Jenson Button is focused on keeping spirits high at McLaren after another disappointing weekend for the team in Austria.
Reliability issues hampered McLaren throughout the weekend, with both drivers receiving 25-place grid penalties for numerous power unit component changes. Fernando Alonso was running a major upgrade on his car but was involved in a heavy crash with Kimi Raikkonen on the opening lap which ended his race, and Button - who retired a few laps later - admits he has to work hard to ensure McLaren team members remain optimistic for the future.
“Fernando had all the new stuff which obviously are in the bin now,” Button said. “It’s been a pretty bad weekend for all of us, but the good thing is we won’t let it get us down. It’s always difficult, especially when we do interviews about it because it’s really tricky because we’re asked difficult questions.
“You’ve got to be positive still because people at the factory watch these interviews and you’ve got to keep everyone positive and if we don’t it will stay like this. So we’ve got to keep everyone geed up and I know that they’re all in a good place at the moment because I know what this can be, but it’s a very difficult time at the moment.
“So hopefully they’re staying strong, we’re doing all we can to stay strong and hopefully Silverstone - home grand prix - will be a much more positive weekend.”
Having had tough seasons in the past, Button says he doesn’t count McLaren’s struggles as a career low point due to the potential within the Honda project.
“The thing is now we know that things can be better, whereas when I’ve had troubles before it was going to take a lot longer than it is now. You’ve got to keep working hard - as everyone in the factory is doing - stay positive, because without positive drivers the team find it very difficult. I think the guys back at the factory need us to be positive and confident - which we are - that things are going to turn around.
“They put in the extra hours so the new parts come. We got the parts this race which weren’t meant for this race, they came two races early so they’re doing a fantastic job and we want them to keep doing that because there’s obviously a long way for us to go, a lot of improvements coming, and we need it.”
Click here for the gallery of Raikkonen and Alonso's crash at the Austrian Grand Prix