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Button: McLaren will bounce back

updated 5:30 AM EDT, Thu June 20, 2013
British driver Jenson Button won the 2009 Formula One drivers' title with Brawn GP.
British driver Jenson Button won the 2009 Formula One drivers' title with Brawn GP.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Jenson Button backs McLaren to recover from a low-key start to 2013
  • The Briton's highest finish from this year's seven races is fifth in China
  • Button insists his relationship with teammate Sergio Perez is good
  • The 2009 world champion is not considering retiring

(CNN) -- Formula One driver Jenson Button insists McLaren will bounce back from a disappointing start to 2013, but the Briton has written off his team's chances of competing for the world championship this season.

The 2009 world champion started the year in confident mood after finishing the 2012 by winning the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix.

But the current campaign has been a miserable one for the British team, with Button languishing 10th in the drivers' standings after finishing 14th and out of the points at the recent Canadian Grand Prix.

However, Button is confident McLaren, one of the most successful teams in F1 history, will restore its reputation in the year's remaining races and in the coming seasons.

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Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost were long-time rivals before they became teammates at McLaren. Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost were long-time rivals before they became teammates at McLaren.
Winning pair
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United in rivalry: Prost and Senna United in rivalry: Prost and Senna
McLaren and Honda formed a dominant relationship in 1988 as the car won 15 out of 16 races and Ayrton Senna (front left) won the first of his three world titles McLaren and Honda formed a dominant relationship in 1988 as the car won 15 out of 16 races and Ayrton Senna (front left) won the first of his three world titles
Era of dominance
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"Clearly, we'd hoped for more success this season, especially after last season, during which we won seven grands prix, including two of the last three," the 33-year-old told the sport's official website.

"So, going forward, as I say, we'd hoped for more this season, but I firmly believe that there'll be good seasons ahead for us."

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A fifth-place finish is the best Button has been able to muster in seven races this season.

There have also been reports of friction between Button and Mexican teammate Sergio Perez, the 23-year-old known as "Checo" who arrived as a replacement for Lewis Hamilton, now at Mercedes.

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"Checo is a very nice lad," said Button. "Maybe he's a bit too forceful sometimes, by his own admission, but he's undoubtedly quick, and he's still learning because you never stop learning in this game.

"He's trying to make his mark -- but I think that's how it should be.

"Your teammate is never going to be your best friend, because people will always compare your performance with his and inevitably you want to emerge positively from that comparison, but Checo and I get on well -- and that is more than you can say about some teammate relationships these days!

Button is hoping McLaren's impending partnership with engine supplier Honda -- set to come into effect from 2015 onwards -- can propel the team back towards the front of the grid.

Originally partners between 1988 and 1992, McLaren and Honda won multiple drivers' and constructors' titles with legendary names like Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.

"In 2004, McLaren won only one grand prix, but it won 10 grands prix in 2005, in 2006 McLaren won no grands prix, but it won eight grands prix in 2007," explained the former Brawn driver.

"So I think history shows us that McLaren will win again, well and often, and, as I say, I reckon the next McLaren-Honda era could be very exciting indeed."

Earlier this year Button said he intends to stay with McLaren until he retires, although he is not considering when that may be.

"I've had a great career," he added. "I've won 15 grands prix and one world championship. I intend to do quite a bit more winning in the future. As to how many years that future may reach forwards to, I haven't decided yet. Wait and see."

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