Button pins hopes on update for Japanese GP
Suzuka is regarded as a track that favours good drivers, but Jenson Button knows that a driver without a good car won't achieve anything there. McLaren are taking along a major update package for the race in Japan. "I think it's going to be bigger than anything the opposition have up their sleeves," says Button. The reigning champion wasn't letting on what the new components are. He did reveal, however, that he had already tested them on the McLaren simulator and that he was impressed by the results.
"The car feels a lot better than it did in Singapore," says Button. "But I don't know how fast it's going to be in the real world." He sees Suzuka as a three-way tussle between McLaren, Red Bull and Ferrari: "It would be great to get a victory here, but it's not going to be decisive either way. The main thing is to be up there on the podium and to have finished ahead of all the other title contenders."
Button's 25-point deficit on current leader Mark Webber means that he is now cast in the role of pursuer: "It's exciting. I'm much more relaxed about being in this situation. You try to exploit every opportunity, and if it comes off, great! But if it doesn't? Well, never mind; at least you tried. Last year, it was completely the other way round. I was the one in the lead and had everything to lose."
He does not regard the gap on the leader as unbridgeable: "Fifth place is not at all bad. I'm just one race victory behind Webber. Last year, that would have been a mere ten points, and at the same stage of the 2009 season, that was more or less the lead I had over Sebastian and Rubens. So I wouldn't describe it as a big gap at all."