Button backs strong Honda return

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Published: Monday 9th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Jenson Button claims he has “unfinished business” with Honda and is of the firm belief they will emerge as Formula One frontrunners.

McLaren have again reunited themselves with Honda from this season, with the Japanese manufacturing giant serving as power-unit supplier, 23 years after the pair last formed a powerful alliance.

For Button, it was only seven years ago he last worked with Honda when they were a fully-fledged team, albeit one that succumbed to the global credit crisis at the end of 2008 as they were forced to withdraw from F1.

Ross Brawn went on to resurrect the marque from the ashes, forming Brawn GP which astonishingly helped Button become drivers’ champion in 2009, as well claiming the constructors’ crown.

Button is fully aware of Honda’s desire to prove themselves again in F1, as they did with McLaren from 1988-1991 when they were virtually unbeatable.

“We didn’t get the results together in ’07 and ’08, so there’s a lot for us to achieve, and to put right if you like, of working together,” assessed Button.

“We did obviously have some good times, like in 2006 with our win in Hungary, and at other times we had some very special moments.

“Now we need to build on that, but yes, there is also a lot of unfinished business.”

It was no surprise Honda encountered numerous difficulties during last week’s first pre-season test, completing just six laps on each of the first two days, and 79 over the four in total.

Button, though, has every confidence Honda will not struggle for long given the diligent way they go about their business.

“I like their philosophy, the way they go racing,” said Button.

“As they always say, they build road cars to go motor racing, with the last few years very difficult for them to be out of the sport.

“But they are here now and they will be strong, and they will give everything to be strong, which is great.”

Button is not offering excuses, but he feels it was wrong of people to criticise Honda’s lack of running in Jerez as they were always going to encounter teething problems being so new to the scene.

“They have their targets, and they understand what other people are getting out of their engines, and the strengths and weaknesses of those cars,” added Button.

“It’s not like the engine had been driven for three years before the test, and as you know in Formula One, the cars are only just ready for the first run in winter testing.

“Everything arrives at the last moment because you are trying to get everything out of the car and engine before you arrive at that test.

“I’m sure it baffles a lot of people when you see a car turn up at the first test and drive out of the garage at 11am and not 9am. Why couldn’t you start two hours earlier?

“It’s because you are always trying to maximise the winter and arrive at the first test with the best possible package, and that’s why it sometimes starts a little late.”

Published: Monday 9th February 2015 by The News Editor

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