Hiroshima holiday revives Button ahead of Korea

Korea : Fresh air and exercise on a Japanese island hideaway has put Formula One champion Jenson Button in the right frame of mind to revive his flagging title defence.

The McLaren driver, 31 points behind Red Bull`s Mark Webber with three races remaining, desperately needs to claw points back in South Korea this weekend to remain in the hunt.

Button left the Japanese Grand Prix on Oct. 10 with many writing off his chances and his frustration evident for all to see after a fourth place finish at Suzuka.

He returned to the paddock at Yeongam, for a race that had looked in danger of being cancelled only weeks ago as organisers raced against time to complete the circuit, in a far more positive mood.

The Briton, who finished fifth in both of Friday`s practice sessions, told Reuters he had recharged his batteries by taking a break with lingerie model girlfriend Jessica Michibata on one of the many islands around Hiroshima.

"We did a lot of cycling, running, swimming, basically for training and to see the little villages there," he said.

"It is beautiful, a great experience. I don`t think they had seen so many westerners there, but it was good to experience proper Japan.

"It was the best place to be. I went cycling as well with the missus (Michibata), which was nice. It was so nice to get away, to breathe fresh air, and to really enjoy the pain of being on the bike."

Button, who finished behind a Red Bull one-two and Ferrari`s Fernando Alonso in Japan, recognised he had been angry after Suzuka but said he had come to terms with that.

"I was frustrated because I thought we should have done better in the race," he explained.

"But when you look back at it, at the facts, we were never really going to do better because we just weren`t quick enough.

"I was pretty frustrated after the race, but I`m excited about this one. We all like learning new circuits, new challenges."

McLaren have brought more developments to their car, which appeared to be paying off on Friday.

"I`m enjoying the circuit. I felt we got to grips with it pretty quickly," Button, sounding happy enough despite his car overheating in second practice, told reporters later on Friday.

"It was pretty tricky initially because of the low grip, but there was a lot of rubber going down and we gained three seconds in each session, which is massive, and I don`t think it`s going to stop.

"For me, we`re more competitive here than in the last two races. It is only Friday, but the feeling is good," the 30-year-old added.

"The first couple of rows (on the starting grid) would be good, but I`d love to get pole here and then disappear into the distance. That`s the aim."

Bureau Report