No track time for Button before Monaco

© XPB 

Jenson Button won't spend any time on track in the MCL32 before the Monaco Grand Prix.

It was confirmed on Friday that Button will return to Formula 1 for a one-off appearance next month. He will be sitting in for Fernando Alonso, who is taking part in the Indianapolis 500 on the same day.

Button stepped down from full time racing at the end of 2016. He's still contracted as McLaren's official third driver for this season. However he's not driven the new 2017-specification car, and won't until first practice at Monaco.

Button passed up the chance to participate in next week's post-race test in Bahrain in place of development driver Oliver Turvey. Instead he'll focus on simulator work in preparation for his Grand Prix return.

"It's very simple," explained McLaren racing director Eric Boullier. "We discussed this at length together. Jenson obviously spent 17 years racing in Formula 1. He actually drove the kind of level of downforce we have today.

"Going through the differences on the technicality to drive this car, we agreed the track layout here or even doing any running in practice in Barcelona will not be very useful.

"He's fit, he's ready. Having Oliver Turvey next week is part of fine-tuning the correlation with our simulator," Boullier added. "Our simulator in the McLaren Technology Centre is very accurate now.

"We both believe it is better for him [Button] to spend a couple of days in the simulator driving this car model straight into Monaco."

Boullier said that no one other than Button had been considered to stand-in for Alonso at Monaco.

"I rang him, we just discussed it.His first reaction was" 'Great, I'm so excited!' It was an easy discussion to be honest, very straightforward.

"He had a contract with us anyway, but you could feel his excitement over the phone was real," Boullier said, adding: "I'm happy that he will be part of this adventure."

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