Improved engines boost Button hopes of maiden win

One glorious afternoon on the Ile Notre Dame in this city's St Lawrence River, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve finally surrendered one of the sport's greatest prizes to an emotional Jean Alesi. When Michael Schumacher's Benetton-Renault encountered an electronic problem, the mercurial Frenchman swept into the lead with his Ferrari. And for once he was the first man home when the chequered flag fell.

One glorious afternoon on the Ile Notre Dame in this city's St Lawrence River, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve finally surrendered one of the sport's greatest prizes to an emotional Jean Alesi. When Michael Schumacher's Benetton-Renault encountered an electronic problem, the mercurial Frenchman swept into the lead with his Ferrari. And for once he was the first man home when the chequered flag fell.

A decade later, Jenson Button is hoping that a race with a history of unusual results will cast him in the Alesi role. All season his BAR-Honda team have been showing a turn of speed that is the envy of their rivals as they chase Renault for second place behind the indomitable Ferrari team. Five podium finishes in seven races bode well, and Button is putting great store by the latest version of the Honda V10 engine that is already the most powerful in the sport.

"We were very strong in free practice at the Nürburgring recently, but it showed how important it is to qualify well," Button says. "I didn't get a very good lap in qualifying and this made it very difficult for me in the race. To not have a good race and still get a podium shows our strength. The performance of our Michelin tyres should be good at this track and I think the car will work well. We also have another step with the engine which will help us, as this is a power circuit.

"The track also demands a car which, mechanically, is very strong and our car is. There are a lot of very slow chicanes in addition to the long straights. The step with the engine should be an improvement for us. My aim is to get on the podium and this is a race I would love to win."

But Giancarlo Fisichella, of Sauber-Petronas, sounded a warning about the ability of many cars to handle the circuit, which is renowned for heavy brake wear. "It is very critical this year for the brakes, especially because we run with very high temperatures front and rear, and it is quite difficult to find good brake ducts for the cooling," the Italian driver said. "Formula One is now maybe a bit too quick."

McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen echoed that concern, saying: "It's going to be harder for brakes and for all the other parts also, because we're going three or four seconds quicker than the year before."

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...