Championship leader Jenson Button has acknowledged the weight of expectation upon him to win this season's Formula One title, yet he feels more privileged than pressured.
Button has a 15 point lead in the drivers' championship with only two races to follow this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix. Brawn GP teammate Rubens Barrichello is his nearest challenger while Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel is a further ten points back.
The Briton is not exactly relishing the favoritism, but would rather be in contention than not.
"It's tough, but it's also very exciting and I would not change it for the world," Button said. "It's part of the challenge.
"It's a sport that is very emotional. I've followed Formula One since I was a kid, and to be in this position, I am privileged and very lucky to fight for the championship and I will never forget that."
Button can clinch the title at Suzuka if he gets five more points than Barrichello.
"I don't come into the race thinking I am going to seal the title here," Button said Thursday. "There are so many things that can happen this weekend. There are three people in the running for the title and I am one of them.
"The most important thing for me to do is to work as hard as I can on Friday and Saturday to get the car right for qualifying and the race."
Barrichello was taking a laid-back approach to this weekend as he attempts to keep his cool in the heat of a title scrap.
"I am really relaxed," Barrichello said. "I have a good chance, the best chance in a long time.
"I will win the championship if it's mine. If it's not mine it will be Jenson. I just have to be cool and win the race and forget about the rest."
The Brawn team has said it will not favor either driver, and Barrichello gave credit to management for being even handed in the inevitable requests from both sides of the garage for an edge over the other.
"It will be very, very hard for me to say I want two more laps (before the first pit stop) because if I say that, he'll say he wants three more laps," Barrichello said.
"The team is handling that quite well. It will be very hard to get a different strategy unless I'm outside the top 10 — which I don't want to be."Reuse content