McLaren driver Jenson Button is confident that the F1 experience he and teammate Fernando Alonso share will prove to be invaluable to the team as it enters a new era with Honda.
Today saw the official unveiling of the McLaren-Honda MP4-30 car, rekindling one of the most famous partnerships in Formula 1 history ahead of the 2015 season.
However, Button very nearly wasn’t a part of the team’s plans for 2015. With Alonso signed at the end of the 2014 season, the team needed to choose between the Briton and his rookie teammate Kevin Magnussen, and ultimately picked experience over potential.
Between them, Button and Alonso boast 500 grand prix starts, 147 podium finishes, 47 wins, 30 pole positions and three world championships, creating – statistically speaking – one of the most successful line-ups in F1 history.
Speaking following the launch of the MP4-30, Button felt confident that this experience would prove invaluable in developing the car with the new Honda engine.
“I’m looking forward to working with my new teammate, Fernando,” he said. “I’m confident that our joint experience on track will pay dividends in our development race to get our team back to the front of the grid. I’m hugely motivated to make more history in this new McLaren-Honda era.
“It’s been interesting to spend time in the factory during the past few weeks: you can really sense a feeling of reignited optimism and positivity around the building. I’ve never seen such motivation amongst the guys – we’re all massively keen to get going in Jerez and to work hard on developing our new car.
“But we’re under no illusion that it will be easy – there’s a huge challenge ahead of us to try to pull back the gap to our rivals, but we’re certainly up for it. We ended last season with great momentum and clear progress, and I’m determined to carry that forward into 2015.”
After getting the nod for 2015, Button took some time out in the off-season to get married to his long-term partner Jessica Michibata, and he feels that there is fresh feeling about the new year.
“The off-season has really brought about a sense of renewal coming into 2015 – continuing my relationship with McLaren, getting married, and now embarking on such an exciting chapter: McLaren’s new partnership with Honda,” he said. “I’ve trained hard over the winter, and I’m absolutely itching to get going in the new McLaren- Honda MP4-30.”