Button desperate to get title bid back on track

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Jenson Button is hoping one of his favourite circuits will see an end to the tough times that have dented his Formula One world title hopes.

Button's stunning start to the season, when he won six of the first seven grands prix and appeared unstoppable in his quest to land the crown, has virtually been forgotten.

The last four races have yielded only 11 points for the Brawn GP star, who still retains an 18-point cushion over team-mate Rubens Barrichello, and there is growing anxiety.

Button admitted after his seventh place in Sunday's European Grand Prix in Valencia he needs to be more aggressive in order to keep the chasing pack at bay over the final six races.

The Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday at a Spa-Francorchamps track that has no equal in F1 should provide a perfect opportunity for Button to showcase his new approach.

"Spa is one of my favourite circuits and has a layout which gives everything you could want as a driver," said Button.

"It's one of the fastest and most challenging circuits in the world, with hills, fast corners and long straights, which combine to give you a real buzz to drive.

"It's also a very beautiful circuit with the forest setting, although the weather can be unpredictable.

"It can play a big part in the race weekend, even in the summer, so you have to be ready to react, but that unpredictability is part of the thrill of racing at Spa.

"Eau Rouge is still a legendary corner, although it is usually easy flat (out) for us in the dry.

"But the feeling when you hit the bottom of the hill, touch the ground and shoot straight back up again is amazing."

Button finally has a car beneath him to enhance that thrill and, even though the winning touch has deserted him of late, he still feels it is a package that can deliver.

"It's been a tough few races for me recently," reflected Button.

"But the car felt very good in Valencia and the pace was right up there when I was able to run in clear air during the race.

"So we're feeling positive and very much looking forward to the weekend."

The major concern for Button and team boss Ross Brawn has been the failure of the tyres to work in cooler air.

After the heat of Valencia, where Barrichello scored his first race win for five years, there will be a noticeable drop in temperature at Spa.

The weather is not due to be as inclement as it has often been but still significant enough to test the Brawn cars and the work of the team in correcting the issues.

"Our return to form in Valencia and the very well-deserved win for Rubens has given everyone at the team a timely boost as we head into the final part of the season," remarked Brawn.

"Looking ahead to the race in Spa, it will be another challenge with a very different type of circuit and ambient weather conditions.

"Although we believe we now have a better understanding of our recent tyre issues, the lower track temperatures at Spa will be the proving ground for this.

"We will have another busy testing programme tomorrow to validate the conclusions reached in Valencia and then build our weekend from there."