Bahrain Friday 'best day' in years for McLaren-Honda says Button

Friday practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix was McLaren's best day in Formula 1 "for a couple of years", Jenson Button feels

Bahrain Friday 'best day' in years for McLaren-Honda says Button

Button starred in the second practice session on Friday, finishing best of the rest behind Mercedes pair Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.

The result is comfortably the highest McLaren-Honda has been since the two parties reunited in F1 last year, and Button was buoyed by the fact it was on merit, rather than as a result of changeable conditions.

"It's nice to have a car that feels good underneath me and we can really work with and see good gains," he said.

"I think when you look at how far we were off the Mercedes, that's the time you've got to gauge, really. That's 1.2 seconds.

"I think there will be cars that slip in between us tomorrow, but you've got to say that it was a good day for us, and it's been the best day for a couple of years."

While Button was 14th in the opening session, he feels the car would have been "equally competitive" with high fuel in the opening 90 minutes, if his second run had come together.

Noting that reaching Q3 on Saturday "has to be the aim", he admitted more work is needed on longer runs.

"The balance is reasonable," he said.

"The car's feeling nice around here, definitely better than Melbourne.

"High-fuel runs weren't too bad either, there is a bit of work needed, especially on the back-up [medium] tyre.

"But on the super-soft, it's working reasonably well.

"There's certain areas we need to improve, and I think we still can improve."

shares
comments
Ecclestone promises quick F1 qualifying fix, defends Sky TV deal

Previous article

Ecclestone promises quick F1 qualifying fix, defends Sky TV deal

Next article

McLaren pace surge in Bahrain GP practice surprises its F1 rivals

McLaren pace surge in Bahrain GP practice surprises its F1 rivals
Load comments
Why unseen Hungary heroics could be the making of F1's most overlooked driver Plus

Why unseen Hungary heroics could be the making of F1's most overlooked driver

The chaotic start to the Hungarian GP set the scene for F1's less heralded drivers to make a name for themselves. Esteban Ocon did just that to win in fine style, but further down the order one driver was making his first visit to the points and - while the circumstances were fortunate - took full advantage of the chance presented to him

Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The “heart-breaking” call that led to Ocon’s Hungarian GP triumph Plus

The “heart-breaking” call that led to Ocon’s Hungarian GP triumph

Set to restart the red-flagged Hungarian Grand Prix in second, Esteban Ocon had some doubts when he peeled into the pits to swap his intermediate tyres for slicks. But this "heart-breaking" call was vindicated in spectacular fashion as the Alpine driver staved off race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel for a memorable maiden Formula 1 victory

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Plus

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Plus

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Plus

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break Plus

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break

OPINION: Formula 1 is about to break up for summer 2021, with the title battles finely poised. But it’s not just the latest round of Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton that will be worth watching this weekend in Hungary, as plenty of drivers are eying big results to change the stories of their seasons so far

Formula 1
Jul 28, 2021