June 2nd, 2013 (F1plus/J. Leslie).- McLaren drivers admit the MP4-28 is not there yet in terms of performance, but they also know they have been gaining ground race by race, and the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit in Montreal will be the next stop to keep the trend going.
The track located in the artificial island of Notre Dame commonly puts on unpredictable and exciting races due to the changeable weather conditions, challenging layout and long straights. It is one that Button has also succeeded at back in 2011 where he took victory in the longest Formula 1 race of all time.
Speaking in a statement from Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, the Brit looked forward to the race and shared his thoughts: "I've always enjoyed the Canadian Grand Prix - Montreal is one of the nicest cities on the calendar, we're always made to feel welcome by the Quebecois, and it's a race that everyone in Formula 1 looks forward to."
Button expects the race to be something of an "enjoyable lottery", like Monaco but "whereas Monaco is a low-speed, high-grip place, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is the opposite: high-speed and low-grip. It's a mix that always comes together to provide the fans with great racing, which is another reason why it's become one of the most popular races of the year."
He also has fond memories of the circuit, adding "Going back to Canada always brings back happy memories of my race there in 2011. Coming through from last to first really does show that anythings possible in Formula 1." However he admits that the team "won't be heading to Montreal with a winning package" but they are making "steady progress."
Someone who has also found success at the circuit is his team-mate Sergio Perez. The fiery Mexican finished on the podium in 2012 after strategy and some strong overtaking moves brought him through the field.
After a difficult Monaco Grand Prix, after showing some stunning overtakes at times, he said "There are plenty of positives to take forward to Canada. It's a race I enjoy - I finished on the podium there last year; and I feel like the team is bringing performance to the car at every race."
Like Button, he feels that the team are "still not where" they "need to be" but he is hopeful that Montreal can continue their upward progression. He expects the race weekend to go well, particularly the race because "it's a race that can reward a fighter because it's often so unpredictable."
The 23-year-old also shared his expectations for his home fans travelling to Canada in support of his first Canadian Grand Prix for McLaren due to it being one of the closer rounds to his home country. He said "For me, racing in Canada is always special because it's one of the three races closest to my home in Mexico. I hope there'll be plenty of Mexican fans travelling up to Montreal to support me."
McLaren currently lie sixth in the constructors standings, just behind Sahara Force India.