Mixed emotions as Button promoted to podium in Melbourne

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There were several story lines of note that came out of the result change when Daniel Ricciardo was disqualified from second place in the 2014 Australian Grand Prix.

One of them we haven’t hit up to this point on MotorSportsTalk is the guy actually promoted to the podium as a result of the disqualification, McLaren’s Jenson Button.

Rookie teammate Kevin Magnussen has received a lot of virtual ink this offseason and especially after his debut, but Button shaded him throughout the race.

Once promoted, Button unfortunately did not have the chance to celebrate on the podium due to the lateness of the decision to DQ Ricciardo.

It would have been a nice touch after the loss of his father John this winter, who was a fixture at all but one of Button’s 248 prior Grands Prix. Button carried a tribute on his helmet.

Jenson did have some happier news with his engagement to longtime girlfriend Jessica Michibata also during the offseason.

“I’ll be honest: this weekend has been an emotional one for me, and the support I’ve had has been absolutely brilliant,” said Button, via the UK’s Mirror.

“That being the case, it would have been a real bonus if I could have celebrated my third place from the podium, alongside Nico [Rosberg] and Kevin [Magnussen].

“But I really feel for Daniel, who drove a great race in his first race for his new team, in front of his home crowd.”

For Button, the podium is the 50th of his career and his first Australian podium that wasn’t a race win, after three prior triumphs there in 2009, 2010 and 2012.

And for McLaren, the double podium is already two more than they had last year. With 33 points, they lead the Constructor’s Championship heading to Malaysia in two weeks.

Here were Jenson’s tweets after the race:

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
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A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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