F1's Latest Rumours and Talk: McLaren-Honda Breakthrough, Jenson Button and More

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F1's Latest Rumours and Talk: McLaren-Honda Breakthrough, Jenson Button and More
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

After finishing ninth in the constructors' championship in 2015, McLaren-Honda are under pressure to come back fighting in the 2016 Formula One season. 

The progress, or lack of it, the team have made over the winter will be the defining story of the two pre-season tests. Will they make an overnight return to competitiveness? Or will their predicament get even worse before it gets better?

The early signs, however, are very promising indeed, with it being reported that Honda have made a major breakthrough in the development of their V6 turbo power unit.

If true, that news will return a smile to the face of Jenson Button, who was restricted to just four points finishes in 2015. Like team-mate Fernando Alonso, Button is more accustomed to fighting for world championships, grand prix victories and podiums rather than minor points finishes.

But the 2009 title winner has revealed his previous disappointments in F1—many of which, it must be said, were the result of Honda's failings—allowed him to deal with the frustration of last season.

If Stoffel Vandoorne has his way, this year will be Button's last in F1, with the Belgian reiterating his desire to earn a race seat with McLaren in 2017.

Vandoorne is currently representing the team in the wet-tyre test at the Paul Ricard circuit, but the reigning GP2 champion has insisted he has not been guaranteed a place at McLaren next season.

Meanwhile, the F1 drivers are pushing to have increased cockpit-safety measures implemented in time for 2017 following the tragic deaths of Jules Bianchi and Justin Wilson in 2015.

Closing this week's roundup is Daniel Ricciardo, who has expressed his desire to race in the Le Mans 24 Hours after Red Bull Racing denied him the privilege last season.

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