Jenson Button believes McLaren's Hockenheim upgrade could be the step that brings it back into contention

Jenson Button is hopeful that McLaren's major upgrade package for the German Grand Prix will put the team back in contention near the front of the field

Jenson Button believes McLaren's Hockenheim upgrade could be the step that brings it back into contention

The Briton, without a top-five finish since China, believes that McLaren's recent struggles are down to the team not matching the development pace of its rivals.

He expects comprehensive updates to move the team closer to Red Bull and Ferrari, insisting that extra downforce will help solve its tyre management problems.

"The more downforce you have, the fewer issues [you have] everywhere else," he said. "You can get tyre temperature, so you can take away the parts of the car we have had to put on to help, which will give us more downforce again.

"Downforce just helps everything: it covers up issues you can't solve any other way. I don't think we have had a big enough update before to be in the mix. Here we have that update and I hope that it takes us back to the front.

"Our long-run pace is definitely a weakness: if you look at our degradation compared to some of the quicker teams, which also includes Sauber, we are weaker in that area. Some of it is because they have got more downforce than us."

Button is confident that technical meetings at McLaren's Woking base on Tuesday have helped to give the team a clear idea of the direction it needs to take.

He expects that the new parts will work when they run on track for the first time during Friday morning practice at Hockenheim.

"Obviously there were quite a few negative comments because we're not doing as well as we would have liked," he said.

"There is a lot of positive energy and excitement about future races because here we come with mechanical and aero upgrades. Hopefully they will work well; I believe they will because they're very straightforward.

"Whether it's enough or not I don't know, but it's a pretty good chunk and should hopefully take us closer to the front."

Team-mate Lewis Hamilton is also positive about the upgrades and admitted that he is excited to get behind the wheel on Friday.

"We'll find out tomorrow how competitive we are," said Hamilton. "But I'm really excited - I know what we have and how much we have, and I'm excited to feel it and experience it. I really hope it gives us a chance to at least fight for the win.

"The team have been under a great amount of pressure to bring upgrades and we have been under pressure to get the results. But the guys have not given up and they keep pushing.

"We've hopefully got some upgrades this weekend that will put us back in the fight. It definitely will make the car better than it was."

shares
comments
Lewis Hamilton: Leaving McLaren would 'feel abnormal'
Previous article

Lewis Hamilton: Leaving McLaren would 'feel abnormal'

Next article

Michael Schumacher expects an upturn in Mercedes' form in German Grand Prix

Michael Schumacher expects an upturn in Mercedes' form in German Grand Prix
Load comments
Why thrilling Jeddah F1 circuit needs to be safer Plus

Why thrilling Jeddah F1 circuit needs to be safer

OPINION: Saudi Arabia's new F1 circuit delivered a memorable first event, although not necessarily for all the right reasons. In the wake of the chaotic race, drivers voiced their concerns about the track but small changes could make significant improvements ahead of a return in four months

The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain Plus

The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain

From ranking as one of the most impressive new teams to join the Formula 1 grid, Haas’s stock has plummeted along with its on-track performances over the past two seasons. Everything now hangs on whether its reforged alliance with Ferrari can deliver a better car – and whether its rookie drivers can set aside their quarrels. OLEG KARPOV asks if any of these goals are achievable…

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race Plus

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race

OPINION: Max Verstappen has made the 2021 Formula 1 championship. He’s taken the fight to the all-conquering Mercedes squad and its dominant champion, produced driving displays few can match. But he’s been on a controversial course too, and finally crossed a particular line in Jeddah

Formula 1
Dec 7, 2021
Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Plus

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Plus

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes Plus

How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Dec 3, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021