Jenson Button says it will ‘take a while’ for the McLaren F1 Team to break into the upper echelons of the Formula 1 grid, although they have made a positive start to their 2018 campaign, their first since linking up with Renault Sport as an engine supplier.
The Briton raced with McLaren full-time between 2010 and 2016 before hanging up his helmet after a one-off appearance in the Monaco Grand Prix last year as he replaced the Indianapolis 500-bound Fernando Alonso.
But Button says McLaren will feel they have not made the step forward they had hoped for, mainly due to their expression that they had the best chassis last year, only to fall short this year despite having a supposedly better engine supplier after their departure from Honda.
“The three big teams, it’s difficult to challenge them at the moment and it’s going to take a while,” said Button to Sky Sports. “McLaren came out last year and this year and said they think they might have the best car.
“It’s a tall order to have the best car in Formula 1 when you’re racing against Ferrari and Mercedes and Red Bull. And I think we’ve seen that isn’t the case.
“So you’d say the season so far is a disappointment but if they didn’t say they had the best car you’d say it’s a great season for them.
“They’ve made good steps, they’re fourth in the constructors’ standings, but because of what they said at the start of the year you say maybe it’s not what we expected.”