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."

PA

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