Jenson Button heartened by McLaren’s development


McLaren finally returned to the points in Monaco and while its veteran driver Jenson Button believes the Woking team is still looking for form, he sees some good signs.

“It was a positive for the whole team to put some points back on the board at Monaco after a difficult few races,” he said. “We’re obviously still far away from where we want to be, but it’s important that we maintain our aim of continuous development throughout the whole season.

“Although we’re still a long way from the leaders, we’ve matched the general rate of development since the start of the season, which is a positive.”

Button picked up a sixth-place finish on the streets of Monte Carlo, while rookie Kevin Magnussen eked out a points finish with a 10th-place showing.

They’ll take any bit of momentum they can get going into this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix, an event that Magnussen hopes will be a smooth one for him.

“It would be nice to have a straightforward weekend after a couple of disappointing technical problems,” he said. “Things didn’t quite go my way in Spain or Monaco – through no fault of my own – so I just want to get my head down, work with my engineers and work on delivering a good result, with no mishaps.

“I think it’ll actually be interesting to see what we can achieve without encountering a problem that sets us back.”

Circuit Gilles Villeneuve was the site for one of the team’s most memorable moments in recent years. Three years ago in Montreal, Button endured through torrential rains and a run-in with then-teammate Lewis Hamilton before taking the win from Sebastian Vettel on the final lap.

Button figures that weather may once again have a say in the outcome this weekend.

“In Canada, the weather can always play a key role,” he said. “The forecast currently looks good, but you never know when you pull back the curtains in the morning whether you’re going to be faced with blue skies, or grey clouds and pelting rain. We’ll probably get a bit of both next week.”

Newgarden fastest as Castroneves returns in weather-shortened Barber test

Photo: IndyCar
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The Verizon IndyCar Series took to Barber Motorsports Park on Tuesday for an open test, with 24 entries tackling the 2.38-mile road course.

Weather intervened in the afternoon, preventing nearly the entire field from going out, but the weather held off during the morning enough for one session to be run in its entirety.

Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden led the way, with a quick lap of 1:07.979, ahead of Team Penske teammates Will Power and Helio Castroneves. For Castroneves, this marked his first IndyCar outing of 2018.

Helio Castroneves was back in an IndyCar on Tuesday at Barber Motorsports Park. Photo: IndyCar

Sporting the Pennzoil “yellow submarine” paint scheme, Castroneves turned 41 laps around Barber in the morning session, with a quick lap of 1:08.315. He was also the only driver to venture out on track in the afternoon, completing eight laps.

The Dale Coyne Racing duo of Sebastien Bourdais and Zachary Claman De Melo completed the top five.

Results are below.