SPIELBERG, Austria (Reuters) - No Formula One driver wants to be beaten by his team mate but McLaren’s Jenson Button is prepared to make an exception to the rule in Austria this weekend.
The 2009 world champion hopes Fernando Alonso makes him look slow because that will mean an aerodynamic upgrade that only the Spaniard has on his car is working and will ultimately benefit both men.
“In theory, yes.” the Briton grinned when asked on Thursday whether he effectively wanted Alonso to ‘blow him away’ on the track.
“Yes. Strange to say but yes.”
Alonso, who has yet to score a point since he switched from Ferrari at the end of last year, can still expect to start at the back due to a strategic engine change and McLaren’s performance deficit.
By sacrificing position in Austria, where he will be trying out a shortened nose, new floor and revised wings, the double champion should be in a better position for McLaren’s home race at Silverstone next month.
Without a win since 2012, and only four points to their credit in seven races, the sport’s second most successful team of all time are languishing in ninth place overall in the first year of a new partnership with Honda.
“Every race we are bringing something and that’s why there are not two of everything because when you are in our position you have to just keep fighting and bringing stuff to every race,” said Button.
”If we were at the front now this package wouldn’t be on the car because it’s only on one side of the garage. It would always be fair and on both sides. But because of the way it is we need to bring everything we can.
“It has to be this way for us and it’s been like that all the way... we’ve shared it out very well and it will continue like that for the next few races.”
Button said he too could have a new engine, and penalty, depending on what the team decided on Friday but the race would be more than just a test.
”It’s going to be a tough weekend whatever happens,“ he said. ”I’d love to get a result this weekend but that is not going to be the case.
“I don’t want to say it’s a test weekend because I... want to come here and race. So we’ll do what we can to compete.”
Editing by Tony Jimenez