always conducted their business. STUART CODLING says that's no reason not to kick a bad habit

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is not guaranteed

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021