McLaren preview the Brazilian GP

Date published: November 4 2014

Jenson Button looks to bounce from his disappointing outing in Austin while Kevin Magnussen will make his debut at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace.

Jenson Button: “I love going back to Interlagos, it’s one of my favourite circuits and one where I have a lot of happy memories – I clinched the championship there in 2009. It’s a really fantastic track and up there with the best circuits in the world. When you walk through the gates you can really sense the history and the excitement from the fans – it’s very special.

“It’s a tricky circuit to get right but that makes it all the more exciting; there’s more opportunities to overtake there than at other tracks, and the twisty infield section towards the end of the lap is a real challenge as you’re constantly on the limit trying not to outbrake yourself, so when you get it spot on it’s really rewarding. I last won there in 2012, and although our results since then haven’t lived up to our own expectations, it’s clear that we are steadily improving our package and our aim, of course, is to build on that this weekend.

“The altitude there and elevation changes make the track really unique, so getting set-up and the balance right from the get-go will be key, especially to adapt to the bumpy surface. Austin proved a more difficult race for us than we had hoped, but I’m focused on achieving the best result we can in Brazil and getting the most out of this great circuit.”

Kevin Magnussen: “It’s great to go to Brazil for the first time. Although I’ve never raced there before, I know a lot about the circuit and it’s one of those legendary places that’s so ingrained in Formula 1 history. So many of my idols have raced at Interlagos and it’s one of the circuits I’ve always wanted to drive on myself, so I’m really looking forward to getting out there.

“The fact that the grand prix is only a week after the last race in Austin is a positive, as we’ll be pushing to maintain the momentum from last weekend and continuously build on our race performances, as we have been over the second half of the season. Interlagos, like Austin, is one of only a few circuits that run anti-clockwise, so it’s cool that these two races are back to back.

“From the first corner onwards, Interlagos is a really exciting circuit and there are quite a few overtaking opportunities, especially in the first sector. It’s a real driver’s track and pretty bumpy all the way round, so set-up will be crucial to getting the most out of a lap. The South American fans love their Formula 1 too, so I’m excited about getting there and sampling the atmosphere. It’s important that we build on the experience we gained in Austin – it was a tough weekend, but Brazil is another race and we’ll give everything we have to come away with a decent result for the team.”

Eric Boullier – Racing Director: “Interlagos is a very special place for McLaren. It’s a really spectacular venue with such a rich heritage, and it’s a privilege for Formula 1 to still be going there to race after so many years. The circuit is legendary and one that produces some fantastic racing, and the Brazilian fans are among the most passionate in the world. The configuration of the track is a real challenge for the drivers and it’s provided some incredible moments in racing history that are etched on the mind of Formula 1 fans around the world, not to mention the fact that it’s the home country of so many icons of the sport – including some well-known former McLaren drivers!

“McLaren’s most recent victory came in Brazil in 2012, and although it’s disappointing that the team hasn’t won a grand prix since then, the progress we have been making offers some encouragement for the future. With only two races left before the end of the season, we are striving to make the most of the remaining time on track to continue our development into next year and get the maximum performance out of our car.

“Austin was a tricky race for us, but we learned a lot from the behaviour of our car, so we must regroup and go to Interlagos with renewed motivation. Brazil is the last race of the season to be run under the standard points system, so we will be pushing to secure a solid points finish in order to put us in the best possible position for Abu Dhabi. Every point is crucial in order to boost our place in the Constructors’ standings, so our focus is on maximising everything we have to increase our tally on Sunday afternoon.”