After a disappointing Singapore Grand Prix, Jenson Button is hoping for some better luck in this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix.
The McLaren-Honda driver had to retire from the Grand Prix at the Marina Bay Street Circuit as a precautionary measure due to soaring brake temperatures, although his race had already been compromised at the start after clipping Valtteri Bottas with his front wing to avoid the crashed car of Nico Hulkenberg.
The Malaysian circuit has undergone some renovations, with a total of nine corners being altered. The whole venue has been resurfaced, along with updating drainage and run off areas. Honda are planning to bring their final engine upgrade this weekend, but it is unclear if both Button and Fernando Alonso will get the update.
Singapore is known as a tough Grand Prix as it’s the longest race of the year, although Malaysia is also challenging for the drivers because of the heat and humidity, and Button believes he is ready to race this weekend along with being excited to enter and complete his 300th Grand Prix.
“Sepang is becoming a modern classic,” said Button. “Although it’s a relatively new circuit, it’s one of those tracks that drivers enjoy going back to.
“The conditions are like nothing else we experience, the circuit is quite technical and fun to drive, and the atmosphere is always great. We always think of Singapore being tough because it’s the longest race of the year, but Malaysia will almost certainly be the hottest race on the calendar.
“Not only that, but the humidity is immense and the cockpit reaches very high temperatures. As drivers, we’re all well equipped for these conditions as part of our training, but it does take its toll by the end of the weekend.”
Providing he starts, Button will celebrate his 300th Grand Prix this weekend at the Sepang International Circuit, he will join Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher in the 300 Club.
“You definitely need to be in peak physical fitness to cope with the heat. I’m ready and excited to get out there and start my 300th Grand Prix, and hopefully have better luck than I did in Singapore.”