Button "not very interested" in Monaco F1 return - Webber

Mark Webber believes Jenson Button is "not very interested" in his one-off return to Formula 1 at Monaco, where the Briton will stand in for Fernando Alonso at McLaren.

Button "not very interested" in Monaco F1 return - Webber
Jenson Button
Mark Webber
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
Jenson Button
Mark Webber, Porsche Team
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32
Fernando Alonso seat fitting

Following Alonso's decision to skip the Monaco Grand Prix to race a McLaren-Honda-Andretti entry in the Indianapolis 500, the Woking-based team called up its third driver Button to fill in for the Spaniard.

However, Button has yet to drive the MCL32, and turned down the chance to get miles under his belt during Bahrain in-season testing last month – meaning first practice at Monaco will be his very first taste of the new-for-2017 F1 rules package.

Speaking at Spa, Webber dismissed Button's comeback as a "non-story", highlighting the fact he chose not to take part in the Bahrain test as evidence that the 2009 champion isn't fully committed.

"It's a non-story, Jenson at Monaco," said Webber. "He goes out, has fuel pressure problems in FP1, qualifies 17th, retires on lap 12 of the race. Whatever, who cares?

"Jenson didn't do any testing in Bahrain, he doesn't take it so seriously – 'I want to stay in America and do my triathlon, I'm not bothered about the Bahrain test' – which for me was a surprise.

"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 [about replacing Alonso]."

"Fernando is running McLaren"

Webber also observed that, in its present uncompetitive state, it's Alonso who is effectively "running" McLaren – a scenario he feels will benefit the two-time champion's teammate Stoffel Vandoorne.

"I like Stoffel a lot, he's got his head screwed on," said Webber of Vandoorne. "He sees the big picture quite nicely for his age, he has a very good career in front of him.

"This is a good learning [process] for him in this car, with Fernando in the other garage. Fernando is running the team at the moment, he's running McLaren.

"Fernando is colossal, mercurial. So for Stoffel, it's good learning."

shares
comments
Tech analysis: The F1 development battle you may have missed

Previous article

Tech analysis: The F1 development battle you may have missed

Next article

Bottas: Tyres won't dominate F1 title battle for long

Bottas: Tyres won't dominate F1 title battle for long
Load comments
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Prime

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall...

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Prime

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Prime

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed.

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Prime

How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Prime

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't Prime

How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says Oleg Karpov, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Prime

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says Mark Gallagher, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors.

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021