Button and Hamilton brace for final five
One Formula One driver`s merry-go-round is another`s roller-coaster, at least for McLaren`s world champions Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton.
London: One Formula One driver`s merry-go-round is another`s roller-coaster, at least for McLaren`s world champions Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton.
Button felt he had stepped back on board the former with second place at the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday while Hamilton, winner of the previous race in Belgium, plunged where he had hoped to soar after retiring on the first lap.
"Lewis`s career has often been a rollercoaster. He is a dynamic and exciting driver," said McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh.
"He and us are disappointed but he is massively resilient and I`m sure he will bounce back in Singapore. He won there last year and he`ll be trying to win this year."
Both remain firmly in contention, even if Hamilton ceded the overall lead to Red Bull`s Mark Webber, as the championship boils down to five drivers fighting an epic battle over the five remaining races with five points between the top two.
"Every race we go to now people are going to be looking at qualifying, the end result of the race and trying to understand which direction it`s going to go," Button told Reuters.
"It`s like a merry-go-round at the moment, and we`re all stepping off and stepping back on," added the Briton, who drew a blank at Spa when he was shunted out by Red Bull`s Sebastian Vettel.
"It`s pretty complicated, exciting, good for the sport.”
"We`re all out there to win this championship, but the people who don`t win it are going to get a lot of respect this year for being part of that challenge -- hopefully I won`t be one of them," added the 30-year-old.
"People will sit down and think `Wow, those guys really fought it out to the end,` and that`s going to be exciting."
Button finds himself in a very different position to last year, when he won six of the first seven races with Brawn and clung on to take the championship.
Last season he would not have been able to fight back had anyone been able to overtake him in the standings but this year is very different.
"I`ve a very competitive car and the next race will be more tricky for us, but still I`m behind a bit, attacking and it`s exciting," said Button.
"I`m not going to sit back and hope for a good result or try and be consistent. I did that over the second half of last year and mentally it`s very tough.”
"But when you`re behind and you`re chasing and you have a good car, you can be more aggressive, and for me every race I go into I have to be aggressive. I can`t sit back and hope to get good points."
While Hamilton left Monza kicking himself at his mistake, his relaxed team mate could only sympathise while enjoying his own good fortune.
"I don`t feel like I`m under any pressure at all, it`s quite weird," said Button. "I`m just going to every race enjoying it.”
"I still wake at nights when I`m not racing feeling frustrated when I`ve not had a good race. I`m thinking about racing a lot, which is annoying because sometimes you need to get away from it.”
"But I feel a lot more relaxed (than last year)...and if the end result is as good as I hope it is then it will be amazing."