Button hopes to see progress in Monaco Grand Prix

Simon Peach 11:43 24/05/2015
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Optimistic: Jenson Button.

Jenson Button is confident that the Monaco Grand Prix will bring with it McLaren’s first points of the season.

– Hamilton nabs maiden Monaco GP pole for Mercedes
– F1: Hamilton confident of ending Rosberg’s fine run in Monaco
– Heikki Kovalainen: Pole position crucial for Monaco supremacy

This has so often been a happy hunting ground for the team, having racked up 15 wins on the streets of Monte Carlo – more than any other constructor.

The chances of it being the 16th this year, though, are nil and McLaren are instead aiming just to get a point on the board after making their worst start to a Formula One season since entering in 1966.

Issues with the new Honda power unit are gradually being ironed out and Button will start 10th on the grid  after frustration turned to relief.

The British driver was pipped to a place in the third qualifying session after a yellow flag cost him valuable time, only to be bumped up afterwards from 12th due to penalties handed down to Sainz Jr and Romain Grosjean after qualfying.

“There’s always a bit of ‘shoulda woulda, coulda’ in qualifying, but I would have easily been inside the top 10 today,” Button said.

“On my final lap in Q2, I lost a lot of time lifting for the yellow flag at turn one. I then gained a lot of it back – I was only a tenth off my best – but it wasn’t enough.

“And I think we could have had some fun in Q3, too. I think we’d have been fighting two or three cars for position.

“The car felt really good, although we still don’t have enough outright pace, but I have a lot of confidence in it, especially under braking.

“Today’s performance shows the progress we’re making. 

“The team has done a fantastic job this weekend, and they should be happy because the car is getting better all the time.

“This is a nice little stepping stone for the future. Our aim tomorrow will be to score points.”

Fellow McLaren driver Fernando Alonso starts 13th on the grid today, when both drivers are hoping the stewards take a harder line.

Alonso said the traffic this weekend has been “ridiculous” at times and Button echoed his team-mate”s sentiments.

The 2009 world champion added: “It feels the worst it has been, but we’re going to do it unless there are penalties. That’s the problem.”

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