Jenson Button feels the Mexican Grand Prix will be a fun challenge this weekend for McLaren-Honda with what he’s seen of the track, but feels the team may struggle if conditions remain dry.
The British driver enjoyed his best result of the season at the Circuit of the Americas last weekend, taking advantage of the changeable conditions, but does not expect McLaren to be competitive in Mexico.
“Austin was an exciting race and the mixed conditions meant we were able to race on a more level playing field with our competitors until the track dried out towards the end,” said Button. “If the weather stays dry next weekend in Mexico, we know we’ll have a much more difficult Grand Prix on our hands.
“We need to take the opportunity to gather as much data as we can and work on maximising our strategy for our car’s performance. The altitude is easily the highest we have to deal with at any Grand Prix on the calendar, so that in itself will be something new for all the teams to work with.
“Having good balance and downforce in the car will be crucial so we’ll get stuck in with set-up and see how we fare on Friday morning. I’m really looking forward to going to a new Grand Prix venue and hopefully we can learn a lot this weekend and put on another good show.”
Team-mate Fernando Alonso describes the United States Grand Prix as ‘one of the most exhilarating races for McLaren-Honda this year so far’ and is excited for the Mexican Grand Prix this weekend.
“I really enjoyed the race in Austin, it was a hard fight, but we didn’t give up,” said Alonso. “I hope we can repeat some of those battles in Mexico, but we’re expecting a tough fight on a circuit that on paper won’t suit our car.
“It’ll be interesting as we have no data from there so the conditions are unknown, which makes it pretty exciting. Going to a new Grand Prix at a venue that the current generation of F1 drivers hasn’t been to yet, is going to be something special.
“From what I’ve seen of the circuit, it looks like a great design with some interesting corners, the first possible moment will be very important to get the maximum downforce. It’s an exciting new chapter for Formula 1 and I’m looking forward to seeing where we are this weekend.”