Jenson Button heartened by McLaren’s development

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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.”

Make sure to follow all of Friday’s Indy 500 ‘Carb Day’ action on NBCSN from Indianapolis

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It’s known as “Carburetor Day” – or in its simplest term, just “Carb Day.”

But the final day of on-track action Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway before Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 is so much more.

Especially on NBCSN, which will have wall-to-wall live coverage starting Friday morning.

Here’s how Friday’s schedule breaks down:

  • 11 a.m. ET: Carb Day kicks off with the final practice for Sunday’s Indy 500. The session will last one hour in length.
  • 12 p.m. ET: We’re going racing! Strap in for coverage of the Indy Lights’ Freedom 100 on the famous Brickyard.
  • 1:30 p.m. ET: We’ll have coverage of the annual IndyCar Pit Stop Challenge. Which teams have the best – and most importantly, fastest and accurate – pit crews? Team Penske has won 10 of the last 12, including the last two years edging out Schmidt Peterson Motorsports each time. Who can potentially beat them this year?
  • 3:30 p.m. ET: We’ll have our annual Motorsports Special. Among segments included will be:

    1) 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi will discuss how it used to upset him when people suggested he “backed into” his big win and how he didn’t really feel vindicated until he qualified on the front row for last year’s race.
    2) Defending 500 winner Takuma Sato, the first Japanese driver to ever win at Indianapolis, discusses the impact of his big win personally and professionally, particularly back in his native land.
    3) An essay by Robin Miller on Stefan Wilson giving up his ride last year to allow Fernando Alonso to race for Andretti Autosport.

Check your local listings for replay times.

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