Jenson Button: “We’re working hard to keep improving race to race”


World © Octane Photographic Ltd. McLaren Honda MP4-31 – Jenson Button. Friday 10th June 2016, F1 Canadian GP Practice 1, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, Canada. Digital Ref : 1586LB1D9842

It was a frustrating weekend for Jenson Button at the Canadian Grand Prix, after an engine failure forced him to retire from the race much earlier than he would have liked, at a track that has treated him so well in the past.

The Brit has already turned his attentions to the next round however, and is looking forward to seeing how the McLaren F1 team perform at the all new Baku City Circuit in Azerbaijan.

“It’s imperative we bounce back quickly from the disappointment of Canada and the fact we go to a completely new grand prix means the focus will rapidly shift from one to the other – there’s definitely a heightened sense of anticipation and excitement for the next race.

“We’re working hard to keep improving race to race and despite the blip in Canada, hopefully we can continue seeing gains – however small – in the next few crazy weeks of back-to-back grands prix.”

Having only driven the track on the simulator, like the majority of drivers in the paddock, Button is looking forward to the challenge of getting to know an all new track. The fact that everyone has to familiarise themselves with the circuit’s layout, may help the McLaren Honda squad take advantage of some points scoring opportunities.

“In terms of things like strategy, tyres, temperatures, of course we have a lot of simulator data – a few of the guys in the team have visited and already have a pretty good handle on the conditions – but until we get there, it’s all a bit of unfamiliar.

“Having a new circuit on the calendar definitely does spice things up a bit and puts everyone back on a more level playing field, at least initially, so I’m looking forward to the challenge of a new track.

The 2009 world champion is aware the Baku City Circuit may not suit the MP4-31, but is confident the Woking based squad can have a good weekend, and give it everything to be as competitive as possible.

“It’ll be tough on the car with its long, fast straight, strong loads on the ERS and high fuel consumption, so we need to buckle down and work hard to get our package set up as quickly as possible for the demands of this circuit.”