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

Sport
footballLIVE City face Stoke, while Warnock returns to Palace dugout
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Arts and Entertainment
books
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
gadgets + techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
News
i100
News
The slice of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake and the original box from 29 July 1981
newsPiece of Charles and Diana's wedding cake sold at auction in US
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
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

Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference