Jenson Button, McLaren, Shanghai, 2013

Button plays down importance of Spain upgrade

2013 Spanish Grand Prix

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Jenson Button, McLaren, Shanghai, 2013Jenson Button says he’s not attaching any special importance to McLaren’s upgrade package for next weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

McLaren need to make a significant step forward with their MP4-28 which has been off the pace in the opening rounds of the year.

Button said: “There?s been a lot of talk about the importance of next weekend?s upgrades; but, as with every upgrade, they?re simply part of the series of continuous improvement that are made across the season.”

“As always, there?ll be elements of it that work, elements that perhaps work in a different way to what we?d anticipated, and elements that don?t work, or perhaps require further work. That?s life in modern Formula One.”

“So I?m pragmatic about what we?ll discover next weekend. Of course, I?m hopeful that it?ll move us a step closer towards the destination.”

He added the Spanish Grand Prix venue would give the team a point of reference for the changes they’ve made to the car:

“It?s been difficult for the team to make consistent progress through the first four races, but I think returning to a circuit where we undertook two of the pre-season tests will give us a useful benchmark of our progress so far.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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32 comments on “Button plays down importance of Spain upgrade”

  1. I still don’t understand why Mclaren didn’t stick to the basic 2012 chassis, I can’t see them catching up with the front-runners till at least mid-season, if at all.

    Increasingly it looks as though they need to get Ron back.

    1. The basic 2012 chassis wasn’t quite good enough and they knew the other teams would be likely advancing, so they probably thought they would only stagnate if they stayed with last year’s chassis. They must have known that they were not going to crank last years chassis up enough to do them any good, and felt they needed something with more potential for progression.

    2. I’m guessing it’s more due to the fact they are anticipating the complete re-design which is required in 2014 and are using the MP4-28 as a “stepping stone” to learn about the fundamentals (pull-rod suspension etc.)

  2. how boring this guy has become. He reminds me of prost with a fraction of his talent.

    1. Funny in the post about marussia/Ferrari someone else likened him to Prost but it seemed positive that time!!

    2. Become? Has he ever been anything but boring? Even PDR looks positively exciting next to JB.

    3. It makes sense to me. It’s hard to predict how well or bad the impact will be as the new formula one is unpredictable by default. Jenson is quite boring but I must admit that in this case he makes sense. I don’t really think he is playing a game here. He is just saying he does not know what will work and what won’t so why give a big fuss.

    4. Traverse (@)
      3rd May 2013, 20:48

      With the departure of Hamilton, McLaren seem to have lost oomph and urgency. A sullen atmosphere now pervades the McLaren garage.

      1. I second that. I think despite his attitude sometimes McLaren know Hamilton was a great loss. I think they put a lot of hope in Perez and he hasn’t really shone yet.. last race he drove well but to be constantly outqualifyed buy Button (who isn’t famous for his one lap pace ) isn’t the sign of a true great for me. In 07 Hamilton challenged a double Wdc in Alonso. I just don’t see Perez having the same impact as he so far hasn’t matched Button, who lets face it is no Alonso. Overall I bet McLaren wish they still had Hamilton whereas Hamilton seems very happy with his choice.

      2. (@hellotraverse) I’ll second that to a certain degree, though obviously having not been there I can’t say first hand – but it’s perfectly human to grasp just how much of a true great they’ve lost.

        However, I’ve had this sense that Mclaren’s actually been on the downward slope since they lost Ron Dennis – Whitmarsh seems ‘nice,’ and is clearly very intelligent, but he just lacks that inherent authority and focus that Dennis has.

        1. Traverse (@)
          6th May 2013, 10:43

          +1 @sgt-pepper
          People underestimate how vital a team principal is to the development and direction of a team. McLaren lost their “Mourinho” and (like Chelsea FC) have failed to recapture the stoicism that Ron Dennis instilled.

      3. Carl Craven
        6th May 2013, 22:12

        2009, that was Lewis’s year ;) all his own work?

    5. Yea real boring, He is a World Champion, a really nice guy, can mix it with the best and at the moment, putting the latest kid on the block into perspective, perhaps you prefer Kimi with his monotone and downright rude interviews

    6. He’s learned from Alonso. Under-promise and over-deliver.

  3. This upgrade should be EVERYTHING to McLaren. We’ll be 1/4 of the way through the season once Spain is out of the way so if the car isn’t a championship contender by now then why bother with it?

