Jenson Button dismisses Formula One’s critics

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Jenson Button has rejected any calls criticizing Formula One’s current state, claiming that he thinks the sport “is great at the moment.”

The 2009 world champion, who drives for McLaren, was speaking in the drivers’ press conference ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix this weekend.

“We are not going to be happy with everything in this sport, or in any sport, but I think the racing has been good fun.

“I was on the receiving end of it in the last race because I was doing less stops and running old tires most of the race, but if you were doing a three-stop it seemed like it was a pretty fun race and they were able to push pretty hard.”

Despite the lead changing nine times during the Chinese Grand Prix, many criticized the race as Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel were both told not to fight for the lead due to their differing strategies. However, Button did not see this as being too much of a problem.

“In the past, we had tires that would last the whole race and there wasn’t any overtaking. It’s very difficult to get the balance right, but we are having two or three stops, which I think is what the idea was for racing in 2013, and there are a lot of teams fighting at the front.

“I think Formula 1 is great at the moment.”

Button’s sentiments have been echoed by Kimi Raikkonen, who believes that the teams need to adapt to the Pirelli tires instead of complaining about them. Although qualifying certainly failed to impress many in China, the race certainly produced some good racing and fine overtaking in places.

Kubica, di Resta complete Williams F1 tests in Hungary

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Robert Kubica and Paul di Resta have both completed one-day tests for Williams in a 2014-spec Formula 1 car as part of the team’s evaluation for its 2018 line-up.

Williams is known to be considering a number of drivers to partner Lance Stroll at the team next year, including existing racer Felipe Massa.

Massa is thought to be going up against Kubica and di Resta for the 2018 drive, with the latter duo taking part in a private test at the Hungaroring in Budapest this week to aid the team’s evaluation.

After missing out on a 2018 Renault drive due to lingering questions about his physical condition six years after his rally accident, Kubica tested for Williams at Silverstone last week before getting back behind the wheel of the 2014 FW36 car in Hungary on Tuesday.

Kubica’s test was called “productive” by Williams, with the Pole handing duties over to Mercedes DTM racer di Resta on Wednesday.

Di Resta raced in F1 with Force India between 2010 and 2013 before returning to DTM, but made a surprise return at this year’s Hungarian Grand Prix with Williams when Massa was taken ill. Di Resta impressed on short notice, putting himself in contention for a full-time return to F1 in 2018.

Williams has one of the few remaining seats on offer in F1 for 2018, with Massa’s future known to be in question after a quiet campaign thus far.

The Brazilian had been due to retire from F1 at the end of last year, only for Williams to recall him after Valtteri Bottas’ late move up to Mercedes following Nico Rosberg’s surprise retirement.

Massa has made clear he would like to keep racing in F1 next year, but only if the deal is right and if Williams is determined to keep him.

While Massa, Kubica and di Resta appear to be the three leading contenders for the seat, Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe made clear in Japan there was a “large range” of drivers under consideration.

“You’ve probably seen a number of names that are floating around that we’re looking at, but honestly, the range is almost unlimited,” Lowe said.

“We will consider all ideas. We’re not in a super hurry to do so, and we’ll just make sure we land the best line-up we can.”