Button relishing a fair title fight with Barrichello 25 Sep 2009
World championship points leader Jenson Button said on Thursday that he is relishing the title scrap, and that he believes it is better to be fighting Brawn team mate Rubens Barrichello over the last four races than fading Red Bull teamsters Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.
"My relationship (with Rubens) hasn't changed yet, but you never know what is going to happen," he conceded. "We both obviously want the same goal at the end of the year, but I think the only way of going about it is fairly. We both understand that, and we both have the same tools - and it is whoever does the best over the season comes out on top. We both respect each other, as far as I know, and it is exciting. But it is within the team. We still, in the briefings, discuss the ideas for the weekend. But we don't hold anything back - as far as I know. So the atmosphere is pretty good at the moment.
"I understand Rubens a lot more than Sebastian and Mark, and also he has the same equipment as me. So, basically I need to finish as close to Rubens in every race if I am thinking about the championship. As long as I qualify well and finish close to him, then it is fine and I have a good chance of winning the championship. But as any driver will say, they don't want to do that, they want to go out and win - and I come to Singapore hoping to challenge for the win."
He said that he won't be worrying unduly about what Barrichello is up to, and that it won't affect the way he drives. "I am not purposefully going to drive slower this weekend! I will do my own thing and get a good result. I like this place, I had fun here last year. We were never anywhere near quick enough to get a good result but I enjoyed Singapore. It was a lot of fun to drive. It is a very unusual circuit and being at night, most of the corners are quite well lit but some of them are quite dark. So it does play tricks on your eyes a little bit. But it is a good circuit and I think we can have a good race here.
"I just watched the replays from last year and I know people say there is no overtaking around street circuits, but there seemed to be quite a lot last season. It looked like quite good fun."
In the Red Bull camp of late there has been a quiet acceptance that the title struggle has got a lot harder, and Button agreed that things have become a lot easier for him recently, especially after his strong run to second at Monza. "Sebastian is 26 points behind, which is a lot. But, as Lewis Hamilton pointed out a few races ago, he had 17 points with two races to go and didn't win it in 2007. There is so much that can happen. But we have to stay positive and take each race as it comes. I am really excited about the challenge of the next four races. The next three are all circuits I enjoy, and then there is Abu Dhabi which is a new challenge and I am looking forward to it because I like driving new circuits."
The mid-season blip behind him, he believes that things have picked up again at Brawn "The car has been working well for a few races. Valencia with Rubens winning wasn't a great race for me for whatever reason, but the car was working well there. Spa, the car was working okay but not great - even if we were in the race we would have finished fifth or sixth, which would not have been that special. Then at Monza, the car was working well - so it is good the car works well on low-downforce circuits and works on high-downforce circuits. We have our new update here, which should give us a bit more. Our pace should be good. I don't think it will move us forward, because there are a lot of teams with upgrades - McLaren, Force India, BMW and Renault - but hopefully it will keep us in the game and near the front."
And the dream of the championship? He made it clear that he is trying to keep his feet firmly on the ground on that score, and that he isn't letting himself have visions of winning the title any time soon. "No. Because that is a dream. It is not reality. It could happen, but I have to take every race as it comes."