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Button: 'McLaren on the right track'

2014-01-31 10:26

CHANGE OF LUCK? McLaren driver Jenson Button is excited about the team's new car's performance during pre-season testing in Jerez, Spain. Image: AFP

JEREZ, Spain - McLaren's new Formula 1 car made a belated but encouraging test debut on Wednesday (Jan 29) with Jenson Button hoping the team would pick up speed on and off the track after a dismal 2013.

McLaren announced that Frenchman Eric Boullier, former Lotus team principal, would start work on February 3 2014 as new racing director - running the team over GP weekends.


Former team principal Ron Dennis has also wrested overall control of the team back from Martin Whitmarsh, whose future is uncertain but almost certainly lies elsewhere. Button, the 2009 champion now in his fifth year with McLaren, welcomed Boullier's appointment. "I think it's good to have fresh ideas - he does add to the team.

"When the management structure is complete we will be in good shape."

2013 was McLaren's worst season since 1980 with Button's fourth in Brazil the 'highlight' result. The team knew it was in trouble from the very first test but Jerez' evidence, with Button top of the time sheets and the rumour mill talking of them having a 'secret weapon' with an innovative rear suspension design, was more promising.

"There are no horrible issues with the car, no big issues with the power unit in terms of how it delivers, the basic car itself is where we want it to be," Button told reporters. "Our first day back in 2013 was quick but the car had its flaws and we could see that on Day 1. The car was bouncing around a lot and we had our issues which were not going to be easy to solve. This time we don't have those issues."


F1 has a new V6 turbo engine with energy recovery systems now, replacing the screaming V8's, and Button said that although the noise did not sound as good he was enjoying driving the car. He was also encouraged by the team's ability to resolve problems quickly.

Button, the most experienced driver in F1, said: "We had a lot of issues yesterday and it's nice to see that we were able to solve them overnight. Not a lot of laps today, 43, but it's been a positive start. We did lots of different runs today. We weren't able to do any long runs because we had a few little issues but the good thing was that we were able to solve them quickly and get out there and put some laps in."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 F1 season – fresh reports every day.
Read more on:    jenson button  |  spain  |  jerez  |  motorsport  |  racing  |  f1

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