Ahead of Jenson Button’s one race return for the Monaco Grand Prix, Romain Grosjean has stated that he believes the British driver will get to grips with the new 2017 wider, faster cars very quickly and will not have a deficit by not having tested the 2017 car.
Button will take Fernando Alonso’s place at the Monaco Grand Prix next weekend as the Spanish driver will be in Indianapolis trying to win the prestigious Indy500 in a bid to win the triple crown in motorsport. Alonso has already won the Monaco Grand Prix twice and needs to add victories from the Indy500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans to take the triple crown, something that has only been done by Graham Hill before.
Button will take to the grid in Monaco with no experience in the new MCL32 challenger apart from some simulator runs. However, Grosjean believes this will not harm the Brit’s weekend and Button will be on top of the car very early in the weekend to extract the full potential he can.
“The first thing he has to do is get used to the width of the car, especially in Monaco,” said Grosjean. “Jenson is a great champion. He’s been world champion and he knows what he’s doing. He’s going to be on it pretty quickly. If we can take advantage of the fact that he’s not got much experience in the car at the beginning, we’ll use that for our own performance, but I’m sure he’s going to be good straight away.”
The other Haas driver, Kevin Magnussen, was teammates with Button in the 2014 season. He agreed with Grosjean that Button was not going to have any troubles getting back in the McLaren and getting the most performance out of it.
“It behaves a little differently and there’s a lot more grip, especially in the high-speed corners it will feel different,” Magnussen commented. “It’s still a racecar, though. It’s got four wheels and a steering wheel. It should be alright for him.”
Button has a strong record around Monaco. Taking his first and only win around the tight street circuit in 2009, the Brit has also stood on the podium twice and finished in the points in the last four races around the Principality. He will be hoping to make it five consecutive points finishes next weekend as he climbs back into a Formula One car for the first time since his early retirement from the 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.