British Grand Prix 2014: McLaren all need to work harder, Jenson Button tells Ron Dennis
2009 world champion reacts to chief executive's claims that he needs to try harder
Thursday 03 July 2014
Jenson Button has reacted pithily following suggestions from McLaren’s chief executive, Ron Dennis, that he needs to try harder.
Ahead of what promises to be an emotional home grand prix for the 2009 world champion, who has asked fans to join him in wearing pink T-shirts to commemorate his hugely popular father John who died in January, Button defended himself against his boss’s implied criticism.
Dennis had earlier suggested to Sky Sports that his 34-year-old lead driver needed to work more to rise to the challenge of his promising rookie team-mate Kevin Magnussen.
Button has 43 World Championship points to the young Dane’s 29, but Magnussen so far has the best result with his second place to Nico Rosberg in the opening race in Australia, where Button eventually finished third when the places were revised. Magnussen has also been quicker in qualifying in half the races.
“I think Ron must be practising to be a motivational speaker,” Button shot back. “When we are in the position we have been in for 18 months it’s not easy for anyone in the team. It’s very, very difficult, and we all need to work harder as a team and not to be pointing the finger at any individual.
McLaren chief Ron Dennis challenged his lead driver to ‘try harder’ at Silverstone (PA)
“We got ourselves into this position and we’ve got to fight our way out, but I never give half measures in anything; I always give 100 per cent on the phone, in the factory and in the car, everything always 100 per cent.”
Button has made it clear that he wants to stay with McLaren and that he has unfinished business in Formula One. But speculation continues about his future within the team when his contract runs out at the end of the season, and the possibility that Fernando Alonso will be tempted back to Woking in preference to extending his Ferrari deal.
Racing director Eric Boullier temporised: “We are evaluating strategies and we are lucky to have two drivers who want to commit to us for the future. We have contractually some options we can pick up, so we are not in a rush to decide next year or the future driver line-up.”
Meanwhile, fellow Briton Susie Wolff, the wife of the Mercedes director Toto Wolff, received encouragement from the pre-race favourite Lewis Hamilton ahead of her debut as a Friday morning driver for Williams Martini Racing. She will be the first woman to run on an official Formula One meeting session since Giovanni Amati 22 years ago.
“Susie is one of the very few girls I have raced against,” the Mercedes star said. “I saw her in karting but back then she was always a category above me. But we did race together in Formula Renault and she was great. She’s done remarkably well in her career and I’m very happy to see her in F1.”
Arsenal transfer news: Karim Benzema, Edinson Cavani and Gregorz Krychowiak were all linked but Wenger and Gunners fail on deadline day
Arsenal transfer news: Gunners fans devastated as they become only team in top 5 European leagues not to sign outfield player
David De Gea: Manchester United in bitter war of words with Real Madrid over failed transfer
David De Gea, Peter Odemwingie and the 18 weirdest transfer deadline day stories
Anthony Martial fee: 'Add-on' includes Manchester United signing winning the Ballon d'Or
- 2 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 3 The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
- 4 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
- 5 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches, it's time to act
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up