Jenson Button heartened by McLaren’s development

4 Comments

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.”

Dutch Grand Prix becomes fourth Formula 1 race canceled this season

EM VAN DER WAL/ANP/AFP via Getty Images
Leave a comment

ZANDVOORT, Netherlands — The Dutch Grand Prix became the fourth Formula One race canceled this season because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, after organizers decided Thursday they didn’t want to play host to an event without spectators.

It was to be the first Dutch GP since 1985, but F1 wants to start the season with no spectators at races.

“We would like to celebrate this moment, the return of Formula 1 in Zandvoort, together with our racing fans in the Netherlands,” race director Jan Lammers said in a statement. “We ask everyone to be patient. I had to look forward to it for 35 years, so I can wait another year.”

The race in Zandvoort was set for May 3 and initially postponed. Fans who bought tickets can use them next year.

The coastal circuit has been redesigned, with some corners banked to facilitate faster racing.

The other races canceled this year were the season-opening Australian GP on March 15; the Monaco GP on May 24; and the French GP on June 28.

Another six have been postponed.

F1 organizers still hope to reschedule those and hold 15 to 18 races this season, starting in July with back-to-back races at the Austrian GP.