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Button belief in McLaren

For well over a year now McLaren have talked a good game, but have shown very little.

The switch from dumping Mercedes, the dominant engine in Formula One, to Honda, a manufacturer who had been out of the sport for some time was bold.

In theory the reason was sound, it's unlikely that McLaren would be able to challenge for frequent victories and championships if they were a customer to Mercedes.

And they are right, just ask Red Bull Racing who have yet to secure an engine for next season after both Mercedes and Ferrari refused to offer them 2016 spec engines.

But the experiment in 2015 has failed, Honda have failed to deliver an engine that's competitive to Mercedes, Ferrari or even Renault and when it does run it's not reliable either.

Two-time Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso and 2009 Formula One World Champion Jenson Button have wasted a year of their career at the back of the grid.

It has been so bad that it was fully expected that Jenson Button would announce his retirement from the sport at the Japanese Grand Prix.

McLaren operations director Jonathan Neale even told the FIA press conference ahead of the race that 'if your driver doesn't really want to be in the seat, we have to respect that.'

The British driver remained tight lipped throughout the weekend whilst McLaren chairman Ron Dennis remained adamant that Button and team-mate Fernando Alonso would be staying with the team, stating that both had contracts for next season.

But with McLaren and Honda's struggles throughout 2015, it looked as though Button could still walk away right up until an official announcement was made.

When it was confirmed that Alonso and Button would be partners again in 2016, Button reverted back to the corporate position of saying all the right things and talking up his optimism and he was at it again in Brazil.

'Looking at it now, you'd say the best team next year is going to be Mercedes, and then probably Ferrari and then probably Williams, But so much can change over the winter. We're a team that's going to make massive strides in the winter - it's not 'I hope', we will.' he told Sky Sports.

'I wouldn't have re-signed for the team unless I had belief in Ron [Dennis] and his leadership, but also in Sakura and Honda, and the guys at MTC [McLaren Technology Centre], I spend more time with the guys at MTC and every time I'm in we sit down with the aerodynamicists and the engineers and discuss where we are and where we're going and whether our ideas are going in the right direction.

'It's really interesting, and I'm happy with the direction it's going. You always want it quicker than it comes and you always want more than what you get - but that's everyone in Formula 1 and we've got to hope we do a better job than everyone else over the winter.'

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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday November 19 2015

Time: 10:00AM


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