McLaren have deflected criticism of Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen from sections of fans who have laid the blame for the British team’s poor start to the season at the feet of the drivers.
Harsh words have been directed in particular at the 2009 World Champion, who finished the last race in Shanghai outside the points but ahead of team-mate Magnussen, who struggled to compete with the Toro Rosso duo of Daniil Kvyat and Jean Eric Vergne for the minor places.
“One thing we can be sure of is that Jenson and Kevin will both be pushing to the limit.” said team Racing Director Eric Boullier.
“In China, it was difficult to watch two hard-pressing drives go unrewarded, but both drivers performed fantastically in Shanghai, and only lost out on points due to the inefficiency of our car.”
Button has long been a target for some thanks to his three seasons opposite current pace-setter and fellow Brit Lewis Hamilton at McLaren, before the 2008 World Champion jumped ship to Mercedes for 2013. Hamilton’s gamble appears to have paid off as Mercedes currently dominate both title races.
McLaren however have expressed their continued belief they will soon be able to challenge nearer the front, as they did in Australia when they scored a double podium.
“The root of our under-performance has been comprehensively analysed; we know the areas where our package falls short, and we’ve taken steps – both short- and long-term – to address those. While not all of those will be in evidence in Barcelona this weekend, they mark the start of a fresh push and spirit within the whole organisation.
“The McLaren Technology Centre has been bustling with intense focus and activity since our return from China, and I’m hopeful that we are on the right track to steadily start pushing ourselves back towards the front.”