McLaren progress gives 'sense of relief' to Jenson Button


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The Independent Online

Jenson Button already has his sights set on coming back with a bang at next month's British Grand Prix. Despite clinching what eventually turned out to be a third-placed finish at the season-opener in Australia, following Daniel Ricciardo's disqualification, the year has been an uphill struggle for Button and McLaren.

The team endured a wretched run of three consecutive races without a point in China, Bahrain and Spain, before finally ending their drought last time out in Monaco.

As Button concedes, there was "a sense of relief" in getting back among the points, although the veteran knows in finishing sixth, with team-mate Kevin Magnussen 10th, it was just a small step on the road to competitiveness.

Button would like to believe there will be further improvement this weekend in Canada – the scene of one of his most spectacular triumphs in 2011 – before moving on to Austria's return to the calendar and then, more importantly, Silverstone.

"The points we scored in Monaco were OK. However, the most important thing for us as a team was not how many points we picked up there but the progress," said Button.

"I feel there is progress being made in the team. The way the car feels is good, and we are going in the right direction. It's still going to take time. We're not going to set the world alight this weekend, but hopefully there will be a bit more progression. By Silverstone it would be nice to have a good package."

With Button, 34, out of contract at the end of the season, McLaren's racing director, Eric Boullier, has hinted another could be in the pipeline. "Despite our current lack of pace, Jenson continues to be an absolutely fantastic ambassador for the team," Boullier said. "Not only is he a fantastic driver, but he's also somebody with the feel and experience to steer the team and give it direction for development."