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Jenson Button Q&A: No race is pivotal... yet 29 Sep 2010

Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Singapore Grand Prix, Race Day, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Sunday, 26 September 2010 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4/25.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Singapore Grand Prix, Race, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Sunday, 26 September 2010 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4/25.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Singapore Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Saturday, 25 September 2010 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4/25. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Singapore Grand Prix, Race, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Sunday, 26 September 2010

His McLaren team mate Lewis Hamilton may be on the back foot, but Jenson Button is on the attack after finishing second in Italy and then fourth in Singapore. He is now just 25 points - one race win - adrift of standings' leader Mark Webber. Indeed the top five are still so close that Button believes we may have a while to wait until the championship contenders are whittled down. The British driver explains more in an interview with his official website…

Q: Fourth position gives you more useful points in the hunt for the world title. Was the Singapore Grand Prix a good experience for you?
Jenson Button:
It was an extremely long and tough race, but I was pleased with my overall performance. I think I got the maximum from the car, and while it would have been nicer to have finished ahead of Mark, Sunday’s points still definitely keep me in touch. It was a little disappointing to see that we probably didn’t have enough pace to take the fight to the Ferraris and the Red Bulls, but that was to be expected, really. Singapore is one of the highest downforce tracks on the calendar, so it’s not a place where our car would really excel. I think the next four races will be very interesting, they’ll certainly play more to our strengths. And, as we’ve seen, this championship is going to go all the way, and it’s still very hard to predict who’ll come out on top - so it’s very exciting.

Q: People said Singapore would be a pivotal race in the title fight - did you agree?
JB:
It’s funny, because every race we go to seems to be called a ‘pivotal’ race - and, while every result is obviously important, I don’t think you’d say that any one race is really pivotal to your title campaign - it’s more about the pace you carry across the balance of the season. And, funnily enough, I think Singapore showed that it will probably actually take a couple of races to have a more significant impact on the overall standings. Okay, Fernando’s (Alonso) had two good races, and is right in the thick of things, but Lewis (Hamilton) has retired from the last two races, and he’s still right there, and both Sebastian (Vettel) and me are ready to strike. I think the new points systems has definitely amplified what people think of the standings, but I’ve always imagined the points as they would have been under last year’s system: so, in old money, I’m 10 points off Mark, and Lewis is about eight or nine behind him. And, with four races to go, that’s not much at all. When you say you’re 25 points off the lead, that sounds a lot - but it’s just easier for me to reference it by the old system. It makes it seem easier to understand and compute, too. So, as I said, there’s not going to be one pivotal race, except perhaps for the final one, it’s just about taking home the points every weekend.

Q: Are you feeling confident going into the final four races?
JB:
Confident. Relaxed. Happy. Yeah - I can put it in perspective: for the second year running, I’m right in the hunt for the world championship. I’m already the world champion and I’ve still got every chance of holding on to my title. That’s what I’m in Formula One to do, and that’s why I signed for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes; to have that opportunity. The next race is Suzuka, a circuit I love. I’m going to spend some time in Japan beforehand, it will be a good chance to relax and to get ready for what I think will be a great weekend.

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