    They might as well put all focus onto 2014 to try and steal a march on the rest. Although if it’s anything like last year, they’ll probably waste time developing this car for several races after they’ve lost the championship.

    1. Well there certainly is more money in placing 3rd in the WCC vs. placing 4th or worse, so I’m sure that even when they resign themselves to not winning the WDC this year, they’d still like to maximize their position in the WCC for financial reasons, not to mention the benefits for their sponsors of going out there are placing as high up as possible, while continually learning as they go. They’re a top 3 team traditionally, and I’m sure would like to end up there by this season’s end too. I think all JB is saying here is not that this upgrade isn’t important, but it is just one upgrade of many and not the be all and end all ie. it’s not EVERYTHING because there is more of it to come after Spain, and the Spanish upgrades need to prove themselves yet anyway.

  4. My guess is that it was because of Button, Button wasn’t very comfortable/competitive with the last year’s car, just look at how many time he failed to reach Q3 last year. So they decided to build a new car around him this time, to maximize his potential(hence the “McLaren MP4-28 is the best car we’ve ever made” comment from Button?). It’s just too bad that they do not seem to know what they are doing, even the regulation doesn’t change much, it’s still hit or miss, and they missed.

    And too bad that they didn’t seem to able to maximize their potential in other areas like the pit stops either.

    1. Carl Craven
      6th May 2013, 22:13

      this record got stuck…….on 2009

  5. This is PR talk imo

  6. In other words even with the ‘upgrades’ McLaren will still be #5’s.

    (not really an upgrade if it doesn’t improve things is it?)

  7. *Waves arms about frantically* HIGHLY CONCERNED McLAREN FAN OVER HERE!!

  8. If they aren’t changing anything important on the car for Barcelona, then when will they?

  9. …end of discussion.

    1. PMccarthy_is_a_legend (@pmccarthy_is_a_legend)
      4th May 2013, 10:19

      Lol. Agreed

  10. Interesting, the difference between Jenson and Kimi regarding expectations beginning in Spain. Kimi identifies that Lotus needs to qualify better and continue improving the car overall to catch Red Bull. Clear goals for Lotus. Jenson essentially lowers expectations overall for McLaren. No clear goals. If the car performs better, everyone can be pleasantly surprised. The main direction seems to be throw everything at the car and hope for the best.

    1. Jenson essentially lowers expectations overall for McLaren. No clear goals.

      Jenson would obviously lower expectations. If his upgrades do work and Mclaren is battling with the front runners, he would be under a lot of pressure on Jenson to start delivering results and get in teh championship huntm (like Hamilton always did). I think Jenson would just be more content making excuses about how bad the car is than actually having to deliver something he really isn’t capable of

      1. My point was more to the fact that Lotus has clear goals and targets with their car and that McLaren seems lost as to what direction they are going. The driver comments rather reflect their respective teams.

        That said, watching F1 and other forms of racing since 1965 I’ve never understood the need for such bitter and rancorous discourse towards drivers that one may not find appealing. Just an observation…

  11. PMccarthy_is_a_legend (@pmccarthy_is_a_legend)
    4th May 2013, 10:18

    Jenson Button is the least deserving F1 world champion of all time. Discuss.
    Ps. Mods stop taking my comments down what is this about??!

    1. Everyone expected him to be blown away by Hamilton but it never really happened.

    2. As opposed to Hamilton who won his WDC on the last corner of the last lap of the last race of the season purely because another driver was on the wrong tires.

  12. So you all seem to think that lewis was a better driver for mclaren and he was the driving force behind mclaren! I am huge jenson button fan, always have been and always will, lewis was too hotheaded and like a moody teenager! Just from the driving perspective as previoulsy stated everyone thought jenson was walking into the lions den and would be dominated by lewis! If you look at the 3 seasons they spent in the same car jenson out scored lewis 672- 657 for points accumulated in those three seasons! In the same car with a new team and apparently disadvantaged! Before everyone starts claiming lewis was the reason mclaren were pushing look at the facts! Jenson out performed lewis in the same car ….FACT! As for this season things arent going his and mclarens way thats because of a ridicolous descision to re design a car that had already won numerous races! A bad decision! If they were winning races jenson would not be ‘boring’ can you blame him?!? The car is shocking this year i’d be on a massive downer too they are soo far off the pace what does he have to be happy about?!?

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