Jenson Button admits wearing his special helmet design was “the only good thing to take” from a “troublesome” opening day of action at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The McLaren-Honda star had limited track time across the first two sessions at Yas Marina Circuit, with his progress hampered by engine problems.
Having admitted earlier this week that this would probably be his final Formula One race, the 2009 world champion unveiled a special lid, featuring echoes of his title-winning colours with “a little hint of pink” for his late father John.
“It’s great wearing the 2009 helmet again, it has great colours but also a lot of memories,” Button said. “I’ve collected things over the years and that’s the finished product.
“It’s very good but it was the only good think to take from today. It wasn’t a very good day on track, we had to stop early in FP1, to change the Power Unit for FP2.
“Then I started the second session half an hour late, so it’s been a bit of a troublesome day, but we still learned some stuff from the running we did at the end of FP2 and I’m looking forward to Saturday. The car seems fun to drive out there.”
Despite his disrupted Friday, Button was able to notice some improvements in terms of long-run speed compared to the “terrible run” he has been experiencing across recent grands prix.
“We’ll see how it goes. Whatever we can achieve out there on the circuit we’ll try to get there, even if it’s my last race. We’ll do whatever we can, hopefully we’ll get the balance of the car sorted before qualifying and I think our race pace is actually better than in the last few races, so we just have to qualify well.”