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Spain upgrades won't define McLaren's season - Button

ESPN Staff
May 3, 2013 « 'It's going to be hard to catch Vettel' - Raikkonen | Problems are in the past - Grosjean »
McLaren will be one of many teams bringing a big set of updates to Barcelona © Sutton Images
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Jenson Button insists the upgrades planned for his McLaren at the Spanish Grand Prix will not make or break his season.

McLaren has struggled with a slow start to 2013 and the upgrades brought to the car between the two pairs of flyaway races did not have the effect the team had hoped for. The Spanish Grand Prix marks the start of the European season and is traditionally a race at which teams bring major updates, but Button is keen to temper expectations ahead of the event.

"There's been a lot of talk about the importance of next weekend's upgrades; but, as with every upgrade, they're simply part of the series of continuous improvement that are made across the season," he said. "As always, there'll be elements of it that work, elements that perhaps work in a different way to what we'd anticipated, and elements that don't work, or perhaps require further work. That's life in modern Formula One.

"So I'm pragmatic about what we'll discover next weekend. Of course, I'm hopeful that it'll move us a step closer towards the destination."

Team principal Martin Whitmarsh believes the Spanish Grand Prix could deliver an unexpected result, as it did last year when Williams' Pastor Maldonado won from pole position.

"The pace of life in Formula One never relents, and it's incredible to think that our return to Europe next week will see a quarter of the 2013 championship already gone," he said. "As with last year, form at the start of the season is still somewhat volatile and unpredictable; last year's Spanish Grand Prix saw an unexpected but worthy winner in Pastor Maldonado, and while it would be difficult to see another left-field runner emerging as a contender for victory, the formbook is still hard to read. We are pushing ahead to develop MP4-28, and will be hoping for a productive weekend that will allow us to gather a useful data set for the races ahead."