Button eyes Silverstone podium
Wednesday 29 June 2011
Jenson Button is desperate to land a podium finish at the British Grand Prix for the first time in his Formula One career. It is one of those remarkable quirks that in 11 previous attempts around Silverstone, Button has never once been able to savour the acclaim of his home fans for a top-three finish.
Button has finished fourth on two previous occasions, last season and in 2004, and also fifth twice previously, in his debut year in 2000, and again in 2005. But a podium has eluded the 31-year-old, and on the occasion of what will be his 200th grand prix on 10 July, it is a record the McLaren driver would love to set straight.
"You always want to do well in front of your home crowd," said Button. "Last year was just a see of rocket red [McLaren] caps everywhere. It was great to see the support, and I think we put on a reasonable show.
"Hopefully, this year it will be something similar, or better. But we've got to hope we can find some pace for there. I've never been on the podium at Silverstone, for whatever reason. I've been very unlucky in some races, so hopefully this time we can have a better package, and have a better chance of getting on the podium."
McLaren's lack of pace was apparent in Sunday's European Grand Prix in Valencia, where Button finished a minute and five places behind Sebastian Vettel, whose sixth win in eight races means he now holds a 77-point cushion in the championship standings. With Lewis Hamilton 46 seconds behind the reigning world champion in fourth, it is unsurprising that both drivers expressed their concerns in the immediate aftermath of such a crushing victory for the German.
Button is to visit the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking today to discuss future plans with the engineers, of course hoping there is something in the pipeline for Silverstone.
"We have to push and hope we get a lot of improvements for the next race," added Button. "So I'll be going around tomorrow and seeing what we have. I know some of the things we have, and some of the things we have for the race after [in Germany]. But hopefully we can try and get them for Silverstone.
"It's going to be a weird race for everyone, given the change in the regulations with the blown diffuser," said Button. "We have to be wary of that because there will be quite a big difference for all of us.
"It's about being ready when you arrive there, understanding which direction you need to take."
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