Button: Small victories important to McLaren

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Jenson Button has stressed the importance of small victories and stepping stones for McLaren as the British team continues to move forward following a tough start to the 2015 season.

After switching to Honda power units for the new year, the British team has encountered a number of issues with the new MP4-30 car that made simply finishing a race an achievement.

In Monaco though, Button finished eighth to score McLaren’s first points of the season, and although the result is not one that the team will get too carried away with, the Briton spoke fondly about this success in Montreal on Thursday.

“I think Monaco for us is a stand out race as it is low speed corners, which I think we’re stronger in than high speed corners,” Button said. “Scoring four points six races in, you’ve got to take it and enjoy the moment.

“We’re used to winning but we’re not winning. For us to sit there and go ‘ it doesn’t really mean much unless we’re winning’ – we’ll be depressed for a while if that’s the case.

“You’ve got to have little stepping stones to greater things. Our main goal is to win the world championship but you’ve got to have little goals along the way.

“I think the whole team was very happy with that weekend, especially Honda as it’s their first points in F1 since 2008 and it gave everyone a little confidence boost.”

In spite of the improvements that have been made, McLaren is expected to struggle in Canada this weekend given the importance of straight line speed and power at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. However, Button is remaining optimistic.

“Canada is a great circuit and there’s always action,” Button said. “It’s not a predictable race whatsoever.

“Last year I started the penultimate lap eighth and finished fourth, so anything can happen here and it normally does.

“Who knows what the weekend will throw at us. Obviously there are long straights here but we’ve made some positive improvements but whether it’s enough or not we’ll have to wait and see.”

Dutch Grand Prix becomes fourth Formula 1 race canceled this season

EM VAN DER WAL/ANP/AFP via Getty Images
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ZANDVOORT, Netherlands — The Dutch Grand Prix became the fourth Formula One race canceled this season because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, after organizers decided Thursday they didn’t want to play host to an event without spectators.

It was to be the first Dutch GP since 1985, but F1 wants to start the season with no spectators at races.

“We would like to celebrate this moment, the return of Formula 1 in Zandvoort, together with our racing fans in the Netherlands,” race director Jan Lammers said in a statement. “We ask everyone to be patient. I had to look forward to it for 35 years, so I can wait another year.”

The race in Zandvoort was set for May 3 and initially postponed. Fans who bought tickets can use them next year.

The coastal circuit has been redesigned, with some corners banked to facilitate faster racing.

The other races canceled this year were the season-opening Australian GP on March 15; the Monaco GP on May 24; and the French GP on June 28.

Another six have been postponed.

F1 organizers still hope to reschedule those and hold 15 to 18 races this season, starting in July with back-to-back races at the Austrian GP.