McLaren executive director Zak Brown says F1 can learn from how IndyCar has built the excitement for Fernando Alonso’s participation. (2:33)
Former F1 driver Mark Webber has dubbed Jenson Button’s participation at this year’s Monaco Grand Prix as a “non-story”.
Button will make his one-off return later this month in order to substitute for Fernando Alonso, who is taking part in this year’s Indy 500. But with McLaren struggling to finish races, let alone score points or podiums, Webber sees Button’s return as a non-event.
“It’s a non-story,” Webber was quoted by Crash.net. “That’s a non-story, Jenson at Monaco. He goes out, has fuel pressure problems on practice one, qualifies 17th, race retires Lap 12. Whatever. Who cares?
“Jenson is a world champion. He’s won Monaco. It’s a story if he can win the race, but… to get some points, he’d be lucky. Who cares?”
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Button’s first taste of Formula One’s new regulations will be the opening practice session on Thursday morning in Monaco. He passed up an opportunity to test in Bahrain last month and Webber believes that is proof that he is not taking the return entirely seriously.
“I think we saw with Jenson, he doesn’t do any test in Bahrain. He doesn’t take it so seriously. This is ‘I want to stay in America and do my triathlon. I’m not bothered to do the Bahrain test’ which to me was a surprise.
“So for Jenson, the first session in Monaco will be ‘wakey-wakey’. I don’t think he’s very interested.
“I don’t think he would have been first on the phone! Who else? Super licence, blah blah blah. But for sure Fernando was not worried about this. Sort that out, I’m going here!”