F1: Jenson Button tops day two testing in Jerez but progress hampered by knee infection

Button is struggling to meet the new weight restrictions that has already had him on a strict diet over the winter due to an infection in his knee

Jenson Button's bid to conform to Formula One's new controversial weight limit has been hampered by an infection to his knee.

After twiddling his thumbs on the opening day of pre-season testing on Tuesday due to technical issues with the new McLaren, the 34-year -old was top of the timesheet on day two.

The times, however, are largely irrelevant at present given the steep curve the teams are on when it comes to learning about the new cars in light of a raft of regulation revisions.

One of those has seen the weight limit of car and driver combined rise from 642kg last year to 692kg this season.

But that is arguably not enough for the taller drivers such as Button given the arrival of the new powertrains, in conjunction with the new energy recovery system that have made the cars significantly heavier.

Previously on the limit anyway, Button has been forced to diet further, but has revealed he needs to lose more weight ahead of the season-opening race in Australia in mid-March due to a knee problem.

"I did a hell of a lot of training over the winter in terms of diet, really limiting my intake, but in a safe way," said Button.

"But that's all gone out of the window in January. I haven't trained for three weeks because I've had an infection in my knee.

"And when you are sat on your backside all day like on Tuesday, you want to eat, so it's not been the easiest.

"Right now I'm not as light as I will be at the first race, but I'm definitely going to lose another kilo by race one, and it's going to be tight."

At least Button was happy with the baseline of his new car as opposed to a year ago, when McLaren built one that failed to claim a podium for the first time since 1980.

On this occasion, a relieved Button said: "I enjoy driving this car.

"Our first day last year we were quick, but the car had its flaws and we could see that. This time we don't have those issues.

"The basic car itself is good and it works. No scary things with it. I'm really looking forward to getting back in it."

In sharp contrast, reigning champions Red Bull and Vettel, along with engine partners Renault, suffered a second successive day of woe.

Vettel departed the circuit early on Wednesday after completing a total of just 11 laps over the two days due to issues with Renault's new systems.

A frustrated Vettel said: "With such big rule changes it's usual to have teething problems, and that's what tests are for, to sort those issues out."



Suggested Topics
  • Get to the point
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

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk