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F1 NEWS 

Button plays down Monza breakthrough

Jenson ButtonJenson Button insists it is too early to suggest that his world championship campaign is back on course, despite his encouraging performance at Monza so far.

The points leader - who has not won since Istanbul in June - has qualified sixth in Italy on a one stop fuel load, with three of the cars ahead of him planning to pit twice. Although Button is one place behind his closest title rival, team-mate Rubens Barrichello, he is two rows clear of the championship chasing Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.

But Button said he was not taking anything for granted until the race was done.

"Well qualifying went well - that is all I can say really," he said. "Today I have been happy with the car and qualifying on low fuel the times were good.

"Qualifying with a heavy fuel load, the car was working well also. It was a positive day - up in P6, with the Red Bulls behind and Rubens alongside me, so it should be a fun race."

He said the team had altered its methods slightly for Monza, but that the change in form was mainly because he was enjoying better fortune.

"The car is working here and we've got a different set-up to normal," Button explained. "We've gone through the weekend a little bit different with the fuel loads, and also with set-up, and I am happy with the way the car is.

"I was happy in Valencia, with the car very happy, and most of the weekend in Spa, but it just didn't go the right way in qualifying.

"You don't want to change too much. I've had an unlucky period, and hopefully that is going to change, qualifying has gone well and the big day is Sunday so let's not get too excited."

The Briton also emphasised that Red Bull would still be a title threat even if he beat Webber and Vettel today.

"I have a 20 point lead and there are 50 points still to play for," he said. "It is still very easy for them to challenge us."

Barrichello, who narrowed Button's lead to 16 points by beating him in Valencia and Belgium, said he was focusing on winning the race and not paying too much attention to his team-mate's resurgence.

"He has done very well this weekend," Barrichello acknowledged. "Last few weeks it has been a bit up and down, but this weekend he has done really well.

"I am just doing what I wanted to do, I am forgetting about anything, I need to win and that is what is counting."

He backed the team's strategy of deliberately running heavy fuel in qualifying and allowing the KERS cars to start in front.

"We had a great car to put on pole position today, but if you have a pole position and then you are fifth on the first corner that is better to have a different strategy, so I am cool feet on the ground and working as hard as I can to see what I can do again," said Barrichello.

Daytona Competition
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