Jenson Button came back to Formula 1 to participate in the Monaco Grand prix as Fernando Alonso will be at the Indianapolis 500.
“It’s great to be back, good to see so many faces I haven’t seen for six months, apart from TV obviously”, the McLaren drive smiled at Wednesday’s press conference. “The preparation has been good; apart from [the fact that] I haven’t obviously driven the car. So it’s not perfect. The option was to do half a day in Bahrain, which I thought was absolutely useless for me to do, (as it is) a completely different type of circuit. I said to the team I think it’s best if I do a few days in the simulator. Obviously as drivers we love the simulator, so I was raring to go.”
“I spent a lot of time in the simulator getting a feel for it. Yeah, it’s been interesting. You know, most of the stuff is the same, but there are a few things that are obviously different, with the difference in regulations, and there are always… it just changes year to year with new technology and what have you. A few things to learn but it’s still a racing car, just got to get used to it being a bit wider.”
Asked if he instantly agreed to come back or thought about it, Jenson Button joked that he asked his dogs.
“I asked my dogs and they said “we can do without you for a week or so”. My girlfriend said “you gotta do what you do” and I said yes, and it was my decision. I could have said no if I wanted to, as we all can – no one wants a racing drive who doesn’t want to drive. Really excited but obviously the preparation could have been better if I had the opportunity to test the car in a proper test, but that’s not the way Formula One works. You’ve got to be ready.”
“I think fitness-wise that’s not an issue. I’m sure the neck is going to be a bit sore after Thursday, even around Monaco. But we’ve got Friday off, so a little bit of rest. Mikey Muscles is back for a one-off race, my physio as well, so he’s going to be rubbing me once again. So it’s an exciting challenge and that’s what it’s all about isn’t it and that’s what we’re here for and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Button also said that he’s relaxed and very excited.
“It’s interesting coming back for one grand prix. It being Monaco it’s very special”
“I’ve won here before, I’ve lived here for 17 years, and I’ve had some really good experiences here. It’s exciting. But I don’t feel any pressure – none at all. I will obviously get in the car and I will do the best job I can, that’s what I’m here to do and everything I do in life is the same: you want to be competitive, you want to get the best out of yourself and you want to get the best out of the equipment and the team that you are working with. That hasn’t changed.”
“The car seemed to be working well in Barcelona in qualifying. Fernando did a good job. I think it still proves that the car itself is working well. I drove it in the simulator and I drover the upgrade, which I was misquoted on by the way, but I drove the upgrade and it was a definite improvement and there are more improvements here as well. If it’s all straightforward this weekend, we should be reasonably… reasonably competitive.
— Formula 1 (@F1) May 24, 2017