Jenson Button, McLaren, Albert Park, 2015

Button targets “big step in Malaysia” after finishing

2015 Australian Grand Prix

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Jenson Button, McLaren, Albert Park, 2015Jenson Button was relieved to see the chequered flag in the Australian Grand Prix and hopes his performance will allow the team to be more competitive at the next race in Malaysia.

Button was last of the 11 runners at the end of the race but said was untroubled by a point-less start to the year.

“Points don’t really mean anything anyway to us right now,” he told reporters after the race, “there’s so much more to achieve and to do really before we’re major competitive”.

“But a good day for us to get to the end. As I said before the longest stint we’ve done was 12 laps before this weekend. I think that’s pretty impressive.

“We’re obviously a long way off but still, it’s a good starting point. A lot of fuel-saving in the race as well, it was pretty tough for me out there but I still enjoyed it. Had a little bit of a battle at the start of the race for about 20 laps with Perez which was quite fun, didn’t expect that.

“And then I was just bringing it home. There’s a lot of useful data that can help give us a big step forward in Malaysia.”

Button said the car “doesn’t feel too bad” but admitted the team’s development effort had affected its balance.

“There’s so much that we’re doing with it, which hurts the handling, to look after fuel and look after the car,” he said. “But a good starting point and hopefully a big step in Malaysia.”

2015 Australian Grand Prix

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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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52 comments on “Button targets “big step in Malaysia” after finishing”

  1. of course it will be a big step because there is no worse than coming last as in Melbourne :(

    1. There’s a lot of good to be said of completing the race at all. I believe the longest stint the McLaren had completed until today was 8 laps.

      1. It was 12 laps as stated in the article and here

    2. 1. Not much to brag about when Ron goes looking for additional sponsorship.
      2. Leave it to Jenson to put the best face on the disaster.
      3. Fernando isn’t going to be happy!

      1. Fernando can consider himself lucky, that mclaren took him in, for that enormeus amount of money. After being ditched by a ferrari, he literaly had nowhere to go to.

        1. there is much talent on the field, for which u can pay 10 million or less and get the same results…like ricciardo, bottas and others….its better to spent those 20+ millions for car development

        2. You do know he wasn’t ditched by Ferrari, it was the other way around?

          1. He wanted to leave the ferrari, and ferrari wanted him to leave…this looks he was ditched to me…we all know that their relationship was getting worse. After di montezemollo was replaced, alonso was not wanted anymore….that is my point of view, i might be wrong, but if u think about it its logical. Him and the Ferrari wanted to move on. It simply didnt work.

          2. @proteus When two parts don’t want to work together anymore they “part ways”, when one forces the other out, that means that the latter was “ditched”. There was no sign of Alonso being ditched, just some people’s imagination… I hardly find logical any things that you say but don’t back up with souce links.

        3. @proteus It’s literally the opposite, actually. Can you provide some sources for what you are saying?

          1. When you are leaving a previous team it is a norm to have signed a contract with a new team. Look at VET, RBR and Ferrari. But ALO had not signed any contract with McL when Horner said VET was going to Ferrari. Instead we were told by ALO himself that he could have a one sabbatical year. Use your brain – It is so simple.

          2. The fact that Vettel announced in the media that he was joining Ferrari before Alonso announced that he would race for McLaren doesn’t mean that he signed with Ferrari before Fernando signed with McLaren. Contracts are usually signed much earlier than we get to read about it in the media…

    3. I’d like to see the look on Fernando’s face when Raikkonen’s Ferrari laps him. If there are no safety cars, it is very much possible

      1. I don’t think he would care too much given that he trashed Kimi last year in the same car. Fernando went to a team who wants to try something new and radical that would propel them directly to the level of domination that Mercedes enjoy at the moment… If he wanted to continue finishing ”best of the rest” and ”feel podiums like victory” he would have stayed at Ferrari. It’s win or nothing for him because he got tired of collecting podiums or runner-up trophies for 5 years (now this is Vettel’s job).
        We’ve seen in 2009 McLaren coming up with a dog of a car and ending up winning races in the second half of the season. Of course their situation is much worse right now, but I think they’ll get their act together and make a big leap in performance by summer break.

        1. I couldn’t have summarised Alonso’s situation any better.

          Under the current formula it seems Mercedes domination can only be challenged by something radical – which inherently is a very high risk strategy. Ferrari have done a great job – but I feel to close the gap to Merc, Ferrari need the former to trip us big; unlikely they will do it on their own.

        2. @klaas True. Also, in 2009 there was no 4 engines limitations, which makes the job really more difficult and explains the conservative approach of Honda. Seriously, I didn’t think that any mcLaren would make it to the end, great for them!

      2. P.S Given the prospect of another season with Mercedes domination, I think McLaren-Honda’s progress remains the most interesting thing to watch for 2015.

        1. Jess (@justblowingofsteam)
          15th March 2015, 10:40

          Spot on.It’s the only interesting thing to look forward to by the looks of it!

      3. Yeah, he’s gonna wish to go back to Ferrari to thrash him again.

      4. Kimi should really take the opportunity while he has a few seconds per lap faster car, before Mclaren gets it act together. We all saw last year how ALO will clean the floor with Kimi, if they have similar equipment. So, enjoy while you can!

        1. I think this is unfair to Kimi, as my impression was that the Ferrari’s flaws last year affected Kimi much more negative than Fernando, who of course must be acknowledged for his talent to get the best out of almost any car, no matter how undrivable it is.
          But if the Ferrari had been fine to drive for Kimi he would have been close to Fernando last year also.

