Jenson Button: “Hopefully we’ll see a step in performance on Saturday”

by Gemma Bray

Jenson Button is confident that he can improve for Saturday, after completing the opening day of practice for the Monaco Grand Prix.

The McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team driver is joining Stoffel Vandoorne in the garage this weekend, subbing for Fernando Alonso as the Spaniard races in the Indianapolis 500. Before Free Practice 1 Button had not experienced the MCL32, so he had to spend some of the session adjusting to the new and faster car. He finished the session in a healthy fourteenth, with a fastest time of 1:14.954. In Free Practice 2, the Briton was able to improve to twelfth, only 0.035 seconds behind Vandoorne.

Despite this good performance on his return to the championship, he’s still trying to adjust to braking so much later than what he’s used to at the Monte Carlos street circuit. With another day with the engineers and to look through the data on Friday, Button is confident he can improve for Saturday.

“I’ve really enjoyed practice, both the long and short runs,” said Button. “FP2 was a bit of a struggle to really find my feet with the car.

“I’m braking so much later than what I’m used to here and carrying so much speed into the corners. Adjusting to that takes time, so with another day with the engineers and a look through the data, I’m confident that I can improve for Saturday. I haven’t really thought about where I hope to finish.

“It’s a very mixed-up grid at the moment which I’m sure will all change again on Saturday. They know what they need to do to improve the car to suit me a little bit more and to give me a little bit more confidence. Hopefully we’ll see a step in performance on Saturday.”

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