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Track test for Button ‘not useful’ – McLaren

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McLaren’s simulator is good enough for Jenson Button to prepare for Monaco.

That is the view of Eric Boullier, following Felipe Massa’s expression of surprise that the retired 2009 world champion sat out the recent post-Bahrain grand prix test.

Button, 37, is making a one-off return to F1 in Monaco next month, filling in for Fernando Alonso who is tackling the fabled Indy 500.

But he will prepare only in McLaren’s state of the art simulator at Woking.

That surprised fellow veteran Massa.

“If the simulator is good enough, why don’t most of the top drivers want to use them?” he asked.

But McLaren boss Boullier thinks the simulator is in fact the best option for Button.

“Given the technology of this car, we decided that organising a test would not have been useful,” he is quoted by Spain’s El Confidencial.

“The simulator is very realistic so it’s best for him to test the car there,” the Frenchman added.

“After 10 laps, he’ll be fine,” said Boullier.

Massa, however, warned that the 2017 cars are “very different” to the cars that Button last raced in 2016, requiring a higher level of fitness.

But Button said: “I’ve done a lot of triathlon training recently, so I have no worries.”

Boullier agreed: “He’s only missed a handful of grands prix and he’s as fit as a fiddle. And he’s always been good at Monaco. He’ll do a great job, I’m sure of that.”

Button has better history at Monaco

2009 world champion, Button has consistently run well at Monaco over the years.

His ultimate moment around the famous streets came in 2009, when he led home Brawn teammate Rubens Barrichello to win the race. Famously, Button mistakenly stopped his car in the pit lane instead of the grid after the race and had to sprint to the podium.

Two other podium finishes at Monaco, in 2004 and 2011, makes the 37-year-old a formidable competitor at this venue.

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