Jenson Button says he has ‘unfinished business’ with Honda after the way his last stint with the Japanese manufacturer ended.
Button secured his first Formula 1 win driving for Honda at the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix but the following two seasons were a disaster for the team, which pulled out at the end of 2008.
Ross Brawn resurrected the team, forming Brawn GP, and Button, who had initially been left without a drive, went on to claim a fairytale drivers’ title in 2009, before joining McLaren the following season.
Button says he now has a chance to banish the bitter experiences of those difficult final years with Honda.
“We didn’t get the results together in ’07 and ’08, so there’s a lot for us to achieve, and to put right if you like, of working together,” said Button. “We did obviously have some good times, like in 2006 with our win in Hungary, and at other times we had some very special moments.
“Now we need to build on that, but yes, there is also a lot of unfinished business.”
McLaren managed just 79 laps a difficult opening four days of testing at Jerez, but Button is unconcerned by the team’s slow start.
“I like [Honda’s] philosophy, the way they go racing,” he added. “They have their targets, and they understand what other people are getting out of their engines, and the strengths and weaknesses of those cars.
“It’s not like the engine had been driven for three years before the test, and as you know in Formula One, the cars are only just ready for the first run in winter testing.
“Everything arrives at the last moment because you are trying to get everything out of the car and engine before you arrive at that test.
“I’m sure it baffles a lot of people when you see a car turn up at the first test and drive out of the garage at 11am and not 9am.
“Why couldn’t you start two hours earlier? It’s because you are always trying to maximise the winter and arrive at the first test with the best possible package, and that’s why it sometimes starts a little late.”
This article first appeared on Richland F1 – Image courtesy of McLaren