Jenson Button, who was sidelined for most of Friday’s free practice session by an oil leak that required a gearbox change.Jenson Button says he’s confident he can recover from a troubled Friday at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, despite spending most of the today’s free practice sessions in the McLaren garage. We can still have a good weekend. The car is quick, Lewis did a good job today, he was very fast. I’m not worried. Jenson Button
McLaren In the opening session, Button ran for just 12 laps before he was sidelined by oil leaking onto the clutch of his car. His crew repaired the problem but when the car was fired up again before the second session, a new fault appeared, as McLaren Managing Director Jonathan Neale explained.
“The mechanics did a great job in rebuilding [the gearbox] and repairing the seal but as soon as we fired the car up we could see there was a secondary problem that hadn’t revealed itself before that time,” he said. “Unfortunately we had to change the gearbox and the whole rear end of Jenson’s car.”
Button eventually left the McLaren garage with just over a quarter of an hour left in the second session and spent 14 laps evaluating first the Soft tyres and then the Supersoft before the flag fell on a session topped by team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
And it was Hamilton’s pace that Button pointed to as the reason to have confidence in his chances of recovering from the day’s setbacks.
“We do have some data from today and we can look at that and make some good improvements for tomorrow,” he said. “It hurts because you can’t do any high fuel running but also you can’t do any set-up work. When you change the gearbox you need to make sure the toes are all right, that the cambers are OK and it’s all pointing in the right direction. We obviously didn't do that, as we had to get out on circuit and get some laps in. So we have to see where the car is now. But I think we can still have a good weekend. The car is quick, Lewis did a good job today, he was very fast. I’m not worried.”
Button added that even when he did take to the track, progress had been slow.
“It was good to just get out there and find some braking points,” he said. “In practice one I had just two timed laps and going into practice two people had been pounding round doing lap after laps and then, at the end of the session, they put a load of fuel in the car and they’re five or six seconds off the pace so for me trying to find my way through the traffic and get lap was pretty difficult. We did a couple of laps, go some information, it wasn’t massively quick but I didn’t really expect it to be.
“Anyway, I was last with 30 laps to go last year, so anything is possible. We’re ninth, it’s only practice and it’s only Friday.”