Button upbeat despite two practice stoppages in Bahrain

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Jenson Button chose to look on the bright side following practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix on Friday despite stopping out on track twice and competing just 17 laps in total.

Button’s FP1 lasted just three minutes after he spun the car at turn one thanks to an engine problem, causing the car to stall and stop in the middle of the corner.

The Briton got back out on track for FP2, only to stop the car as a precautionary measure due to another engine issue. He did manage to get some laps in towards the end of the session, finishing 19th in the final standings.

“I guess it wasn’t a great day, but at least we got a lot of useful data on the car,” Button said.

“The slightly frustrating thing, though, is that both cars were set up quite differently today, to get comparative aero info, and we weren’t really able to benefit from that on my car.”

“Hopefully, we won’t have further issues. That way, I can get some decent running tomorrow so as to see what the car is doing.

“Whatever happens, though, it’s not going to be an easy weekend. We knew that already. And qualifying will undoubtedly be tricky again!”

Fernando Alonso enjoyed a more fruitful day in the sister McLaren, finishing P7 in FP1 and 12th in FP2 whilst gathering some vital data to help the development of the MP4-30 car.

“Today I had a very smooth day, and I was happy with the car in every condition, so tomorrow we just need to make sure we optimise the performance of the car and try to get a good result,” Alonso said.

“We can see that we’re getting closer and closer to the mid-pack with every race. Definitely we’re moving in the right direction, we just need to do it that bit quicker.”

Racing director Eric Boullier spoke about a day of two halves for McLaren following practice, and apologized to Button for the problems that plagued his running.

“On the one hand, Fernando enjoyed a trouble-free morning followed by an equally unproblematic afternoon, running through his planned programme without mishap,” the Frenchman said.

“On the other, Jenson was forced to endure a frustrating day, the result of not one but two major interruptions, compromising his ability to complete satisfactorily not only FP1 but also FP2. We apologize to him for that.

“Even so, we’ve gathered valuable data, which our engineers will study this evening and tonight.”

You can watch qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix live on CNBC from 11am ET on Saturday.