Button: McLaren not in permanent downward spiral
26 November, 2013
Jenson Button has played down suggestions that McLaren could be set to enter a Williams like downward spiral to the bottom half of the Formula 1 grid.
The once dominant Williams team – multiple World Champions with a glorious history – has now been dwarfed by the superior resources, facilities and budgets of Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes and McLaren.
McLaren, however, had an awful 2013 season – its worst in decades – and is now losing its title sponsor Vodafone.
But after recording a mere fourth place finish in the Interlagos finale, the team said on Twitter it had been a “great performance”, adding the hashtag ‘Believe In McLaren’.
Button defended the Woking based team’s optimism.
“There is a good atmosphere and a belief in the team,” he is quoted by British newspapers, denying that McLaren could follow Williams into a slide down the grid.
“We have the resources that Williams don’t. Money is king in a sport like Formula 1. The same [as] football in a way.”
Button also denied McLaren needs a management shakeup, even though Martin Whitmarsh has presided over a season in which not even a single podium was mounted by the Briton or his now departed Mexicanteam mate Sergio Perez.
“They’ve had a tough time of it this year and everybody is quoting figures,” he said. “But everyone is excited about next year. [Rule] changes are great for everyone apart from Red Bull,” he insisted.
Button’s friend and former F1 driver David Coulthard, however, thinks the 2009 World Champion’s motivation would have taken a big knock in 2013.
But the Scot, who drove for McLaren for years, tips Button and the team to rise again.
“McLaren are a mighty team,” he told the Telegraph, “they have a great facility and pots of money.” (GMM)
Subbed by AJN.