• Chinese GP

Pace was 'painful out there' - Button

ESPN Staff
April 20, 2014 « Raikkonen admits driving style behind China struggle | Vettel will bounce back stronger - Ricciardo »
McLaren was the slowest of all the Mercedes-powered teams in China © Sutton Images

Jenson Button admits McLaren needs to go back to the drawing board after a "painful" showing in China which saw him finish 11th and Kevin Magnussen 13th.

There has been plenty of talk from McLaren about being the fastest team behind Mercedes since the race in Bahrain, but its front-end limitations were exposed in Shanghai. Button and his team-mate both struggled with pace, downforce and their front tyres throughout the race, and he believes China was a brutal assessment of the team's weaknesses. .

"No, not at all," Button replied when asked if it was not quite the progress he had hoped to see. "I don't have much else to say at the moment, we are not very quick at the moment. [Downforce] is an issue but there are cars out there with less downforce than us. The problem for us is that we are trying to get front-tyre temperature in the front, and it's also an issue in the dry. It's not that you don't switch the tyre on it's just that it grains immediately.

"We have a lot of work to do and it's tough for us in the car because we have to put up with it for an hour and a half, and the guys at Woking and here who are working hard. We're maxed out on everything on the car and very, very high with the front wing as we've never been before.

"It's all very strange but hopefully we will solve it for the next race as it's pretty painful out there. I think we've realised we are very front-limited and this is not a circuit for front-limited cars. It's really shown us where our problems are."

From earlier races this season Button knows the MP4-29 itself is a good car, but is being severely held back by the problems that plagued the team in Shanghai.

"I think the car is an alright car, in fact it's a good car, but we just can't get the tyres working and that's one of the biggest things in F1 these days. We had a bad first lap but even so in terms of speed we are just not quick, and we are just destroying the tyres. That's the long and short of it. All I know is it that it wasn't very quick so we start the development work now."

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