Monaco Grand Prix: Jenson Button feeling no pressure on Formula 1 return

Monaco Grand Prix: Jenson Button feeling no pressure on Formula 1 return

Monaco Grand Prix: Jenson Button feeling no pressure on Formula 1 return

Button's presence this weekend extends his record of having entered all but one Monaco Grand Prix since the turn of the century. "But we've got Friday off, so a little bit of rest", he said.

Button had the opportunity to test this year's McLaren following the Bahrain Grand Prix, but turned it down and completed all of his race preparation on the team's simulator in Woking. "It's always a challenge - a huge challenge, for any driver - but a really exciting challenge, and has always been up there in my favorite races of the year".

"Preparation could have been better if I had had the opportunity to test the vehicle at a proper test but that's not the way F1 works. It is exciting but I don't feel any pressure".

There's been criticism of his refusal to test the McLaren that Alonso has vacated, particularly in Bahrain in April, but he said: "It's great to be back, good to see so many faces I haven't seen for six months". "I asked my dogs and they said, "We can do without you for a week or so". "I want to be competitive - getting the best out of yourself and the team and the equipment, that hasn't changed".

"The vehicle seemed to be working well in Barcelona qualifying".

"I know the track well, of course, and I've done quite a bit of work in the McLaren simulator already. I'm still fit, and I've been training probably more than ever".

"I will obviously get in the auto and do the best job I can, that's what I'm here to do, and everything I do in life is the same". He also has had no experience with the new compounds of Pirelli tyres which are proving more durable and allow drivers to push harder than was previously possible.

The 2009 world champion and former Monaco victor left Formula One at the end of the 2016 season, handing over his seat to Belgian rookie Stoffel Vandoorne, and has moved to California where he has focused on triathlon.

McLaren are the only team yet to score a point this season, their Honda-engined auto beset by engine problems and lack of performance.

"Despite our result [in Spain], we're encouraged by the progress we're making, and hope in Monaco we'll have the opportunity to execute a more representative performance than those we've managed in recent races".

Button was not immediately announced as being Alonso's replacement by McLaren, leading to speculation that the Briton was uneasy about coming out of retirement for the race. "Between them we have a formidable driver line-up and it's our aim to keep pushing forward and give them both a auto competitive enough to finish in the points".

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