Jenson Button has revealed that the McLaren MP4-28 is proving to be less problematic thanks to the new upgrades, although he is unsure of just how great the improvement will be at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.
“I don’t think that you will see a leap that far to the front right now but the good news is today we’ve experienced far fewer issues with the balance,” Button said in an interview with the official Formula One website. “Of course the aim is to move forward with every race and I would say that we’ve definitely are moving further to the front. The downside is: everybody else has too.”
The 2009 world champion finished FP2 in 12th place after having failed to set a time in the first practice session, and he was not prepared to be too bold over the advances made by the team over the three week break.
“That is hard to say as we had rather limited running,” Button said when asked about the improvements made. “Doing only six laps with no time in the morning, so we didn’t have the new front wing on the car and I am not sure if we will this weekend. This evening we have to go through a lot of data to see what is working and what is not – what in the end will help the balance.”
After a difficult start to the season, a strong upgrade package is exactly what McLaren were looking to bring to this weekend’s race. Although the results may not light up the timing screens, the verdict from the drivers is that progress is being made.
SAKHIR, Bahrain – Toyota denied Porsche a swansong victory in its final LMP1 appearance in the FIA World Endurance Championship by taking a commanding win in the 6 Hours of Bahrain on Saturday.
Porsche started from pole in the last competitive outing for the three-time Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid car, only to lose out to Toyota’s Sebastien Buemi within the first half an hour of the race.
Porsche lost one of its cars from contention for victory after an errant bollard got stuck underneath Timo Bernhard’s No. 2 entry, leaving Nick Tandy to lead its charge in the No. 1 car.
Tandy moved into the lead just past half distance after a bold strategy call from Porsche to triple-stint the Briton after a fuel-only stop, vaulting him ahead of Anthony Davidson in the No. 8 Toyota.
Tandy’s win hopes were soon dashed when he tangled with a GTE-Am backmarker at Turn 1, sustaining damage that forced Porsche into an unplanned pit stop that put the car a lap down.
With the No. 7 Toyota losing two laps following a clash with a GTE-Pro car earlier on, Davidson, Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima went unchallenged en route to the car’s fifth victory of the season.
Porsche rounded out the podium with its cars, with the No. 2 leading home the No. 1, leaving Toyota’s No. 7 car to settle for P4 at the checkered flag.
Vaillante Rebellion clinched the title in LMP2 after a stunning fightback led by Bruno Senna, with the Brazilian securing his maiden motorsport championship win in the process.
GTE-Pro saw AF Corse complete a hat-trick of titles in 2017, with James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi wining the class’ first world championship recognized by the FIA, while Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda sewed up the GTE-Am title.