Jenson Button believes that McLaren made a major step forward with the understanding of its MP4-30’s front wing just before he was forced to retire from Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix.
Button made a radical front wing angle change to the car ahead of his last stint, just before his Honda engine’s turbo expired, and said the handling of the chassis was transformed.
“It was quite useful to work out the front wing angle, because running quite a lot of front wing is unusual for a McLaren, so we finally worked it out in the last stint, so we’re happy with that learning,” said Button.
It now features many more wing elements, but the lack of running after a troubled pre-season test programme has hampered its development.
A big step forward
Button claims the change allowed him to catch the cars in front, and believes the understanding will move McLaren closer to the teams in front.
“Closing on the pack in front in that last stint was quite a lot of fun,” said Button, who remarked as much over the team radio at the time. “You could see where our strengths and weaknesses are.
“I think it’s quite apparent compared to the Force India, but then we could also compare ourselves to the Sauber and even some of the quicker cars like the Lotus, which was quite interesting.
“Useful day, just a pity we both ended up finishing early."