Jenson Button was certainly hoping for more in the final Friday practice sessions of his Formula One career as he ventured out of the McLaren garage donning the helmet he wore here in the 2009 that brought him his one and only world title.
However, with thirty minutes remaining in the first session, the Brit was forced to return to the garage after the team noted an ERS data conflict, and chose to stop him early to investigate the problem.
As the first session was being used as a data gathering exercise for 2017, the team changed the power unit on Jenson’s car as a precaution and he was back out on track for the second session, his run-plan barely affected as a result.
“Wearing my old 2009 helmet design was great – the colours are fantastic, but the memories are even better,” he said afterwards. “It wasn’t a great day for us – we had to stop running fairly early in FP1, then elected to change the power unit before FP2. Then I got out half an hour into the session. It might’ve been a bit of a troublesome day, but I still think we learned something useful by the end of the day’s running.”
"It’s fun to drive around here, and I think our race pace will be stronger than it has been for the past few races, we’ve just got to pull it all together by qualifying strongly. Whatever weekend we have, I want to make it as good as I can – and not just because it’s my last race. Hopefully we’ll be stronger tomorrow.”
In terms of pace, the Woking based squad are comfortable, but they need to look into the data a little deeper in order to get a better feel for some of the underlying degradation issues with the tyres in a bid to begin Saturday’s work with a better understanding of how to best tackle the remainder of the weekend.