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.”

IndyCar race weekend doubleheader schedule at IMS road course

IndyCar weekend schedule Indianapolis
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The NTT IndyCar Series will return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the third time this season but with a weekend schedule that will put the action in front of fans for the first time in 2020.

The track’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course will play host to IndyCar and sports cars series over four days. The action will begin Thursday with practice and concluding with an eight-hour race Sunday featuring the Intercontinental GT Challenge and GT World Challenge America.

The NTT IndyCar Series will hold a Friday-Saturday race doubleheader called the Harvest GP presented by GMR.

ENTRY LISTS: Who’s racing IndyCar at IMS this weekend

The name is a nod to the Harvest Classic, which was held Sept. 9, 1916 to help the track stay solvent during World War I. The event had three races of 20, 50 and 100 miles (all won by Johnny Aitken) that was the only racing held outside May at IMS from 1911-93.

A limited crowd of 10,000 will be allowed each day this weekend, and those fans will be the first to experience new video boards, concession stands, restrooms and 5G wireless connectivity.

Here’s the IndyCar weekend schedule for Indianapolis Motor Speedway Harvest GP:

(All times are Eastern)

IndyCar weekend schedule: Thursday, Oct. 1

Noon — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America test session
2:25 p.m. — IndyCar practice (NBC Sports Gold)
6:20 p.m. — IndyCar qualifying for Harvest GP, Race 1 (NBC Sports Gold)

IndyCar weekend schedule: Friday, Oct. 2

10:20 a.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America practice
1:40 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America practice
3:30 p.m. — IndyCar Harvest GP, Race 1 (USA Network, NBC Sports Gold)

IndyCar weekend schedule: Saturday, Oct. 3

10:20 a.m. — IndyCar qualifying for Harvest GP, Race 2 (NBC Sports Gold)
12:10 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America qualifying
2:30 p.m. — IndyCar Harvest GP, Race 2 (NBC, NBC Sports Gold)
5:30 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America pole shootout

IndyCar weekend schedule: Sunday, Oct. 4

10 a.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America race