Q & A with Jenson Button
|By Jonathan Noble||Thursday, June 18th 2009, 16:48 GMT|
Q. Is there any nervousness about the British Grand Prix and the big one, or are you just enjoying it?
Jenson Button: It is not the big one mate! It is alright actually. Obviously I would like to do really well here, being my home grand prix and being the last year for Silverstone for a few years - I don't know how long, but hopefully for not too long. And I am hoping that there is going to be a big crowd here. It is going to be a fantastic atmosphere.
But the best thing for me to do is to think that whatever happens this weekend I come away from here still leading the championship by 16 points at worst. So, I should enjoy the weekend. I want to do the best job I can but I think I should enjoy the weekend. That is the most important thing.
Q. You say it is not the 'big one' but how much bigger can it get than your home grand prix?
JB: There is one thing that is more important than that – isn't there. This is one of 17, and that is the most important thing for any driver.
Q. But Nigel Mansell said this week that you've won it already...
JB: Excellent! Wicked! Let's all go home now then. Fantastic! Great! I can really relax now and enjoy the weekend.
Q. You looked pretty relaxed with Lewis Hamilton in the official FIA press conference as two Mercedes-Benz powered drivers.
JB: It was great actually. It is a great feeling knowing that we are both driving with the same engine. We were in there – he is the world champion last season and I am leading the world championship this year. I think nothing needs to be said – it shows how good British motorsport looks at the moment.
Q. Could you ever see yourself as team-mates?
JB: I can see anyone as my team-mate, but at the moment I am happy with the competitiveness of my team-mate in Rubens. He is a great team-mate to have because for me he is one of the best in terms of giving feedback and working to improve the car. So he is a great team-mate.
Q. And good that you beat him as well?
JB: Well I have so far, but that is not necessarily going to be the case for the rest of the season. He is very quick around here as well. He is going to be tough to beat around here. He is obviously my main competitor, but there will be others. I have heard that Red Bull have got a big upgrade, I don't know how big but I hope it is not too big. So we will see.
Q. You said earlier that whatever happens you will have a 16-point lead coming out of here. How much are you now thinking about the championship?
JB: I think that is just the best way for me to think coming into this race. I still want to do the best job I can at every race and get as many points as I can at every race, and even to win every race. I am here to do that, and I have got the package to do that. But I am still not thinking long term too much yet. I think coming into this race I am thinking that leaving here I am still leading the championship. That will keep me relaxed and let me enjoy the weekend.
Q. That is a flip of what sportsmen usually say, because they usually say they will take each race as it comes and the bigger thing then takes care of itself. Have you flipped it as a mechanism for dealing with the extra pressure?
JB: It is not the pressure that other people put on me, it is the pressure I put on myself. That is the thing. It doesn't change what people say or do outside of our team. It doesn't make a difference to my performance on this circuit. I am looking forward to it, and I am not going to get too much into thinking about the world championship. I am looking forward to the weekend, and hopefully we can put on a great show.
It is the last race here for a while, and it will be great if we can have a good show here. It is just going to be amazing to see so many fans and most of them British here this weekend. It will hopefully be a great atmosphere, and that is something that maybe we have missed at a couple of races this year. So, I think for everyone involved this is going to be a good send off for Silverstone.
Q. You say you have not been thinking about your long term future, but have you been thinking at all about whether you might be racing in F1 next year?
JB: Whatever I say or do here it doesn't make any difference to what happens to my future. The team principals, the team owners are working very hard to find a solution, as is FOTA with the FIA. So I am happy with the work that they are doing. They are working so hard non-stop to try and find a solution and that is hopefully what they will achieve.
I think it is unfair for me to talk about it here after all the work that they are doing – I don't know every single detail. We obviously all want to be racing next year, in the best category with the best drivers and with teams that have got history of F1, and have achieved in F1.
Q. But given that you had such a winter of uncertainty last year, having more uncertainty must be difficult to deal with?
JB: I can't see there not being any racing next year. I can't see that all of these teams that are racing in F1 this year, I can't see us not racing next year. So we are not thinking of that situation.