Tuesday 25 April at 10:35 :
Apr.25 (GMM) McLaren's simulator is good enough for Jenson Button to prepare for Monaco.
That is the view of Eric Boullier, following Felipe Massa's expression of surprise that the retired 2009 world champion sat out the recent post-Bahrain grand prix test.
Button, 37, is making a one-off return to F1 in Monaco next month, filling in for Fernando Alonso who is tackling the fabled Indy 500.
But he will prepare only in McLaren's state of the art simulator at Woking.
That surprised fellow veteran Massa.
"If the simulator is good enough, why don't most of the top drivers want to use them?" he asked.
But McLaren boss Boullier thinks the simulator is in fact the best option for Button.
"Given the technology of this car, we decided that organising a test would not have been useful," he is quoted by Spain's El Confidencial.
"The simulator is very realistic so it's best for him to test the car there," the Frenchman added.
"After 10 laps, he'll be fine," said Boullier.
Massa, however, warned that the 2017 cars are "very different" to the cars that Button last raced in 2016, requiring a higher level of fitness.
But Button said: "I've done a lot of triathlon training recently, so I have no worries."
Boullier agreed: "He's only missed a handful of grands prix and he's as fit as a fiddle. And he's always been good at Monaco. He'll do a great job, I'm sure of that."