Button expected more from car upgrades
12 April 2013 – Jenson Button says he was expecting slightly more from McLaren's car upgrades for the Chinese Grand Prix, with the Briton stating that the impact of the developments do not appear to be as significant as the squad had anticipated after Friday practice.
Although he described an improved feeling with the MP4-28, Button all but ruled out his team's chances of making the leap required to fight at the front in China.
"We can’t yet conclusively tell if the upgrades we brought to this race have improved the car," explained Button, who finished sixth on the timing screens this afternoon. "They’re perhaps not as big a step forward as we’d expected – the issues with the car are still there – but the car does feel a little bit better.
"We’ve worked very hard over the last few weeks to bring the new parts here – which is great. Today’s been all about putting mileage on those parts; now we need to sit down and look at the data this evening. I don’t think we’ll be fighting at the front this weekend, but we’ll definitely be fighting someone."
Button, who suffered a front-left tyre delamination as the afternoon session drew to a close, was another driver to discuss the intense nature of degradation with Pirelli's Soft compound, which is in use at the Shanghai circuit for the first time this season.
"I feel we’ll be using the Prime tyre quite a lot in the race," the 2009 World Champion went on to explain. "The Option tyre transforms the car completely; over one lap, there’s a lot more grip, but then you start to lose time over each successive lap."
Button's team-mate, Sergio Pérez, suffered two incidents on Friday, crashing on the entry to the pit lane at the end of the first session before spinning wildly at Turn 7.