Belgian GP: Jenson Button plays down world championship prospects after win
|By Jonathan Noble and Andrew van Leeuwen||Sunday, September 2nd 2012, 14:30 GMT|
Jenson Button says he is not thinking about mounting a late challenge for the Formula 1 world championship, despite taking a dominant win at the Belgian Grand Prix.
After qualifying fastest on Saturday, the McLaren driver said a win was crucial if he was to stay in the fight for the title. But having won the race, he admitted that he would not be thinking about bridging the 63-point gap to leader Fernando Alonso in the lead-up to next week's Italian GP.
"This is a great weekend for the team, and for me as well," Button said.
"It is a good 25 points, and if we can keep fighting for victories like this there is still a small chance I can fight for that championship.
"But going to Monza, I don't think about the championship. We go there to do best job we can and bring back home most points we can.
"As I said before the race, it is a massive long shot to win the title, but today proves you can claw back 25 points very, very quickly."
Button also said he was encouraged by just how dominant his Spa win was, particularly as he and McLaren opted for a risky one-stop strategy on a day where there was a big question over tyre degradation.
"We were not sure what to do with strategy, whether it would be one or two, or if some thought it was three [stops]," he said.
"When Nico [Hulkenberg] got into second it did help a little bit. I could feel the car and not push too hard, but at that point I still didn't think it would be one stop.
"And then on lap 12 the tyres started working. The car was really consistent and I could drive and I could control degradation of tyres. [It's a] great feeling to go so much further than everyone except for Sebastian [Vettel]."