McLaren braced for difficult race after Q1 exit

By on Saturday, March 14, 2015
McLaren Honda

McLaren Honda

McLaren pair Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen say they are braced for a problematic Australian Grand Prix after failing to make it out of Q1.

Button finished the session in 17th place, with Magnussen in 18th, and the Briton is aware that he faces a steep challenge, having not yet completed a race run in the MP4-30.

"This level of performance wasn’t a surprise for us: we knew from winter testing that the pace wasn’t there, so we knew we weren’t going to be competitive here," he said.

"However, there’s a good feeling about the car – I know we’re so far off, but the basic car is there beneath me, and we’re adding to our experience and learning with every lap we do.

"And that’s really impressed me – we’ve gone through our first race weekend together, and we’ve managed to solve each issue that’s confronted us. There’s just a lot of work needed to add power and downforce – but this is an important car for the future of McLaren-Honda.

"It’s going to be a really difficult race for us – we haven’t done a race distance yet, and my longest run is 12 laps – but we want to do the best we can because there’s so much learning to be had."

Magnussen, substituting for Fernando Alonso this weekend, will line up at the back after Manor did not qualify.

"On my second run, I had a slight problem with the engine – it didn’t really matter, as we’d have needed a bit of luck to get into Q2," he said.

"For tomorrow’s race, we’re not really focused on getting points – they’re not really on the cards for us – but we’ll go racing tomorrow to try and learn. We haven’t done a full race distance yet, so progress tomorrow will be important. If we can finish, we’ll learn a lot; and, even if we don’t, there’ll still be something useful to take home."

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