SITTING TIGHT: McLaren's Jenson Button says the team needs to shift its priorities while he is still happy to face the challenges during this tough 2015 season. Image: AFP / Andrej Isakovic
LONDON, England - Jenson Button has urged McLaren-Honda to prioritise performance over reliability.
Team boss Eric Boullier said recently that, as works partner Honda's awkward return to the sport continues, the ongoing troubles will soon begin to affect preparations for the 2016 season.
Button agreed: "You can't finish this year two seconds behind Mercedes and expect to challenge them in 2016."
Much of Honda's problem in 2015 has been reliability but the MP4-30 package remains well off the pace and the biggest issue is clearly engine power. Button added:
"We want to finish races and we want reliability to be good but I would rather see the improvement in pace and reliability come second."
It is also a particularly awkward time for Button who, at 35, is on a single-year contract. At the same time the team's impressive juniors - among them reserve Kevin Magnussen and rising GP2 star Stoffel Vandoorne - are knocking loudly on the door.
"I have to look later down the line where I want to be in terms of where my future takes me," Button acknowledged, "but at the moment, even though it is difficult right now, I am enjoying the challenge with Fernando and the team."
As for 23-year-old Belgian Vandoorne, he told Sky it was too early to be coveting a race seat. "I have regular talks with McLaren management - we are discussing things but it is still too early to know something about my future."
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