Button expects Honda's ERS gains to help avoid more Mexican GP pain

Jenson Button believes drastic improvements to McLaren-Honda's energy recovery systems since last season will help the Formula 1 team avoid a repeat of its woeful 2015 Mexican Grand Prix

Button expects Honda's ERS gains to help avoid more Mexican GP pain

Button failed to participate in qualifying for last year's Mexico City F1 race, thanks to engine problems, while team-mate Fernando Alonso was only 16th fastest.

Alonso then suffered an MGU-H malfunction on the first lap of the race, while Button was classified behind all finishers bar the Manors.

The high altitude and long main straight at the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit exposed the severe weaknesses in Honda's 2015 power unit, but the ERS has been heavily revised this year.

Button reckons a combination of this, and the MP4-31's prowess under braking, should make McLaren much more competitive in Mexico this weekend.

"[Energy] deployment was a long way off last year and that hurts you around here because it's a long lap, lots of straights," Button said.

"My deployment was shutting off before we got to the DRS line halfway down the straight, people actually passed us before they had DRS, so it was a very difficult race.

"The layout itself I don't think it's a bad thing for our car. The mid-speed corners aren't the best, but the low-speed corners are really good for us.

"And in terms of deployment, I think we are the best out there, or equal to the best.

"Obviously we're still down [overall], but I think the deployment has a bigger effect around here, so it should be one of our better circuits."

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier suggested Alonso's drive to fifth at the recent United States Grand Prix represented the return of the "true McLaren" after a difficult home race for Honda in Japan, where the MP4-31's cornering weaknesses were exposed.

The squad is aiming to be the fourth-best team in performance terms over the remaining races, according to Button, but Alonso urged caution in Mexico.

"We need to also have the feet on the ground, knowing this circuit with the characteristics and long straight is not suiting our package," Alonso said.

"It's more of a special path for this race, for the cooling, for the radiators, for the braking, things that are very unique for this altitude. It's a very interesting race for physics and aerodynamics.

"I think our target has to be realistic and not too exciting."

shares
comments
Mexican Grand Prix FIA Thursday press conference full transcript

Previous article

Mexican Grand Prix FIA Thursday press conference full transcript

Next article

Why Red Bull's Kvyat/Gasly choice was catch-22

Why Red Bull's Kvyat/Gasly choice was catch-22
Load comments
The signs that point to F1's rude health Plus

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says MARK GALLAGHER, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors

The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat Plus

The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt Plus

The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
Will 2022's all-new cars look like F1's concept model? Plus

Will 2022's all-new cars look like F1's concept model?

Formula 1 provided its clearest example yet of what the 2022 cars are set to look like when it presented a full-scale concept to the world during the build-up to last weekend’s British Grand Prix. Underneath the special shiny livery was a design that hinted at the future, but teams will be digging into key areas that may reap differing results

Formula 1
Jul 20, 2021
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after F1 title rivals’ Silverstone clash Plus

How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after F1 title rivals’ Silverstone clash

A poor start for Valtteri Bottas and the lap one clash between Formula 1's 2021 title protagonists gave Charles Leclerc a surprise lead in the British Grand Prix that he almost held to the end. Here's how the Ferrari driver came close to a famous victory, ultimately denied by a recovering Lewis Hamilton three laps from home

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
The signs that suggest Mercedes can win the Silverstone F1 race Plus

The signs that suggest Mercedes can win the Silverstone F1 race

Red Bull and Max Verstappen scored an early blow against Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes at Silverstone, with sprint qualifying race victory. But that doesn’t mean Sunday’s grand prix is a foregone conclusion. Although Verstappen starts as the favourite, here’s why Mercedes still holds hope of winning

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2021
Uncovering Silverstone's engineering secrets for F1 success Plus

Uncovering Silverstone's engineering secrets for F1 success

Formula 1 returns to Silverstone this weekend, but despite its familiarity to all the teams it is no picnic. Here are five of the key points for engineers to consider prior to the British Grand Prix

Formula 1
Jul 16, 2021