Spanish Grand Prix: Jenson Button fears Mercedes' dominance won't end any time soon

Mercedes have four wins and seven podiums in the first four races this season

Jenson Button fears Mercedes will face little opposition to their current dominance before Formula One's summer break.

With Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at the wheel, Mercedes have so far crushed the opposition, claiming all four poles, race victories, as well as leading every lap.

The Brackley-based marque have been in a class of their own following the introduction of new regulations which has seen the return of turbo power in the form of a 1.6-litre V6 power unit.

With all teams boasting significant upgrades on their cars for this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona following a recent mini-break, they would like to believe they have closed the gap.

Button, though, feels Mercedes had such an advantage over the first four races it will be difficult for any rival to catch them, either at the Circuit de Catalunya or the following six grands prix ahead of the August holiday.

"Mercedes don't have any competition. They are so far in front of the field," said Button.

"In Monaco (in a fortnight) you might see Red Bull be strong and give them a run for their money, but apart from that it's going to be very tricky for anyone to challenge them over the next six or seven races.

"Mercedes will also keep developing throughout the year, and whilst we - and every other team - is trying to catch up, they're not going to stand still. They're going to upgrade the car."

Hamilton is the first British driver since Button in 2009 to triumph in three consecutive races, a run that has propelled him to within four points of Rosberg at the top of the drivers' standings.

 

Although the circumstances are very different compared to five years ago when Button won six of the first seven races en route to taking the world title, he knows trying to extend such a run becomes "more difficult" as time goes on.

"It's tough in a way because he is racing against his team-mate, and that's it," said Button.

"They share information. One driver will try and do one thing and the other driver will copy, and vice versa.

"It's very difficult to do a strategy in a race and to beat only one person that is your team-mate because he sees everything you are trying to do, so it is tough.

"But he seems to be doing a pretty good job so far."

As for Button and McLaren, the 34-year-old and the team are enduring a rough patch after failing to score in the last two grands prix.

After Button and rookie team-mate Kevin Magnussen claimed third and second respectively in the season-opening race in Australia, McLaren have since found their cars lack downforce.

The last race in China, in particular, was a disaster as Button and Magnussen were a lap down in 11th and 13th respectively.

"In Australia there were no high-speed corners, and at the circuit we did a very good job, got the best out of what we had, and most people didn't," said Button.

"But then other teams found their feet at the next grand prix and put us in our place.

"Overall we haven't been too bad, but maybe we have punched above our weight a little bit at the first three races and that's why our pace looked good."

With upgrades on the car for this weekend's race, Button can only hope progress has been made and that a run of three scoreless races for the first time since he joined McLaren in 2010 can be avoided.

"This isn't a circuit like China so we should be better anyway," said Button.

"Even without updates we would be more competitive so I feel the updates will help us, but then everyone has them, so I don't know where we will be this weekend.

"You can't turn things around that quickly anyway. It does take time, even if we found something amazing in the windtunnel, it takes weeks, if not months to get it on the car.

"We'll see updates throughout the year and hopefully we'll get closer to the front, but we won't be challenging Mercedes here. Definitely not."

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
tv
News
Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
people
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
voices
News
Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
people
Sport
SPORT
News
people
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Christopher Biggins as Mrs Smee in Peter Pan
theatreHow do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
News
i100
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

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick