Formula 1 News

Stylish Button hails McLaren title assault

Jenson and Lewis from McLaren are, respectively, 100 and 88 points behind Vettel for the Championship crown.
Saturday, August 6, 2011

LONDON, Aug 2011 (AFP) - Fresh from winning last Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix in typically stylish fashion, Jenson Button was this week named as one of the top ten best-dressed men in the United Kingdom.

In an annual list of their award-winners, the London magazine GQ acclaimed the 31-year-old Englishman not only for his sartorial elegance, but also for his willingness to express himself.

In Formula One parlance, this is often expressed as 'going beyond the limits' or 'pushing the envelope'. In everyday speak, it simply means doing your absolute best.

"Like GQ itself, this list is all about expressing the best a man can be, rather than sticking to a strict party line," declared the blurb with the photographs - and never has a greater truth been written about Button.

His second win of the season helped to demonstrate, again, that when it comes to racing in the most challenging, mixed conditions, he is the man to find not just a winning strategy, but the controlled verve to deliver a victory.

No wonder, then, that his McLaren team-mate and compatriot Lewis Hamilton was full of admiration and praise. And no wonder also that team chief Martin Whitmarsh is willing to let his two former champions race wheel-to-wheel without interference or team orders.

And no wonder, too, that Button chose to mark his resurgence by making clear that despite his 100 points deficit he intends to fight to the last lap of the final race to snatch the drivers' world title out of Sebastian Vettel's grasp.

"I'm 100 points behind Sebastian, so that's going to be challenging, but we like a challenge," said a dryly-humorous Button.
"I never give up, so let's see what happens. I'll take each race as it comes and then look at the points at the end of the year.." 

He knows the 24-year-old German will defend his title with as much intensity as he intends to use in taking it from him, but believes that McLaren's recent progress has proved they are emerging as the form team to beat.

Indeed, as he and Hamilton, and the rest, head off for their summer holidays before the Belgian Grand Prix at the end of the month, he cited their back to back wins in Germany and then Hungary, one apiece, as evidence of resurgent speed.

"Our race pace was very strong, but I don't think there was much between us, Ferrari and Red Bull.

"We've won three of the last five races and each of our major rivals has won just one apiece during that time, so we're doing something right. To win, as we did, with Lewis in Germany and then me in Hungary proves that McLaren is pushing, developing and challenging the cars around us with genuine pace in the car."

Hamilton, who has bounced back to his dazzling best in the last month, agreed this week with Button's assessment and added that he, too, believes he can carry on winning and dent the confidence of Vettel and Red Bull - a team that has lost its early-season aura of invincibility.

Hamilton said: "There are 200 points up for grabs now and I enter all of the races believing I can win them. We're about to visit some really special venues -- places like Spa-Francorchamps, Monza, Suzuka and Interlagos are some of the greatest tracks in the sport.

"When you go there, you can really feel their soul and their history. And we're going to these tracks with three teams battling with similar pace at the top - ourselves, Ferrari and Red Bull -- so it's going to be a competitive and dramatic run down to Brazil and the end of the season."

Despite his engagement to the former lead singer of the Pussycat Dolls pop group, Nicole Scherzinger, Hamilton did not make a big hit in the fashion stakes this year when the awards were announced.

But he will be happy to be upstaged by Button 'on the catwalk' if it means he can beat him on the track, and in the process overhaul Vettel. After 10 of this year's 19 races, there is a long way to go - and anything can happen.

Button and Hamilton racing at Hungaroring.

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