F1: Jenson Button insists morale will not be allowed to drop at McLaren

The British team have been way off the pace so far this season

Jenson Button is adamant the will to win will not be sapped from McLaren if the team fails to haul itself back in the running for race victories this weekend.

Following the Bahrain Grand Prix nearly three weeks ago there was expectation the team would turn a corner this weekend in Spain on their so-far wretched season.

Although there was acrimony on the track between Button and team-mate Sergio Perez, at least the car allowed them to fight several of their rivals around them and not just each other.

But despite a raft of upgrades on the MP4-28, the vibe from inside the team ahead of the race at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya is low key, rather than overly optimistic.

If McLaren continue to trail by a distance Red Bull, Ferrari, Lotus and Mercedes come the end of the race, that could severely impact on morale.

Button does not believe that will be the case as he said: "It's easy to say a part works or doesn't work, but it's a lot more complicated than that.

"Some parts could work, some might not. Obviously we hope they all do.

"If you find some parts do work then you know which direction you need to keep working in.

"But whatever happens I don't think the guys will get down.

"We're very good at improving throughout a season, and if this weekend doesn't go to plan, we'll still keep pushing.

"We want to win races - this team has won many races in its history - and that hasn't changed now.

"We're still a team that fights for victories, and we're going to do everything we can to do that."

With just 13 points to his name Button is already 64 behind reigning three-time champion Sebastian Vettel, and with hopes already rapidly fading of a title challenge.

As for Button's own motivation, he added: "You have ups and downs.

"This team has been very strong over the past few years, and although we haven't clinched the title, we've won a lot of grands prix.

"It's not always going to be good, but we're working as hard as we can to make it great, and that's the aim for the future."

Ahead of today's two practice sessions, Button concedes the team's target is a modest one, rather than boldly suggesting they now have it in their locker to push the best.

"We're obviously hoping for an improvement," said Button.

"There are a lot of new parts on the car, but we haven't driven it yet, so we don't know how it feels.

"The data tells you one thing, but you have to feel it in reality to see if it gives you what you hope for.

"But it's so competitive at the moment in Formula One, and the smallest change can make a big difference, and we have to hope for that.

"We just need to see an improvement. You're not going to see us putting it on pole position.

"But to see an improvement at least in the car, and getting into Q3 without it being a massive struggle, has to be our aim this weekend."


Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy as ECB finally wield the axe
Life and Style
food + drink
John Profumo and his wife Valerie Robson in 1959
voicesWard committed no crime, and the truth is still being covered up, writes Geoffrey Robertson QC
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

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas