F1: Button still upbeat about McLaren prospects for 2016

Jenson Button smiles during a press conference at Interlagos on Nov. 12, 2015 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images

Jenson Button remains convinced that McLaren has the resources with which to turn things around next year after a frustrating first season with Honda.

The former World Champion insists that the team is doing the best possible job with the equipment available this year.

“I know we keep saying it, but it is still a very young partnership,” he said on Thursday. “We’ve learned so much this year with the power unit, with the idea of the aerodynamics of the car, because it’s very different to a normal McLaren, so there is a lot of learning to take from this season. We obviously need to make a big step next year – we know that – so it’s going to be a long, hard winter, but an exciting one as well.

“We have a lot of strengths and I think everyone knows McLaren, and what they’ve achieved. It is still the same team. In terms of what we do on a race weekend, I think we’re doing a very good job, we’re getting the best out of what we have, I think maximizing the potential of what we have at the moment.”

Button said the winter will be crucial: “The issues for us are, as I’ve said before, it’s a lot younger our project than others, so it does take time and obviously during a season it’s very difficult to make changes.

“But this winter is a very important one for us, to make those big changes and come out a lot stronger next year because we don’t want to be where we are, we want to be fighting near the front. Whether we can win races or not, that’s another question but I think we can at last fight at the front next year.

“There’s a lot of hard work going on and I think another positive with this team is the confidence. Even in difficult times like now there’s still a lot of confidence in the team and they’re still working flat out to improve the car and the power unit, so there’s a good atmosphere, which a lot of people are surprised about, but there really is.”

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