Button and Barrichello prepare for battle 16 Oct 2009
As the battle for the world championship heads to the final wire in the last two races, points leader Jenson Button has admitted that he would hate his Brawn GP team mate Rubens Barrichello were he to snatch the title from his grasp at the 11th hour.
Button is currently 14 points ahead of the Brazilian, and 16 ahead of Red Bull's German driver Sebastian Vettel.
"If Rubens won the championship, I would absolutely hate him," said Button, with a nervous laugh, ahead of this weekends Brazilian Grand Prix. "We come here for one thing only and that's to win the world championship. That's what we are all here to do. We are working well together but you come here to win and we are very competitive people. If Rubens won, I'd be very disappointed. But I'd also respect that he did a better job over the 17 races."
The odds favour Button, who only needs six points for third place to put the title beyond reach, regardless of whether Barrichello or Vettel win the final two races. And during the press conferences on Thursday, and again when he entertained the British media in the evening, he seemed as relaxed as ever after admitting that he had slept well on Wednesday night.
"I woke up very happy this morning, as Id had some pretty good dreams," he said. "I woke up with a smile on my face. I'm looking forward to the weekend. I don't think it adds pressure knowing that you could win the world championship this weekend. It's a positive."
He also admitted that, having been beaten on his home ground at Silverstone by Barrichello back in July, when the tide of the championship began to flow against him, he would like nothing better than to return the favour on the track close to where Barrichello grew up.
"Rubens beat me at Silverstone and I'd like to do the same to him here," he smiled. "It's never a nice feeling when you get beaten by your own team mate in your home country.
Past inter-team contests, notably those between Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna when they were together at McLaren in the late Eighties, or Nelson Piquet and Nigel Mansell just before that, have a habit of ending in tears such are the stakes, but Button added: "We understand the situation, we are all fighting for something that is far greater than we have achieved in the past and I think we will respect that."
Barrichello said: "It's something that I have been dreaming of for a long, long time. So hopefully the car will be back into the performance that we want. Hopefully here I can just put everything out and go for the win - because I need it and because I want it so badly."
If Button ties up the title this weekend, he will become Britain's 10th world champion.