Button: 100 laps felt like 1,000 to McLaren on Friday

1 Comment

After a troublesome F1 winter testing period, Jenson Button stated that the 100 laps that he completed on Friday in Barcelona felt like 1,000 to McLaren as it continues to learn about its new car.

The British team reunited with engine supplier Honda for the 2015 season, but has encountered a number of teething problems and issues with the power unit throughout winter testing.

However, McLaren appeared to make a breakthrough on Friday as Button completed 100 laps and posted a respectable lap time, marking what was by far the team’s best day of winter testing so far.

Although Button did encounter an electrical issue that forced him to stop out on track on his 101st lap, the Briton was delighted with the running and progress being made at McLaren.

“For most teams, 100 laps isn’t really anything, but for us it’s like 1,000 laps because there’s so much for us still to learn about this package,” Button explained.

“Reliability has been great today, a really, really big step forward and big effort by everyone which is great to see.

“It’s amazing what you get done when you have a reliable car. All of the tests that you can do, the comparisons, the aero work that you can’t do because the car stop because the car stops halfway through, we were able to do today. All the engineers and aerodynamicists are getting their teeth into what they’ve done today which is good.”

Button finished the day fifth in the final classification with a fastest lap time of 1:25.590. However, the Briton believes McLaren can build on this over the next two days of testing in Barcelona.

“Looking at the timing screens, we’re nowhere near quick enough,” Button said. “There’s a lot of progress that has been made today that we can improve on for the next couple of days.

“Where do I think we are? I think we’ve made good progress but there’s still a long way to go. There’s a lot work with in terms of the way the car feels, but I’ve not really done a massive amount of setup work even today.

“There’s still a lot of work needed to really hone the car to the way that I drive. That’s why I need a good day on Sunday. The feeling is reasonably good, but a work in progress definitely. We’re definitely not where we want to be.”

Kevin Magnussen has taken over driving duties for McLaren on Saturday, replacing Fernando Alonso following the Spaniard’s accident last Sunday.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Leave a comment

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.