Button says McLaren has ‘a lot of work’ to do

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Following a disappointing ninth-place result at Australian Grand Prix, Jenson Button has admitted that McLaren are facing an uphill struggle to perform this season.

“We definitely were not getting any more points than that. We definitely weren’t quick and I think we made the right calls considering what condition we had the tires in after qualifying.

Despite McLaren’s only scoring two points in Australia, Button praised the team for their efforts across a difficult weekend.

“We got it home and got a couple of points, so that’s not bad. I think as a team we did a great job this weekend but we’re not quick enough and there’s a lot of work we need to do to move forward and challenge the front guys.”

With Sergio Perez finishing a disappointing 11th on debut for McLaren, the team will be keen on resolving the issues with the MP4-28 as soon as possible, but Button refused to give a deadline for McLaren to return to form by.

“I don’t know. Who knows? We’re not what we think we are so it could take quite a while.

“If we can get into the points again with the car that we had at the moment I don’t think it’s too bad. We had races last year with a good car that we struggled to get into the points, so we will see what we can do.”

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Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”