Button holds out British GP hope

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Published: Sunday 28th June 2015 by The News Editor

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Jenson Button still holds out hope of a podium finish in his home Grand Prix but admits it will not come this year.

The 35-year-old has failed to finish as many times as he has completed races this season with back-to-back retirements in Canada and Austria hardly the best preparation heading into next week’s British Grand Prix.

Eighth, by Button in Monaco, is the best result registered by either him or his McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso this season and the Englishman has told home fans not to expect a significant change despite home advantage.

Remarkbly he has yet to finish on the podium at Silverstone in 14 attempts but there remains a determination to ensure that scenario does not become a permanent fixture.

“I don’t go into Silverstone thinking I might not ever finish on the podium, only when I’m asked about it. I still hold out hope,” he said.

“I want to be on the podium and win in front of my home crowd. When they’ve been so supportive you want to repay them.

“You’ve got to be realistic and realise that is not possible right now, but it might be possible in the future.”

Last time out in Austria McLaren’s race was over before it began with the team hit with a 50-place grid penalty before the race, 25 spots for each car, because of modifications they had to make to the under-performing Honda engine.

On the bright side Button said at least they would not be carrying any excess baggage to Silverstone.

“It’s never the way you want to get to the British GP after the two weekends we’ve had, but the reason for last weekend is I didn’t want to take penalties at Silverstone,” he added.

“It won’t be an easy weekend but as always it will be very emotional with the British public.

“We’re still not going to score big points but I do know they’ll support us.”

Emotion always come to the fore at Button’s home grand prix and even more so since the death of his father John in January last year.

Twelve months ago he wore a special pink helmet adorned with a Papa Smurf figure in a tribute to his late father.

“It will be a high,” Button said of his return.

“The fans were outrageous last year with all the pink t-shirts and what have you. It was so nice to see. I’m hoping that we get similar support this year.

“I haven’t got the smurf on my helmet any more but he’s still with me every time I’m driving.

“You don’t want to know what he would say – the team don’t want to know what he would say.

“I used to love it when he would say to my engineer before a race when I was on pole ‘It’s easy from here, just don’t f*** it up’. He would put them on their toes.”

The problems this time around are all the team’s own making, unfortunately, with reliability problems dogging them all season.

“I think it hurts everyone. It doesn’t hurt me any more than everyone else,” said Button.

“I’m one of the spokespersons for the team. I have to come across positive and confident because I’ve got 700 people at the factory that don’t come to a grand prix and it’s very difficult for them to see what happens.

“I’ve still got one of the best jobs in the world. I’d rather be at the front right now, but (I’m) still driving a Formula One car for a living.

“You still have difficult days and that’s when you need family and good friends around you.

“We’re giving everything. We’re not just driving around waiting for it to get good.

“It’s our home grand prix and we want to have a good result. I think the parts we get for Silverstone (will) end up balancing everything out so I’m looking forward to it.

“I think our car will be better there. The straights will be better – you carry speed on.”

Published: Sunday 28th June 2015 by The News Editor

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