Button experiencing fewer balance issues with MP4-28

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Jenson Button has revealed that the McLaren MP4-28 is proving to be less problematic thanks to the new upgrades, although he is unsure of just how great the improvement will be at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

“I don’t think that you will see a leap that far to the front right now but the good news is today we’ve experienced far fewer issues with the balance,” Button said in an interview with the official Formula One website. “Of course the aim is to move forward with every race and I would say that we’ve definitely are moving further to the front. The downside is: everybody else has too.”

The 2009 world champion finished FP2 in 12th place after having failed to set a time in the first practice session, and he was not prepared to be too bold over the advances made by the team over the three week break.

“That is hard to say as we had rather limited running,” Button said when asked about the improvements made. “Doing only six laps with no time in the morning, so we didn’t have the new front wing on the car and I am not sure if we will this weekend. This evening we have to go through a lot of data to see what is working and what is not – what in the end will help the balance.”

After a difficult start to the season, a strong upgrade package is exactly what McLaren were looking to bring to this weekend’s race. Although the results may not light up the timing screens, the verdict from the drivers is that progress is being made.

IndyCar’s season finale at St. Pete approved to have 20,000 fans

IndyCar St. Pete fans
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The NTT IndyCar Series’ season finale will be permitted up to 20,000 fans, making the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg possibly the circuit’s most well-attended race of 2020. The race originally was scheduled as the season opener before being moved to Oct. 25 because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

IndyCar has enjoyed limited crowds at Road America, Iowa Speedway, Gateway, Mid-Ohio and this weekend’s doubleheader races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, which could have up to 10,000 fans in attendance. That had been the largest maximum grandstand crowd for an IndyCar race this season.

At a St. Petersburg city council meeting Thursday, Mayor Rick Kriseman approved plans by race organizers Green Savoree Racing Promotions to hold the Oct. 23-25 weekend for the IndyCar Grand Prix of St. Pete with 20,000 fans who would follow health and safety protocols that include mandatory temperature checks and masks.

 “My thanks to Green Savoree Racing Promotions and IndyCar for their flexibility and resilience during this challenging time,” Kriseman said in a release. “I know that everyone is excited to get back on the track in St. Pete. I can’t wait for Oct. 23rd. I know everyone will embrace this race the St. Pete way, adhering to the COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Let’s have some great racing in the Sunshine City.”

Paddock and the pit lane will remain closed to spectators, and social distancing of at least 6 feet will be observed on site.

“Our entire team greatly appreciates the patience and understanding of our ticket holders as we worked through this process with Mayor Kriseman, City Council and local health officials,” Kim Green, co-owner, chairman and CEO of Green Savoree Promotions. “It’s important for everyone who attends to read and follow all the COVID-19 protocols to contribute to a fun, safe and successful event for us all.”

“The ongoing guidance and support of Mayor Kriseman, City Council, and the City of St. Petersburg’s event team have been phenomenal,” said Kevin Savoree, co-owner, president and COO of Green Savoree Promotions. “We also would not be in this position to move this spring tradition to fall without Firestone’s unwavering commitment and dedication. It’s going to be a terrific weekend again in downtown St. Pete in three weeks featuring world-class racing from INDYCAR.”