Jenson Button keen to prove he's back on form in British Grand Prix
|Friday, June 29th 2012, 12:33 GMT|
Jenson Button is optimistic that he can prove he is fully back on form in next weekend's British Grand Prix, as he reckons circumstances in Valencia masked his progress.
The McLaren driver has struggled for pace since April's Chinese GP, but felt he made a breakthrough in Spain last weekend, although a tyre issue in qualifying and the way the race and strategies unfolded left him a low-key eighth at the finish.
"We've been making progress in a lot of areas and while I wasn't able to show that in terms of the result at Valencia - mainly because I got boxed in at the start, then wasn't very lucky with the safety car – our strategy was fine and the car improved throughout the race," said Button.
The 13-time grand prix winner and 2009 world champion has never finished on the podium in his home race, but said that did not diminish his excitement about racing at Silverstone.
"I always enjoy racing at home because the atmosphere is unbeatable, and while the race itself hasn't always been too kind to me, I come here every year knowing I can count on the support of the many thousands of fans," Button said.
Although Button is upbeat about his British GP chances, McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh was unwilling to make a firm prediction about Silverstone form given this season's fluctuations so far.
"We have to keep an open mind from the minute we arrive to the moment the chequered flag is unfurled," said Whitmarsh.
"The team that best manages the performance delta of the tyres is the one best placed to win, and to do that you have to take every opportunity to gather data and learn from it quickly and effectively. Today, grands prix are no longer sprint races that are won or lost on the first lap.
"While that means hard work for us and for our rivals, it is excellent news for the fans in the grandstands and for those watching at home. It means excitement from beginning to end, and that is what Formula 1 must continue to offer."