Jenson Button, McLaren, Jerez, 2014

No repeat of 2013 problems so far – Button

2014 F1 season

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Jenson Button, McLaren, Jerez, 2014There’s no indication yet McLaren are in danger of repeating their poor 2013 performance, according to Jenson Button.

Speaking to reporters after his first run in the McLaren MP4-29 Button said the team “had our issues that were not going to be easy to solve” at the same test last year.

“At this moment in time we definitely don’t have those issues,” he said.

“The car, basic car itself, is good and it works as you would hope. No scary things. I’m also pleasantly surprised at how you put the power down.”

Button was enthusiastic about the performance of the new Mercedes power unit.

“The power of the engine is awesome,” said Button. “It’s very torquey.”

“It feels the most powerful engine I’ve driven. Obviously it isn’t in terms of outright power but as a racing driver you feel the torque, you feel the power at low-speed, high-speed, throughout the corner, you don’t really feel the difference. But it’s coming out of the corners when you have so much torque it’s exciting.”

“There’s so much more power than we’re used to,” he added. “I think the positive thing is we have the ERS unit to really fill in the gaps.”

“I would say it’s a very driveable engine, and that’s at this early stage. There are moments where you’re part-throttle through the corner where there’s all sorts going on. It’s so different to what we’re used to – we’re used to revs, we’re used to downshifting, everything is normal to us.

“But this is so, so different. With different noises with the turbo, with the wastegate, with the ERS unit doing all sorts.”

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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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14 comments on “No repeat of 2013 problems so far – Button”

  1. “The power of the engine is awesome,” said Button. “It’s very torquey.”

    Having been to Torquay, I can assure you that it is not ‘awesome’…

    1. Legendary. :D

      I’m really starting to come round to this years cars. The Mclaren looks really awesome.
      I love the lower noses. Hopefully they keep it that way.

    2. As someone from Torquay…

      … I can’t help but agree with you.

    3. @magnificent-geoffrey Your comment reminded me of Basil Fawlty thrashing his Austin with a branch (I’ve never been to Torquay so Fawlty Towers is the only connection I know).

      That then made me imagine Seb thrashing his RB10 with a branch broken down out on the track at Jerez (almost the opposite of what happened at the end of the Indian GP last year!)

  2. This is some of the best news I’ve heard in a while!

  3. I’ve read Jenson reference a ‘wastegate’ twice now, but I thought the new engines didn’t use one? I was under the impression they were using a motor to control turbo speed, eliminating overboost?

    1. IIRC, there’s a wastegate present in case of MGU-H problems, etc.

      1. Which makes me wonder why Jenson can hear it if it is only to protect the engine incase of the MGU-H failing. Perhaps the MGU-H isn’t being used at this point. I suppose that’s not surprising as the teams test all the new systems.

  4. Good to see Mclaren sounding confident. If they have a front running car, I expect Magnussen tomake quite an impact in his rookie year

  5. Looks are only looks, but that McLaren looks like it’s doing something right.

    1. looks like it’s doing something right.

      Only thing they did right last year is to assemble it wrong, so I’m still cautions.

  6. At McLaren, they have a great opportunity to achieve something good this year. The engine seems to be quite reliable and with some good performance early in this season, they can be grand favorites for the championship. It is quite early but they do have some probabilities for it.

    1. And the biggest problem with that will be everyone claiming its because Ron is back and Whitmarsh is out. They’ll just forget the fact that this car was actually developed with Whitmarsh still in charge.

      It’s the same nonsense we heard when Hamilton went to Mercedes – that his arrival was why they were suddenly competitive. Once again, conveniently forgetting that his team mate scored twice as many wins as him last year.

  7. petebaldwin (@)
    30th January 2014, 16:22

    In these early stages, it has to be said that the Mercedes powered cars are comfortably in front. Ferrari powered cars are behind. This suggests that the Fiat is a decent car as it isn’t too far off the pace but if you look at the rest of the Ferrari powered cars, they are struggling. Renault are obviously in a clear 3rd place because their engine doesn’t work. I hope it’s not a huge issue and that they can get it sorted – they’ve only got 8 more test days!

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