McLaren hails 'massive step forward' in Malaysia

By on Saturday, March 28, 2015
McLaren Honda

McLaren Honda

McLaren driver Jenson Button believes the squad has taken a 'massive step forward' in Malaysia, despite being eliminated in the first knockout session during qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Button posted the 17th fastest time at Sepang but reckons McLaren has made gains compared to where it was two weeks' ago in Australia.

"It was very difficult to get temperature into the tyres during the qualifying session – I really struggled in the first sector on every run I did, but was able to make the car work in the second and third sectors," he said.

"Before qualifying, I think we’d have hoped to be a bit closer to the cars in front of us, but this weekend has seen us take a massive step forward in performance.

"Also, I think our race pace – and our consistency over a long run – look like giving us a little extra. I’d like to think we could get closer to some of the cars in front tomorrow; that’ll be something to look forward to."

Team-mate Fernando Alonso will line up from 18th position on the grid but says that the squad has made more progress than he expected.

"Our form today wasn’t unexpected, but I think our performance so far this weekend has maybe been better than I’d have anticipated before arriving here in Malaysia," he said.

"In fact, I’d say the progress we’ve made since Australia has been fantastic – we’re much closer to the cars in front now – but we’re still under-performing and we still need to improve. However, the steps we’re taking with the car show a lot of progress, so I’m optimistic that I won’t be qualifying in Q1 for that much longer."


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