Due to Fernando Alonso having commitments to the Indianapolis 500, which falls on the same date as the Monaco Grand Prix, McLaren-Honda has announced that Jenson Button will be replacing Alonso as their Formula 1 driver for the Monaco Grand Prix only. Button will be taking over Alonso's MCL32 Formula 1 car for that one race only, and will be handed over again to Alonso, where he will complete the Formula 1 season with McLaren-Honda.
“...Most of all I’m looking forward to pitting myself against the unique racing challenge that is the Monaco Grand Prix. 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,” says Jenson Button.
Button was suggested as the replacement driver for Alonso by the team's race director, Eric Boullier. He believes that Button is the right choice as he has only retired in the previous season, missing out only three races since the current season started.
“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,” said Boullier.
Jenson Button won the 2009 Monaco Grand Prix along with winning the driver's championship of the same year. Button says that the realistic chance of him repeating his victory is slim, but he believes that the team has an opportunity to score world championship constructor points. To see whether or not Button can still live up to his 2009 win, we will have to wait until the upcoming Monaco Grand Prix.