Published: Sat, April 15, 2017
Sport | By Noel Norman

Jenson Button to make F1 return at Monaco Grand Prix


"Owing to Fernando Alonso's commitments with McLaren-Honda-Andretti over the weekend of the Indianapolis 500, which iconic race will take place on the same date (May 28th) as the Monaco Grand Prix, Jenson will take over Fernando's McLaren-Honda MCL32 for one race only: the equally iconic Monaco Grand Prix".

McLaren's reserve, Button has been drafted in from his sabbatical for the sixth round of the 2017 F1 season, which Alonso will miss to contest the Indianapolis 500. Though Bruce himself was an Indy 500 victory short of claiming the Triple Crown as a driver, having won at Le Mans and Monaco. "His auto is going to run with some guy everybody will be pretty familiar with".

The Brit has now been called upon after Alonso was allowed to race in the Indianapolis 500 on May 28 - the day of the glamorous race in the principality.

Yikes. The IndyCar he's racing will, like his regular company auto, be a Honda-powered McLaren, campaigned by Andretti Autosport. "We've agreed to talk about the future in the summer and that's not changed", Brown added.

"This possibility, it was there for us this year, and I think I am excited to try a different thing. It will be hard if we can't".

Button won the Monaco Grand Prix back in 2009, and has two more podiums at the street circuit. "A world champion", he said.

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"I think in the past it was all about the best drivers in the world with the best cars in the world and the best races in the world", he said. I'm looking forward to that too.

He joined in the hope of winning a third world title, but his best results with McLaren have been a trio of fifth-place finishes.

The team made no mention of any testing before Monaco but Button said he would use McLaren's simulator and had no fitness concerns.

McLaren has yet to score a point after two races - Australia and China - following a frustrating campaign a year ago where the team struggled to adapt to the Honda engines. Button, who's still under contract with the team, hasn't raced since the 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. "I'll be proud to race with them, and I intend to mine their knowledge and expertise for as much information as I possibly can". "So, personally, I think he needs to see a psychiatrist".

The McLaren chassis is quite strong, but the auto is being let down by its Honda engine, which is said to be at least 100bhp down on the best in F1.

Three-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton, who drives for Mercedes and has 54 career race wins in F1, sounded a little envious of Alonso.

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