Singapore to show where title heading, says Button
Singapore: Next week`s Singapore Grand Prix will show where the Formula One title is heading and whether McLaren can match Red Bull and Ferrari in the final races, according to world champion Jenson Button.
"I think it`ll give us a clearer idea of the destiny of the world championship," the Briton, one of five drivers fighting for the title in a cliffhanger season, said in a McLaren team preview.
"The last time we were at a low-speed, high-downforce track was in Hungary back at the start of August," he added.
"Our car wasn`t particularly competitive there and maybe we haven`t had a properly representative view of the top teams` relative pace because we`ve just visited two high-speed circuits."
Red Bull were dominant in Hungary but had a harder time in Belgium and at high-speed Monza last weekend, with neither of their drivers on the Italian podium in a race won by Ferrari`s Fernando Alonso.
Despite that, Red Bull`s Australian Mark Webber took the championship lead from McLaren`s Lewis Hamilton, who retired on the opening lap at Monza.
Hamilton won in Singapore last year.
"I`ve already drawn a line under Monza. I`ve learnt from the experience and, while it was extremely disappointing, those things are sometimes what you need to sharpen your mind and raise your game and motivation at an extremely crucial time in the season," said the 2008 champion.
McLaren have been working hard to improve their car and will be bringing new developments that should make it more competitive on slower circuits. There are four more races after Singapore - Japan, South Korea, Brazil and Abu Dhabi.
At the same time the governing International Automobile Federation has tightened the rules to prevent the flexing front wings that were thought to be giving Red Bull an advantage.
"A lot has changed since that race in Budapest," said Button.
"Not least, some quite hefty revisions to the rulebook regarding bodywork flexibility and, additionally, a lot of work by the engineers... to ensure our car is now better suited to slower circuits.
"Singapore will be interesting for all of us -- we`ll not only get an idea of the speed of the Ferrari and Red Bull, but we`ll get to see for the first time whether all our efforts over the past two months have helped put us back in the ballpark at high-downforce tracks."