Button seeks return to form in Hungary
World championship leader Jenson Button admitted on Monday that he and the Brawn GP team need to bounce back to their best form in Hungary later this month to stay in command of the title race.india Updated: Jul 13, 2009 18:28 IST
World championship leader Jenson Button admitted on Monday that he and the Brawn GP team need to bounce back to their best form in Hungary later this month to stay in command of the title race.
The 29-year-old Englishman, who struggled to finish fifth in Sunday's German Grand Prix, said that Red Bull's recent revival and two successive one-two triumphs was "hurting" his prospects of glory this year.
"We need to beat the Red Bulls in Hungary," said Button, who won six of the opening seven races before being well beaten in the last two. "We have to hope that in Hungary we are strong because we can't keep doing this - this is hurting now."
His lead in the drivers' championship was cut to 21 points at the weekend as nearest rival German Sebastian Vettel finished second behind maiden victory Australian Mark Webber.
Button said: "My lead hasn't got that much smaller, but it's a different person in second now. It's going to continue like this at the next race, but it's a circuit where we will be more competitive with the Red Bulls. And we need to be."
Webber's win ahead of Vettel at least prevented the young German from claiming a victory that would have cut deeper into Button's lead, but it did damage the hopes of Brawn team-mate Brazilian Rubens Barrichello who slipped from second to fourth.
Barrichello was furious with his team when he climbed from his car after finishing sixth, despite leading at the first corner, and blamed Brawn for his disappointment. The team later defused his outburst by explaining what went wrong at his second pit-stop - when a ruel rig failed.
Button added: "Vettel has got his team-mate right behind him, which is probably a good thing for me because they're taking points off each other.
"If Vettel had won here that would have been a disaster for me, but we support both drivers. That's the way racing should be and Red Bull are doing the same.
"I'm looking forward to Hungary now. Hopefully we'll get a few new parts and it's going to be hotter, which will suit our cars. I'm not going to put any pressure on the team because we know what we need to do."
Webber, the first Australian winner in Formula One since Alan Jones won at Las Vegas in the United States Grand Prix on October 17, 1981, praised Red Bull for their support for both drivers.
He said: "It's rare to have two drivers performing quite so closely. Putting your eggs in one basket, it might help, but you could do that for two or three races and then he could have a couple of 'did not finish'.
"It's a decision the team have to make later on, but both titles are up for grabs now. There's no question about that."
His Red Bull team boss Christian Horner pledged to continue to give both drivers fair and equal treatment following Webber's breakthrough win in his 130th Grand Prix, eight years after entering Formula One.
And he praised Webber for his grit and enthusiasm to succeed after breaking his right leg and shoulder in a bicycle crash in Australia last November.
Horner said: "I think lying in a hospital bed in Tasmania in November, he could never have dreamed about this.
"Certainly we had some concerns, because he forgot to tell us that he broke his shoulder as well. So, the comeback that he has had has been remarkable - and it is testimony to his determination and commitment that he has got himself back.
"He has got himself fit and he is driving better than ever. I don't think he is still at full fitness. He cannot run.
"And he is carrying an extra bit of ballast in his leg which Adrian [Newey] is not too happy about, but I think that he has dealt with the injury. He has very good support and it is not compromising his driving, but I don't think he is at the fitness level he was 12 months ago."