Much hype surrounds the return of Jenson Button to Formula 1 at the forthcoming Monaco Grand Prix, but Mark Webber is not buying into it and believes that the 2009 World Champion is not taking it seriously.
Speaking to Speedweek, straight talking Webber said, “When I heard that [Button] did not want to do the Bahrain test, I wondered if he was taking it seriously enough.”
“For me, if he’s doing a triathlon in America rather than a test in Bahrain, I think first practice in Monaco will be a wake-up call for him. I just get the impression that he doesn’t really care about it.”
McLaren’s 2017 campaign is in a sorry state as Honda have delivered a dud of a power unit and relegated the sport’s second most successful team to backmarker status for a third consecutive year.
With no end in sight to the crisis, the team’s new chief Zak Brown engineered an Indianapolis 500 foray for their start driver Fernando Alonso, whose frustration with the team, Honda in particular, is well documented.
With the Indy 500 clashing with the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, McLaren reached out to Button who is still connected to the team as an ambassador.
But Webber is skeptical, “It’s a non-story. He’ll drive, have problems with the fuel system, qualify 16th, retire after 12 laps or whatever. What’s the point? Jenson is a F1 world champion and he has won at Monaco.”
“It would be a story if he could fight for victory, but to get a point if he’s lucky, that really doesn’t interest anyone,” added Webber who quit Formula 1 at the end of 2013 after a career which spanned 215 grand prix starts.
Big Question: Is Jenson taking Monaco seriously?