Button back in title hunt

2012-09-04 08:20

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium - The Formula 1 title remains a long shot for McLaren's Jenson Button but he's determined to give it his best shot after his Belgian Grand Prix victory.

The 2009 World champion made it clear that he would not be giving up his championship hopes until forced to and winning at the classic Spa circuit only made Button even more confident.

He is still 63 points behind Ferrari's Fernando Alonso with eight races remaining but this season has been unpredictable.


McLaren has won the most recent two races and if a car goes well at high-speed Spa it should be equally competitive at Monza - the fastest track on the calendar and host of the Italian GP.

Button said: "There's still a lot that can happen, it's just over 60 points. It's not easy but I'm going to give it a go."

Team principal Martin Whitmarsh saw no reason why Button should not be a contender after coming back strongly from a mid-season slump. "People quickly got on the case of loss of form and he said himself he was frustrated when it didn't go well but, after a performance like that, he has to believe he's capable of going out there now and doing well.

"We've clearly got a quick car... and on very different circuits, which will be reassuring for him and the confidence he can get the job done."


Button ended in 2011 and with two podium finishes in three races, Whitmarsh sensed he could be on a similar roll now. "He's certainly performed well in the last few races, he did exceptionally well in Belgium, and there is no reason why he cannot be on a roll and score lots of points and take lots of victories for the rest of this season."

Button has now won at Monaco, the sport's jewel in the crown, at Japan's daunting Suzuka where he feels home-from-home, and now one of the greatest and most historic circuits of all - Spa.

Monza, the temple of Italian motorsport and Ferrari's back yard, might be the next target on his list but it is not the place where he most yearns to win. That's Silverstone and he will have to wait until 2013 for a shot at that. "The only one missing is my home GP where I haven't been on the podium.

"I've won in Monaco, I've won at Spa, I've won at Suzuka. Those three really stand out for me as being very special circuits and I'm missing the British Grand Prix still.

"Before I end my career I'd like to at least be on the podium or hopefully win there."