Jenson Button says he is pleased with the progress McLaren has made over the summer break after finishing in sixth place in today's Belgian Grand Prix.
"In terms of performance there’s been a small but definite improvement, so we should be pleased with the progress we’ve made." Button said after the race.
However, he made it clear that McLaren still needs to improve. Last year, Button took a dominant win at Spa but this year it was even out of sight for the British driver.
"I’m pretty happy with the feel of the car now, in fact; okay, there’s still room for improvement in terms of pace, but the good thing is that we know which areas we should be focusing on." he added.
Jenson Button got a great start from sixth place and fancied a go around La Source having already made positions at the start/finish straight. He was up into 4th place by the end of lap 1. However, his McLaren didn't have the pace of the front runners and he eventually fell down to sixth place.
He then tried to complete the race on a one-stop strategy which promoted him to third place before a late race switch to a one stop strategy dropped him down in sixth.
"We were trying for a one-stop strategy at the start of the race, then we adapted that to a two-stopper later on. We gave it a go, but our pace still wasn’t quite as good as that of the cars in front of us, so we couldn’t really chase them down at the end of the race." Button said .
"Having said that, it was decent race for us. Moreover, as always, it was really fun to race around this magnificent circuit – I really enjoyed driving the car today."
Team principal Martin Whitmarsh acknowledged Button's performance in the race and admitted that he might have finished on the podium had they been able to execute a single stop strategy perfectly.
"At one point we were considering opting for a one-stop strategy for him, and, if we’d been able to do that successfully, he may well have got that podium finish. As things turned out, it wasn’t to be; but, as I say, he drove an excellent race, and the eight points he scored were richly deserved, lifting our constructors’ world championship ranking to fifth place.' said Whitmarsh.
He was confident that the improvements they've made on the car will translate into results at the next race in Monza.
"Looking forward, then, from here we go to Italy, where we hope that that underlying pace improvement will produce better on-track results. Having said that, we never under-estimate our opponents, and we’re far from complacent about our chances. Nonetheless, we’ll be doing our utmost to put on a good show at Monza, a magnificent racetrack whose unique ambience always creates a very special vibe."