Recurring engine issue sidelines Button again in Barcelona

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After having its Thursday running cut short by a problem with the seal on its MGU-K component, McLaren was sidelined yet again on Saturday as the issue reared its head for a second time.

Jenson Button could manage just 11 laps on Thursday as a result of the problem, but was sidelined again today as his car ground to a halt after just 80 minutes of running, warranting a red flag.

The 2009 world champion was brought back to his garage where the team found that a repeat problem with the MGU-K had caused the stoppage.

“After the morning session, we found similar issues to Thursday,” a tweet from the team read. “We will now resume testing this afternoon with limited power to the MGU-K.

“A new re-engineered seal is scheduled to arrive and will be applied later this evening.”

Button eventually got back out on track with 90 minutes remaining in the day, finishing with 24 laps down in ninth place on the timesheets, and explained to the media after the running that he was disappointed to have lost more track time.

“I’d be very happy to do 59 laps,” Button said, referring to Fernando Alonso’s tally on Friday. “Today wasn’t my day to do 59 laps. A tough day. I haven’t really driven this car in anger yet. I did one new tire run this morning that was cut short and did one on Thursday, and that’s it. It’s been a tough test for me personally.

“In terms of information, yesterday was good. We gained a lot of information in terms of direction of the car and the setup which was great.

“There were some positives in terms of moving forward for Melbourne, but not so positive for me in terms of putting laps under my belt and seeing what this car can do.”

Button will get his next chance to drive the MP4-30 in anger next week in Barcelona, with Alonso closing out the second test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya tomorrow.