Jenson Button targets second world title
Monday 10 October 2011
Jenson Button has no doubts he can follow in Sebastian Vettel's footsteps and become a two-time Formula One world champion next season.
The last five grands prix have given Button all the belief he needs as he has now won twice, finished runner-up on two other occasions and scored a third place.
Button's form is such he has accrued 101 points, just seven fewer than double title-winner Vettel and 57 more than McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
The 31-year-old's latest victory in yesterday's Japanese Grand Prix has been described as "flawless" by team principal Martin Whitmarsh as Button proved he can win in dry, not just changeable conditions.
Asked if he now has it within his locker to become a champion again to follow on from his 2009 success with Brawn, Button told Press Association Sport: "Definitely, and that is why I moved to this team.
"I know you guys (the media) will say McLaren have only won a few world championships in the last 20 years, but they've been fighting for them and gone close so many times.
"Winning five races (personally) in the last two years is not enough, but it's pretty good.
"We have just got to hope we can get it all together. As a team - me, Lewis and the mechanics - we have really developed.
"So for me it's all moving in the right direction. but we're not going to get ahead of ourselves. When we're back at the factory we can think about next year."
This year's title race may be over, with Vettel's third place yesterday enough to secure him the honour of being crowned the youngest back-to-back and double champion in F1 history.
But Button knows if he can maintain his form over the closing four grands prix in South Korea, India, Abu Dhabi and Brazil, the momentum for next season could be crucial.
"You guys obviously always look further forward than we do," added Button.
"I want to live in the moment because it feels so good, but I also think that yes, this is a great base for next year.
"I want to fight for victory in all four races left this season and I think we should be able to do that.
"If we can do it, it would be a fantastic platform for next year, and ending on a high is the best way to do it.
"Red Bull have done it the last couple of years. We need to do the same thing."
Button knows that after triumphing at a venue like Suzuka, where Vettel had crushed his rivals over the last two years with wins from pole, the signs are certainly promising.
With next season's car an iteration of this year's model as there are few design changes, Button said: "One of the key things for us this year is we are getting the car working at places like Suzuka and Spa.
"They are basically places where you should paint Red Bull all over the circuit because they are Red Bull tracks.
"Suzuka is so fast, with the high-speed corners and changes of direction.
"But we have improved our car so much we're able to take the fight to them at places like this, which is somewhere we've always felt weak compared to Red Bull."
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