F1 title will go to the wire predicts Button

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The Independent Online

Jenson Button believes this year's fight for the Formula One world title will go down to the wire, with the winner the driver who will stay coolest under pressure.

With five races to go just 24 points, less than for a race victory these days, separates the top five drivers in the standings - Mark Webber, Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, Button and Sebastian Vettel.

It is the sport's tightest scrap since 1981 when Nelson Piquet came out on top in another five-way fight ahead of Carlos Reutemann, Alan Jones, Jacques Laffite and Alain Prost, the quintet covered by a mere seven points.

Button is convinced with the way this season's battle has ebbed and flowed, he cannot see any of the five - including himself - doing enough to clinch the crown before the season finale in Abu Dhabi.

"You can't help but look at the drivers' championship table and just think 'Wow, how can it be so close?"' said Button.

"It's funny, after Spa everyone was saying it was a two-horse race between Lewis and Mark, but I can easily see this championship going right down to the last race.

"I think we've seen that no one driver's going to walk away with the world title, that there's going to be a fight right to the very end."

Determining the deciding factors as to who will emerge as champion, Button added: "Consistency is important in some ways.

"Obviously you need a car that will get you to the finish of every grand prix, and you don't want to start making knee-jerk or radical decisions on set-up or strategy because you think it might give you an advantage.

"We're racers, so we'll always be racing, but the pressure's now on all of us.

"None of us can afford another non-finish or a mistake, and the guy who cracks least will be world champion."

In taking the world title last season, Button learned considerably along the way, knowing that will stand him in good stead this year.

The 30-year-old knows there will be times when he perhaps needs to exercise patience, and others, such as when he clinched the title in Brazil, when it becomes all or nothing.

"I think you have to take each race as it comes," added Button.

"I think that driving just to score a certain number of points isn't in a racing driver's psyche.

"I felt that a little last year. I knew I only had to keep scoring consistently to take the title, but that was probably more mentally taxing than just putting your head down and going for it.

"For instance, at Interlagos last year, I had nothing to really lose. I was 14th on the grid and my team-mate was on pole.

"What did I have to gain by driving steadily and taking home a handful of points?

"I just went for it, and that was a really liberating race for me, and an experience that will be useful this year too."