McLaren’s Jenson Button has downplayed the chances of scoring his second podium of the season at this week’s Italian Grand Prix despite admitting that he’s a lot more happier with the feel of the car.
Apart from March’s Australian Grand Prix, McLaren has had an average season so far, with the Woking squad mostly battling with the midfielders. However, recent updates to the car and a low downforce track that plays to the strengths of the Mercedes engine at the back of the MP4-29 means that team is in a strong position to challenge for big points and possibly a podium finish come Sunday. But Jenson Button believes the team is likely to finish a few places behind the top three on race day.
“I don’t think we’ve got a good shot of the podium here,’’ said the 2009 world champion. “We’d be alright. I don’t think podium is an option. But I’m not saying this is our only chance of a good result. But the next few races from here on to the end of the season, we should be getting better every race. Definitely our car is better at low downforce circuit but that’s why you work on the high downforce circuits. We have stuff at Singapore and the following races that will help us be competitive and we have to improve in every race till end of the year. You have to do if you have to be competitive in 2015. You can’t end the year 1.5 seconds off the pace.”
Button added that the team is improving every race but it’s difficult to close the gap quickly to the top guns because of restrictions in F1’s regulations.
“It’s getting better every race, we’ve made a few mistakes. But in terms of development of the car, its improving. It’s very difficult to do it quickly with the regulations and the limitations - the competition that is out there, it’s not an easy sport,’’ he said.
The 2009 world champion believes that the Parabolica is now a more ‘forgiving’ corner, with asphalt run-off partially replacing the gravel trap that was initially laid on the exit of Monza’s most famous corner.
“It’s obviously more forgiving, so you take more speed in, you are more confident on the entry. If you make a mistake, you just run wide. So, it’s a quicker corner. Whether I like it or not, I don’t really know. It’s a still rush driving through there, I still love the corner. It’s just a bit different,’’ the Brit said.