McLaren driver Jenson Button has admitted that he is embarrassed by the lack of pace the team has this season in light of the great support he receives from the fans.
Button finished the Spanish Grand Prix in 8th, which he conceded was not too bad considering he had dropped to P17 at the end of the first lap.
“For me it was an interesting race my start wasn’t very strong which was unusual because we are usually strong at the start,” Button told the BBC.
“Turn one was a mess so to finish 8th probably wasn’t too bad but there is a lot of work still to do. Some of the speeds cars were going past me means we have got as lot to do.”
Button did manage to fight back to finish in the points, crossing the line just ahead of teammate Sergio Perez, and the 2009 world champion is confident that McLaren can turn their fortunes around.
“It is still possible for us to still get up there and I want to thank all the fans for their support, it’s a bit embarrassing really to see them all but we will get it right.”
During the race, Button passed Lewis Hamilton for 11th place, which summed up how far back both drivers are compared to their 2012 pace. With these upgrades failing to provide McLaren with a great increase in performance, questions will be asked of the British team heading into the Monaco Grand Prix in two weeks’ time.
Max Verstappen has picked his illegal pass on Kimi Raikkonen on the final lap of the United States Grand Prix as his favorite overtake of the Formula 1 season.
Verstappen was one of F1’s most prolific passers through 2017, making 22 overtaking moves as per Pirelli’s end of year data.
When asked to pick out his favorite in a post-season interview on his official website, Verstappen picked his bold move on Raikkonen at the Circuit of The Americas that sparked controversy when he was penalized for completing the overtake off-track.
The Red Bull driver had charged from 16th on the grid to cross the line third, only for a five-second time penalty to deny him a podium and drop him to fourth in a snap call made before the post-race ceremony.
“Of course, at first your initial reaction is something like: ‘Why? It was a great move.’ But when you look at the rules, it was not correct,” Verstappen said.
“Nothing was by the book that whole weekend. Drivers were getting off track without being penalized for it. But you always need to focus on the positives: it was still a nice race and everyone enjoyed the excitement all the way down to the final lap.
“It’s always nice to be on the podium, but to finish fourth after having started sixteenth, is still a great result.
“It wasn’t as painful as most people thought it was. In the end I made my peace with it.”
Asked if it was his best move of the year, Verstappen said: “Yes, because this year I actually didn’t have that many overtakes.
“With this car you are actually only able to overtake on the straights, which is really not that satisfying compared to last year.”