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Honda website

JUNE 30, 2001

Button - We didn't expect a major improvement

BRITON Jenson Button said that he did not expect a major improvement in the performance of his Benetton in qualifying for the French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours.

Benetton implemented a new aerodynamic package in Saturday's free practice ahead of qualifying, but Button said that the improvements were never expected to make a major difference.

"The new developments have made some improvements to the car but we didn't expect it be a major leap forward," Button said. "We still had to learn how the car would adapt throughout the day.

"This race is good for the team, from the point of view that the car is getting better, but it is not 100 per cent. We are not happy with qualifying but we are moving up and that is the important thing."

Benetton will be renamed as Renault next season and are using this year to develop a revolutionary V10 engine and will use a new spec of the power unit in the race on Sunday.

And Button has written off his year and accepted that the transition period takes precedent over his development as a driver.

"There is still a lot of hard work to do, but we have a new engine for the race and it will be interesting to see how that affects the car," Button added.

"It is all geared for next year and that is what we need to look towards rather than the results now."