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

silverstone

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 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.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project