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.”

IndyCar entry lists for Harvest GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

IndyCar entry lists Indianapolis
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There are 25 drivers on the NTT IndyCar Series entry lists at Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course with a few new yet familiar faces for the Oct. 2-3 race weekend.

Four-time champion Sebastien Bourdais will make his season debut in the No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet (shifting Dalton Kellett to the No. 41) with AJ Foyt Racing, which he is joining full time next season. James Hinchcliffe, who had run three races with Andretti Autosport, will return in place of Zach Veach in the No. 26 Dallara-Honda. Helio Castroneves will drive Arrow McLaren SP’s No. 7 Dallara-Chevy for Oliver Askew, who is out with concussion-like symptoms.

Sage Karam, who has two IndyCar starts this year at IMS (the road course on July 4 and the Indy 500 on Aug. 23), also will return to the series in Dreyer & Reinbold’s No. 24 Dallara-Chevrolet.

HARVEST GP ENTRY LISTS: Friday l Saturday

Friday and Saturday of the Harvest GP presented by GMR will mark the second and third races this season on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. While the July 4 race on the circuit was 80 laps, Friday’s distance is 85 laps, and Saturday will be a 75-lap event.

Championship leader Scott Dixon led 26 of 80 laps to win the July 4 race at the IMS road course. With three races remaining in the series, the five-time series champion enters with a 72-point lead on Josef Newgarden.

Click here to see who’s on the IndyCar entry lists in Race 1 and in Race 2 for the Harvest GP presented by GMR at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.


START TIMES AND TV INFO FOR INDYCAR AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY ROAD COURSE (all times ET):

Thursday

IndyCar NTT Series practice: 2:25-3:40 p.m., NBC Sports Gold

IndyCar qualifying, Race 1: 6:20 p.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

Friday

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 1: 3:30 p.m. (green flag, 5 p.m.), USA Network, NBC Sports Gold

Saturday

—IndyCar qualifying: 10:20 a.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 2: 2:30 p.m (green flag, 2:31 p.m.)., NBC, NBC Sports Gold