McLaren’s Jenson Button and Sergio Perez have conceded that their team faces a challenge after a disappointing Australian Grand Prix.
Button finished in ninth place while Perez was a couple of seconds further back in eleventh.
“You’d have to say that today’s ninth place isn’t really much to write home about,” said Button.
“I think we should be pretty satisfied with what we achieved here in Melbourne today. It was a tricky race, and our car isn’t yet quick enough, so I think the team did a great job to achieve even as much as we did.”
“I think we’ve got a tough few days ahead of us, but hopefully we can now do some number-crunching in an effort to understand our car a bit better and extract a bit more performance out of it there.”
Perez added that it was a ‘tough’ race but has faith in his new team.
“That was a very, very tough race”, he said.
“I got a good start, which is always a bonus, but, after that, even though the team did a great job with the strategy, we just didn’t have enough pace to make significant further progress. Having said that, I nearly managed to score a point, but in the end I couldn’t quite get up to 10th place at the end. To finish 11th is never really satisfying, but I think Jenson and I both drove pretty good races today. In fact I want to say ‘well done’ to Jenson, who maximised the performance of his car really well to finish ninth.”
“Our engineers are aware that our car isn’t yet as quick as it needs to be, but I know I’m now part of the best team in Formula 1 so I’m certain they’ll improve it fast.”
Martin Whitmarsh praised his drivers after a challenging weekend.
“As always, Jenson managed the very challenging tyre degradation issues he faced quite brilliantly,” he said.
“Checo [Sergio Perez] made a storming start from 15th place on the grid, surviving a very busy first few corners with an impressive mixture of forcefulness and diligence, and only very narrowly missed out on scoring a point. Believe me, very few 11th-place finishes have been harder earned or better deserved than Checo’s was today.”