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MENAFN - Kora - 11/03/2014
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(MENAFN - Kora) In the lead-up to Sunday's opening race of the 2014 F1 season, Blundell, who raced for McLaren in 1995, labelled Button as the 'complete package'

The 34-year-old Button won the 2009 F1 drivers' world championship and finished second two years later, before slumping to ninth overall in 2013

With Kevin Magnussen replacing Sergio Perez at McLaren this year, Blundell hopes the rookie Dane will give Button the spark he needs to challenge for the world title, starting at this week's Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne

"I feel Jenson is as complete a package as he has been for many, many years, what we need to see now is if Jenson will lift his game because he's got this young hot-shot driver coming in who will challenge him, there's no doubt on that," Blundell said on Monday

"Magnussen will definitely be a thorn in his side

"Button has got the experience, he has got the understanding of the team, he has got all of the credentials needed to go and win another world championship

"It will be on his shoulders to lead that operation, he will need to be a team leader and show Magnussen what he is all about and he will need to show the team that it is capable of winning a championship again in a McLaren car. I am quite excited to see the outcome.

McLaren failed to finish on the podium in 2013, something that had not happened since 1980

That prompted a change of team principle with Eric Boullier replacing Martin Whitmarsh and, with a raft of rule changes in 2014 and reigning champions Red Bull struggling in pre-season testing, Blundell thinks it may be a lot different for McLaren this year

"Yes there are going to be some changes. Will McLaren be the biggest benefactor of all of that? Possibly," the 47-year-old said

"Do we feel that McLaren will come back fighting because they've had a very rough 2013 season? 100 per cent

"Can you ever count them out? No. Have their been changes in personnel that have hurt them? Yes, I think there has been

"Have there been changes that they've made to take on new personnel to go forward, also a green light on that side. So I would still place a little bet on McLaren, I definitely would.



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