    4. of course there is more worse to end race 11 from 11.you can finisg 20 from 20

  2. I think that Mclaren should be thankful that JB got the more reliable of the two cars as he probably brings a little more insight to aid further development due to his greater experience over KM.

  3. I heard in Sky that Alonso only has 3 motors left, since Mag’s engine failing counts. If true, that’s adding even more pain to an already horribly painful start.

    1. Yeah, the rule is a little weird: Alonso wouldn’t be able to use any points accumulated by Magnussen, so why is the engine loss counting against him?

      1. That is because the points earned by KM still count towards McLaren’s constructor points. Each team has 2 cars for the season with 4 engines per car allowed. and one of the McLarens lost an engine today.

    2. Completely irrelevant, as neither ALO, nor BUT will have anything to do with the drivers title. The one and only setback is for Honda due to the lost opportunity to put more laps on that 2nd engine to learn from it, before it gave up.

  4. Hopefully they’ll use the pace from the end of the race – only 2.4 seconds off Mercedes. When things get cooler then maybe they can then start making strides forwards!

    1. If cool weather helps the Honda unit a lot, I wonder how badly they’ll be affected by the heat and humidity of Malaysia?

      1. Honda actually stated that the cool conditions compounded their power issues due to the mapping they were using. So I am sure they will welcome the hotter weather.

  5. Could he say differently?! No. Simply because it cannot get worse…

    1. Not having a single car completing the race (which was a very real possibility) would certainly be worse.

  6. Could someone post the lap timing for the McL or the web site and best lap formula1 used to have this for free but now no anymore

  7. Well..let’s look at it this way – JB finish the race! in comparison with some of the teams with 400+ laps in winter testing.

  8. Mclaren were truthful in their reports but it’s all pretty difficult for them. Honda must be starved of petrol as the power is very low. They will wish they had that 1 point come the end of the year as points mean FOM money.

  9. In my 15 years of supporting Mclaren has there been a car as woeful as this. Yes 2004 and 2009 were bad, even 2014, but they were bad in that Mclaren went from race winners to minor points finishers. 11th today masks what a steep climb this car needs to be near to competing for points
    Had there been a fuller grid I think a spritely Manor would’ve beaten JB, which is beyond woeful.

    1. Duncan Snowden
      15th March 2015, 19:36

      15 years? You don’t remember Peugeot, then. 32 starts, 17 retirements, 3 classified non-finishes. The first half of the season was even worse: 11 retirements out of 16 starts. Brundle finished fewer than half the races overall. Granted, when it did last the distance it tended to be reasonably quick – there were a few podiums, even a couple on the second step (Monaco and Spa) – but they weren’t up against the 2015 Mercedes PU.

      Yes, it’s the worst McLaren since then, but I think Jenson completing the race (not to mention a decent fight with Perez) is reason to be fairly hopeful. One race isn’t a season.

    2. I don’t believe this is a bad car. Today was effectively a test session due to the radical power unit that Honda have produced. Button seems strangely optimistic about the car so perhaps their peak power is damn good once they iron out the issues. he also said that having a good aero package but some engine teething issues is much better than the last couple of years where their car was not working but they had a great engine. They can fix the power unit issues but they would have to redesign the entire car if they had major aero (Whigh is just not possible with the current regulations)

  10. I think McLaren will getting better from now on

    1. Only think? We can be sure it will get better, can’t get any worse

  11. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
    15th March 2015, 15:41

    That was their first full race distance. Great effort! They will improve loads once we get to European races.

  12. I read on a french website that Alonso is uncertain for the Malaysian GP…

    1. If that is the case then he has more serious issues than concussion.

      1. Yes he has, it is a rare disease called, not wanting to drive a mclarenitis. Doesn’t go away until they reach the top ten.

  13. Very pleased that Buttons engine survived a race distance…..Honda will learn so much from that data….so we can expect them to start turning up the power bit by bit……its more worrying why the other car self destructed and sent bits rolling down the track…Noticed Ron on the grid before the race when asked if that was one less engine for the season, replied that was the least of his problems…..what did he mean???

    1. It means, he can deal with the grid position penalties as they are rather inconsequential this season. The bigger problem is if Honda have just got it plain and simple wrong on so many fronts, that there is not only a reliability gap, but also a performance gap that is insurmountable.

      I think Alonso is going to leave the team sometime midway through the season…

      1. Yes but i an interview before he said Honda put conservative mode because they want to keep the engine and not blow it since there are only 4 engines.
        So how come suddenly that is the least of his problems? Does that mean his problems suddenly became more?

  14. Can someone explain why JB would have needed to be fuel saving with an ‘extremely detuned’ engine?

    How does that work?

    1. Yes – and two laps behind, so he’s done 6 or 7 miles less than the leaders!

      1. Educated guess here: At one point Button was complaining about temperatures being too high. In the absence of any other options to cool the engine you can put more fuel in. You won’t get a complete burn but the energy used to evaporate the fuel will help to cool the engine.

        So that’s one of many possible explanations. None of which look very good if you are a McLaren fan.

        Like me.

        :-(

        sigh

        1. To lighten the mood, more likely Mclaren just calculated the fuel needed and put inside enough for the race. So it doesn’t matter if the engine consumed less because Mclaren put less also to gain some pace. That is what teams do.

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