Reigning world champion Jenson Button is expecting next weekend's Singapore Grand Prix to cast more light on the destination of this year's crown, as the sport hits Asia for the first of five fly-away races to end the year. Singapore marks the first low-speed circuit since the Hungarian Grand Prix in early August and Button expects the challenging layout to answer a lot of questions about the 2010 title challengers.
"The Singapore Grand Prix will be a very interesting weekend because I think it'll give us a clearer idea of the destiny of the world championship," Button said. "The last time we were at a low-speed, high-downforce track was in Hungary back at the start of August; our car wasn't particularly competitive there, and maybe we haven't had a properly representative view of the top teams' relative pace because we've just visited two high-speed circuits."
Button is hoping that the tougher flexible bodywork tests introduced since the Hungarian Grand Prix will help McLaren close in on their rivals, after Red Bull lapped 1.7 seconds quicker than McLaren in qualifying at Budapest.
"A lot has changed since that race in Budapest - not least, some quite hefty revisions to the rulebook regarding bodywork flexibility and, additionally, a lot of work by the engineers at the MTC to ensure our car is now better suited to slower circuits," he continued. "Singapore will be interesting for all of us - we'll not only get an idea of the speed of the Ferrari and Red Bull, but we'll get to see for the first time whether all our efforts over the past two months have helped put us back in the ballpark at high-downforce tracks."
Button heads to Singapore 22 points behind championship leader Mark Webber and 17 behind team-mate Lewis Hamilton.