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Button enjoys two-day Super GT test at Suzuka ahead of race debut

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2009 Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button enjoyed his first extensive testing in a Super GT car at Suzuka this week in preparation for his race debut in August.

After stepping back from a full-time race seat in F1 at the end of last year, Button has a handful of racing activities on his agenda for 2017, having enjoyed a one-off return to grand prix racing with McLaren at Monaco.

Button announced last month that he would be making his Super GT debut with McLaren’s engine partner, Honda, at the final running of the Suzuka 1000km in August with Team Mugen.

As part of his preparation, Button took part in a collective two-day test at Suzuka this week alongside teammates Hideki Mutoh and Daisuke Nakajima, with the trio finishing the final test running P12 overall.

McLaren almost back on schedule with 2018 F1 car after delay

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McLaren is almost back on schedule with its 2018 Formula 1 car development after losing two weeks due to a delay in deciding on its engine supplier, according to racing director Eric Boullier.

McLaren confirmed back in September it would be cutting ties with Honda at the end of the year after three difficult seasons, favoring a switch to Renault power units.

The decision was not taken lightly by McLaren, causing it to lose two weeks in the development of next year’s car, but Boullier confirmed in an interview with the official F1 website that the team is almost back on-track.

“Maybe we made the decision to change the engine manufacturer two weeks too late for our schedule, but these two weeks have almost been recovered,” Boullier said.

“Any big decisions are always difficult to take. The concept of McLaren winning with Honda was a dream for everybody, yes – it was a beautiful story.

“Today we have huge respect for them and we definitely don’t divorce with fights and screams and finger pointing. We are all very professional – and in the end it was a business decision, which they understand.

“There is a sadness that it didn’t work out like we wanted. McLaren-Honda in terms of brands was a good fit – in terms of results it didn’t work.

“That’s what it is in the end. Now we have to see that we get back to competitiveness – back to the top!”