AUGUST 22, 2018
Sainz success to take years says Button
It could take McLaren "years" to get back to the front of the grid.
That is the warning of former team driver Jenson Button, as he was asked about Carlos Sainz's move from Renault to replace the retiring Fernando Alonso.
"I don't think the pace of the car will change in 2019," Button told El Mundo Deportivo newspaper.
"They've fallen too far behind. It's a great team that has won many world championships so they can do it, but it will take time."
Button said 23-year-old Spaniard Sainz will therefore need to be patient as he pushes for wins and titles.
"He will need to understand that it will take a few years of hard work," said the Briton.
"He will need to make himself heard and his opinion count, and hopefully bring the car forward," Button added.
"It will always be difficult to replace Fernando, but they wouldn't have chosen him if they didn't believe he deserved it."
Another former F1 driver, Marc Surer, thinks McLaren went off the wrong track during the Honda years.
"If you look at where they are now, I think Honda was never so bad," he is quoted by AS newspaper.
"They'd be exactly where they are if the Honda was still in there. I think the engineers were fooling themselves by thinking they had the best chassis on the grid.
"They were slowest on the straights and fastest in the corners, but anyone can do that if you have enough downforce on it," Surer added.