Jenson Button has played down the impact of McLaren’s upgrades for the MP4-28, which will debut at next weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.
The team has made a poor start to the season, scoring just 23 points from the opening four rounds as the new car has struggled to make much of an impact. With the race in Barcelona heralding the first major set of upgrades for the teams, many expect it to mark a turning point in McLaren’s season, but 2009 world champion Button is not expecting miracles from the new parts.
“It’s been difficult for the team to make consistent progress through the first four races, but I think returning to a circuit where we undertook two of the pre-season tests will give us a useful benchmark of our progress so far,” Button said in a team statement.
“There’s been a lot of talk about the importance of next weekend’s upgrades; but, as with every upgrade, they’re simply part of the series of continuous improvement that are made across the season.”
Subsequently, Button has acknowledged that the parts could fail, and the MP4-28 may take even longer to fix.
“As always, there’ll be elements of it that work, elements that perhaps work in a different way to what we’d anticipated, and elements that don’t work, or perhaps require further work. That’s life in modern Formula 1.
“So I’m pragmatic about what we’ll discover next weekend. Of course, I’m hopeful that it’ll move us a step closer towards the destination.”
Button’s comments will not please many McLaren fans who may have been hoping for the British team to get its championship charge back on track for 2013. However, should he be proven wrong, McLaren could be on course to better its haul of nine points from the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace
Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.
Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it would seem right for Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — to spend some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.