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Button: championship edging closer 25 Jan 2007

Jenson Button (GBR) Honda Racing F1 Team Honda RA107 Launch and First Run. 25 January 2007 Barcelona, Spain. World © Moy/Sutton

As he awaits his first drive of Honda’s 2007 car in Spain today, Jenson Button has said he believes the team’s chances of challenging for the world title are stronger than ever.

Last year’s Hungarian Grand Prix saw Button score Honda’s first win since they took control of the former BAR team. He went on to secure 56 of the Japanese squad’s 86 points in the 2006 world championship - and for 2007 he is expecting even more.

“We enjoyed a strong second half to the season last year and of course our first win together will always be special,” said Button. “This year we will hopefully make even greater strides towards our dream of winning the world championship together and I feel that as we enter our second year under full Honda ownership we have a realistic opportunity of moving closer to that objective.”

Having not tested since the end of last season, Button was back behind the wheel at the Circuit de Catalunya on Wednesday. While team mate Rubens Barrichello shook down the new RA107, the Englishman was in its predecessor, but he won’t have to wait long to try out his 2007 machine.

“I am looking forward to driving the RA107 for the first time later today (Thursday), when I will be able to see the result of many months of hard work in Japan and England between both our team and drivers,” he said.

“I drove the RA106 here yesterday using the new Bridgestone Potenza tyres for the first time. Today’s run will give me the benefit of a direct comparison between the two chassis. Although I have been out of the car for a while, I am very pleased with my return to the cockpit and also my fitness level, which I have been working hard on since Christmas.”

With the RA107 on schedule and on track, Honda now have an intensive development schedule ahead of them as they prepare for the season opener in Melbourne on March 18. “There is a great deal of work to be done between now and Australia,” Button concluded.