Jenson Button 'relaxed and excited' for F1 comeback at Monaco GP
By James Galloway in Monaco
Last Updated: 29/05/17 8:32am
Jenson Button has admitted preparations for his F1 comeback have not been "perfect" but says he will race without pressure in Monaco this weekend.
Six months after competing in what was expected to be his 305th and final grand prix, the 2009 world champion returns for McLaren in place of Fernando Alonso while the Spaniard races at the Indianapolis 500.
Appearing in front of the F1 media for the first time since last November, Button said it was "very special" to be back in the paddock in which he spent 17 years, even though he was in a "very cool" place since stepping away from a full-time race seat.
Button conceded one drawback to his return is that he has not actually driven McLaren's current car, the MCL32, in real life, with simulator work at the team's factory proving to be his sole means of acclimatisation to 2017-spec F1.
"Preparations have been good, apart from obviously I haven't driven the car with these new regulations," said Button.
"So it's not perfect, but the option was to do half [the test] in Bahrain, which I thought was absolutely useless for me to do. Completely different type of circuit, so I said to the team I think it's best if I do a few days in the simulator.
"Obviously as drivers we love the simulator so I was raring to go… but I've spent a lot of time in the simulator getting a feel for it and it's been interesting.
"Most of the stuff's the same but there are a few things that are obviously different, a difference in regulations, and there are always changes year-to-year with the new technology and what have you. So a few things to learn, but it's still a racing car."
Although contracted to McLaren until the end of 2018, with the option of a full-time return next year, Button told Sky F1 ahead of the Spanish GP "I've done my time in F1" after 17 seasons in the sport.
He says he still could have turned down McLaren's request to fill in for Alonso this weekend, admitting: "I was going to be here anyway - but instead of drinking champagne I can race a car all weekend".
Button returns to a McLaren team which has yet to score a point in 2017, although the team showed signs of progress at the last race at Barcelona when Alonso qualified a shock seventh.
Despite the difficulties since their reunion with Honda, McLaren have scored points around Monaco's twisty streets in each of the last two years - with the circuit likely to again present their best chance of a top-10 Sunday result so far this season.
Nonetheless, despite the prospect of being able to challenge for much-needed points, Button insisted he is "very relaxed and very excited" to be back.
"It's interesting coming back for one Grand Prix," he added. "It being Monaco, it is special as it's my home. I don't feel any pressure."
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