Button returns for Monaco GPposted in F114 | 04 | 2017

    JENSON BUTTON WILL stand in for Fernando Alonso with McLaren at the Monaco Grand Prix. While Alonso takes the weekend out to race at the Indy500, Button, the 2009 F1 world champ, will partner Stoffel Vandoorne in the principality. (Related: Alonso to race in 2017 Indy500)

    The Englishman, who announced he was “taking a year out” at the end of 2016, remains on McLaren’s books with a contractual possibility of returning to racing in 2018. Not surprisingly Button, who has started 305 grands prix, including 170 with McLaren, returns for Monaco.

    "I'm thrilled to be making a one-off return to Formula 1 racing, and I couldn't think of a better place to make that return than my adopted home Grand Prix: Monaco," he said this morning.

    Button-Monaco-GP-2017-2.jpg

    "I've won the race before, in 2009, and it's one of my all-time favourite racetracks.

    "It's a tricky street circuit on which a good driver can really make a difference, and although the McLaren-Honda MCL32 hasn't begun the season well, I think it may be more suited to Monaco than to the faster circuits that Fernando and Stoffel have raced it on so far this season.

    "OK, I realise we won't have a realistic chance of repeating my 2009 victory, but I think we'll have a opportunity to score world championship points, which will be very valuable to the team in terms of constructors' rankings.

    "I'll drive the MCL32 around Monaco in the McLaren sim beforehand, and I reckon I'll be ready for the race after doing that.

    "I'm supremely fit, having done a lot of triathlon training recently, so I have no worries on that score."

    Button-Monaco-GP-2017-4.jpg

    Button’s return has been welcomed by McLaren’s racing director Eric Boullier.

    "I was truly delighted when Jenson accepted our suggestion that he race at Monaco instead of Fernando," the Frenchman said.

    "Jenson is a class act. He's a superb driver, fast, smooth and precise, and he won't have lost any of his competitive edge over the past few months.

    "After all, he's missed only a handful of grands prix since his last outing in Abu Dhabi in late November last year, and he's as fit as a fiddle.

    "Also, he's always been good at Monaco. He'll do a great job for us, I'm sure of that."

    Related: Hamilton dominates in China

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    Jim McGill

     

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