The McLaren F1 Team saw their twenty-year partnership with Mercedes come to an end at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with Jenson Button taking a strong fifth position at the Yas Marina Circuit, but for Kevin Magnussen it was a less productive afternoon, with the Dane finishing outside the points in eleventh.
Button, still unsure whether he will be an F1 driver with McLaren in 2015 when the team start their partnership with Honda, finished an excellent fifth in Abu Dhabi, feeling he got the best out of his car’s package this weekend, but was disappointed to not be able to challenge those ahead of him. He feels that he continues to prove race after race that he still has the ability to compete with those around him.
“That was tough,” insisted Button. “I think we made the best of what we had this evening: in terms of strategy, we did the right thing, but we never really had enough pace to attack the cars in front.
“So, fifth was as good as it was going to be. Getting the maximum from the car is all that can be asked of a racing driver, and I think I’ve proved this year that I’m still at the top of my game.
“Since it’s the last race of the season, I’d like to say a huge ‘thanks’ to Tom [Stallard] and Bernie [Collins], my two race engineers, who’ve done a fantastic job this year, as have all my mechanics. The whole team has been so supportive, which is lovely.
“It’s been a good day for me, but a much better day for my old team buddy Lewis [Hamilton]. Winning two world titles is an absolutely amazing achievement. Congratulations to him – he deserves it.”
Team-mate Magnussen was unable to score points in Abu Dhabi, finishing eleventh, and felt the car never felt right after a first lap altercation with the Sauber of Adrian Sutil exiting turn seven. He was disappointed that the Soft tyre didn’t give him the advantage he thought they would, and ultimately this cost him the chance of a top ten finish.
“That was a difficult race,” said Magnussen. “I had quite a bit of contact with Adrian on the first lap – and, after that, the front of the car never felt quite right, but it wasn’t too bad, so I could carry on.
“My opening stint on the Prime went well – the tyre was holding on well and I felt like I could manage the degradation. But once I’d pitted and changed to the Option, the race slipped away from us. The softer tyre ought to have helped us gain some positions over the drivers running the Prime, but we just stayed where we were, and that ruined the race for us.
“Congratulations to Lewis – he’s driven brilliantly all season, and completely deserves the title this year. He’s had a stunning season.
“Finally, I want to pass on my thanks to the whole McLaren team. This season has been an incredible experience for me – I’ve learned so much this year. It’s been fantastic – so thanks, guys!”