Button: Pressure will test Webber

Jenson Button believes the extra pressure that Mark Webber faces as world championship leader could play a key role in helping the Australian's more experienced rivals triumph at the end of the season

Button: Pressure will test Webber

Although Webber holds the current advantage with an 11-points lead in the title standings over Fernando Alonso, Button believes the Australian will not find it easy coping with the extra strain of being the man everyone wants to hunt down.

Button knows only too well about the stresses of defending a title lead - having admitted that it got to him during the closing stages of last year's successful campaign.

"There are a lot of very talented drivers in F1 and when you feel you are under pressure you can make mistakes, so it could possibly make a difference," said Button at Suzuka.

"We all say that Lewis [Hamilton], Fernando [Alonso] and myself, we have all won a championship, so maybe that is less pressure - I don't really know. But I feel a lot more relaxed this year than I did last year.

"Mark has found himself in a position where he is leading the world championship and has worked very hard for that, but it is a very stressful position to be in. And no disrespect to Mark, he is a very talented driver, but it is a position he has never found himself in before.

"We will see how he copes over the next few races. He has a very quick team-mate as well, and is trying to claw points back on him. So there will be a lot of action over the next few races. It is about keeping your car clean with no tyre marks on it, but also pushing it to the limit and getting the most points you can. It is a tricky compromise but that is what makes it fun."

Although Webber's Red Bull Racing team is favourite for victory in Japan this weekend, Button is confident that McLaren will be in better shape than it was in Singapore a fortnight ago.

"We come here knowing that the Red Bulls are quick on this type of circuit, and Ferrari has improved a lot on low speed and high speed circuits," he said. "In the last two races they have been very strong, but we come here with some upgrades and upgrades that should work very well around here.

"I've driven the car in the simulator as we do after every race and, forgetting the upgrades, I personally feel that I have improved the car from Singapore. I felt we were lacking in some areas and have changed the set-up quite a bit to help that. Putting upgrades on the car we've made a step forward as well.

"I don't know if Ferrari or RBR have big upgrades, but we definitely have an upgrade that will make a difference - you will definitely notice a difference."

shares
comments
Sponsors win Force India appeal

Previous article

Sponsors win Force India appeal

Next article

New bid to revive South African GP

New bid to revive South African GP
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button
Author Jonathan Noble
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Plus

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Plus

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warmup. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory Plus

How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The ‘big fish’ mentality that kept an Australian legend winning Plus

The ‘big fish’ mentality that kept an Australian legend winning

Frank Gardner was the veteran of just eight grand prix starts. It could have been more, but why waste his talent if the cars weren't up to it? NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls the life of one of racing's great characters

Formula 1
May 2, 2021
Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth Plus

Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth

Jean Todt has signalled that he will not stand for re-election as FIA president. MARK GALLAGHER analyses the strong credentials of one potential successor…

Formula 1
May 1, 2021
The data that leaves both Red Bull and Mercedes uncertain of supremacy at Portimao Plus

The data that leaves both Red Bull and Mercedes uncertain of supremacy at Portimao

Lewis Hamilton topped the crucial FP2 session on Friday as F1 returned to Portugal, but his Mercedes team cannot be sure it has the edge on its Red Bull rivals. As cool temperatures and wind combine with the still-slippery surface to present drivers with quandaries over set-up and tyre warmup, there's still everything to play for come qualifying

Formula 1
Apr 30, 2021
How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion Plus

How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion

As a highly-rated Mercedes junior, George Russell is naturally billed as Lewis Hamilton's heir apparent where Britain's next Formula 1 champion is concerned. But he may face competition for that accolade from Lando Norris, fresh from a confidence-boosting run to third at Imola, whose rise is being accelerated by his McLaren team’s revival

Formula 1
Apr 29, 2021