Button: We must raise our game

Jenson Button has called on leaders McLaren to make technical improvements for this Sunday's British Grand Prix in order to stay in contention for the world title.

The Briton lies in second place in the drivers' table behind team-mate and compatriot Lewis Hamilton, but he fears quicker rivals are ready to overtake. Red Bull drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber are close behind the McLaren pair, and they have an impressive car.

"We need to raise our game," said Button. "We need to add performance to the car if we are going to challenge the Red Bulls and other teams.

"You can't hope that it will be OK at the next race and you cannot give away a race this year. You have to be consistently fighting at the front."

Former champion Damon Hill has made an unfavourable comparison between Button and team-mate Lewis using the fable of the tortoise and the hare, but the reigning title holder brushed it off.

Button said: "I won the championship last year because I was quick. I won six races and I was always there fighting. That is the key to he championship, it is not about just consistency."

A crowd of 120,000 F1 fans are expected at Silverstone and the circuit's owners claim it can become the best track in the world.

Despite the amount of money that has been spent in Abu Dhabi on its lavish new venue, the managing director of Silverstone, Richard Phillips said: "They [Abu Dhabi] build a hotel that lights up in different ways, and that's absolutely fantastic. But have we got a better circuit than they have? Yes, I think we have. Have we got better crowds, a better atmosphere? Yes. We have got all those things.

"If we can perfect our track then why wouldn't people think that we are the best in the world?"

Silverstone, a former World War Two airfield owned by the British Racing Drivers' Club, hosted F1's first championship race in 1950 and now has a 17-year deal for the country's grand prix.

The sport's commercial rights holder, Bernie Ecclestone, has previously criticised the circuit for its poor facilities, which have been overshadowed by the glittering state-funded venues in emerging economies such as Malaysia and China. However, there is a £37m revamp under way at Silverstone and a new pit complex is due to be finished by May.

Hill, the 1996 world champion, said the new layout for this year's race – necessitated by the return of motorcycle grands prix to Silverstone – had kept the historic flavour of the venue.

He said: "There are some lovely new corners. It has retained its traditional high speed format and continues to evolve. And there are some really great new places to watch from. New tracks are being built around the world, but Silverstone has grown out of this place, out of Europe. You want to race at Monza, Monaco, Silverstone, Spa or Suzuka because you have seen great drivers on those circuits and you want to know how you compare."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Jerry Seinfeld Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
peopleSitcom star urges men to be more supportive of women than ever
Life and Style
Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
Jay Z
businessJay-Z's bid for Spotify rival could be blocked
footballLouis van Gaal is watching a different Manchester United and Wenger can still spring a surprise
The spider makes its break for freedom
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot