Jenson Button remains confident that the future for the newly-rekindled McLaren-Honda partnership is very bright despite enduring a difficult start to the 2015 Formula 1 season.
McLaren and Honda famously worked together in the late 1980s and early 1990s as Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost dominated the sport, claiming four drivers’ championship and four constructors’ titles.
However, the Japanese manufacturer’s return to F1 in 2015 as an engine supplier has been a difficult one, with Button finishing two laps down on race winner Lewis Hamilton at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
The Briton retired last time out in Malaysia alongside teammate Fernando Alonso, but explained in today’s FIA press conference ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix that the team is making rapid progress.
“I think for the outside world, they probably didn’t think we made a big step from Melbourne to Malaysia but we did,” Button said. “It was very, very big. We weren’t able to finish the race but we got a lot of useful information, again for another big step forwards.
“I feel we still haven’t got the best out of what we have right now, so hopefully we can do that this weekend – and there’s a lot in the pipeline for the future.
“A lot of people have asked me how I’m so positive and how the team are so positive and upbeat, and it is because we see a great future. It’s just a lot of hard work now improving before we can get there.”
Button went on to explain how having an experienced driver such as Alonso alongside him has been invaluable in aiding the development of the car, giving the Briton hope that points aren’t far away for McLaren.
“For us two to be competitive, like any team-mates in Formula 1, it’s important for us to improve and to make big strides forwards,” Button said.
“It’s great having such an experienced driver in the other car. Hopefully that’s going to help us, first of all get into the points and then hopefully challenge for something better in the future.”