Button aiming to reclaim title next year

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The Independent Online

Outgoing Formula One world champion Jenson Button is already burning with hunger to for the title next year.

Button effectively relinquished his crown on Sunday in Brazil when he could finish no higher than fifth, with the other four remaining contenders all ahead of him on the track.

It means for the final time this season in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, Button will sport the number one on his McLaren following a debut year with the team he has largely enjoyed, even if he feels he has let himself down on occasion.

"This has been a good season and a lot of stuff we've done this year we'll gain a lot of experience for next season," said Button.

"The car is a good car, but there are areas where we still need to improve, we know that, and it's about making sure we do improve those areas for next year.

"So it's going to be an exciting winter. I'm looking forward to it."

But asked if he had passed his own expectations, Button replied: "I don't think I have.

"I've had some pretty bad Saturdays (with regard to qualifying), and that's been my weakness this year.

"The races have been good, but I've always had to fight my way through.

"Saturday is a day where I've not had a car that I've been happy with, confident with, more often than not.

"That's something we've sat down and spoken about, and something we need to work on for next year.

"Overall it's positive, and I think we know what we have to do to help me in that area."

After taking two victories in the first four grands prix, Button remained a challenger for the first two thirds of the season.

It was only after being speared by Vettel in Belgium that it started to fall away, despite him finishing a creditable second in Italy in the subsequent race.

As Button states, though, qualifying has been his bete noir during the course of the season, and notably he has started behind team-mate Hamilton in 13 of the 18 races.

But despite many people warning him against joining McLaren in the first place, Button insists he has had "a good year" as champion.

"It hasn't just been about me being world champion, it was about me making one of the biggest changes of my life, in my career," added the 30-year-old.

"It was a hell of a challenge, a risk that a lot of people thought was the wrong one, but I needed to change my direction and this was the right place for me.

"I definitely chose the right team because I feel very at home here.

"I've possibly the toughest driver as a team-mate, but that drives you on and pushes you harder than you've ever been pushed before.

"I admit it's not been the perfect season, but it's been a good season, a great base for 2011.

"I feel I'm part of this team and hopefully part of their future as well, and although I'll no longer have number one on my car after this weekend, it just means I'll be even hungrier to get it back next year."