Q & A with Jenson Button

Jenson Button is aware that it will not be easy to beat rival Red Bull at the German Grand Prix this weekend

Q & A with Jenson Button

But the Brawn driver believes the updates introduced by his team, as well as the super soft tyres, will help his squad bounce back following the disappointing British Grand Prix.

AUTOSPORT heard Button's views ahead of the race weekend.

Q. The temperatures are lower than expected here...

Jenson Button: It's supposed to be about 20 degrees this weekend, but I don't think it's such an issue here, because we have the super soft tyre, which is good. It's the same tyre we used in Bahrain, Monaco and in China, but we obviously didn't get to use it. The super soft works well for us, and even with these temperatures I think we can get it to work well. Maybe other teams will struggle with it.

I think for everyone the harder tyre will be a struggle. It's going to be a bitch to get working. I think the idea of getting the tyres closer together is a great idea. Because the tyres were so far apart that one of the tyres never worked during the race weekend. It's a difficult situation, not just for us, but for everyone. Hopefully that won't be the case in the next race in Hungary.

Q. So you are not worried about the cooler conditions playing into Sebastian Vettel's hands?

JB: I'd rather it was hotter, but we are going to have to make it work with what we have, but the softer tyre is better for us. With a softer tyre you can get it to work even with low temperatures. It should be okay. We have some improvements in our car as well, which should help us.

I know that Red Bull has too. So it's going to be a difficult weekend for sure. The Red Bull is not just Sebastian and I think Mark is going to be quick here. He has more experience round here than Sebastian does. Sebastian has never raced in an F1 car here.

Q. Is this weekend going to be an indication of where do you go from here?

JB: No, I don't think so. Every race is different and the way the tyres work and the way the weather's been, and the way the weather affects different cars is going to happen in every race that we go to, which makes it exciting but difficult for us working in Formula 1.

Hungary should be a hot race, and that should help us. Here it's colder, but hopefully with the softer tyre it won't be an issue for us. I think all year we are going to turn up at every race not knowing who is going to be on top and who is going to be fighting in front. It's exciting.

Q. Do you feel comfortable with your lead in the championship?

JB: You are never comfortable, unless you have enough points that they can't beat you in the championship. So much can happen and as soon as you have one issue everything else follows. At Silverstone we started sixth on the grid, and was stuck behind Jarno and your race is finished. We just have to make sure we don't make any mistakes in qualifying and in the race, and we have to be as close to the Red Bulls as we possibly can.

If the Red Bull beat us in every race they are going to win the championship easily. We have to fight them, we cannot sit back and relax. It's not comfortable, for sure. I think that's good because of the excitement and the adrenalin. After Silverstone the guys at the factory stepped it up a gear and the parts that were coming in three races' time are now coming in two races. You are never comfortable, but you have to say I'd rather be me in a Brawn than Sebastian or Mark in a Red Bull.

Q. Is Mark the bigger threat this weekend?

JB: I don't know. If you look at the two drivers, Sebastian looks like he can be quicker. At the circuits he has been he's been the quicker driver. But consistency-wise, Webber looks stronger. He's a lot smoother and looks less ragged than Sebastian. It's two different style. I hope they are doing the same as us, which is looking after both drivers in the same way. We are eight race in and we all deserve a fair shot at it.

Mark is just 3.5 points behind Sebastian. They are fighting each other as Rubens as myself. I've obviously have a bigger lead over Rubens, but still not enough, if you know what I mean. We are allowed to race, and we don't know who is going to be on top in this race.

There are four cars that we know are going to be competitive. There's a chance that the Ferraris and the Toyotas are going to be there as well, but if you look at the last couple of races you'd say it was the Red Bulls and the Brawns in front. It's exciting because you never know who is going to be on the front row or who is going to cross the line first.

Q. If you weren't to win this weekend, would you like to see Mark win this race?

JB: He's done a good job this year and he has been very consistent. We know each other quite well from the Benetton days, when he was a test driver. We have spent quite a lot of time together. For me, the person that's further behind me I'd like to win the race. I'd rather Mark wins than Sebastian. If I'm not winning, I want to be as close as I can to the front.

Q. Does that fact that everyone is now talking about Red Bull take pressure off you? Are you more comfortable in this situation?

JB: No, I'd rather be winning. Every race I've been to this year I've been pretty comfortable and pretty confident in myself and the team. It's not going to make any difference. It's nice to have a different topic to talk about, but no, it doesn't change my confidence.

If two cars beat you by over 40 seconds, you wouldn't say you are under less pressure. If anything, you'd be under more pressure. But I'm pretty happy. We have made some good changes to the car coming here, but nobody knows if they are enough or not. We'll have to wait and see.

shares
comments
Button says he can't afford not to push

Previous article

Button says he can't afford not to push

Next article

Grand Prix Gold: Germany 1958

Grand Prix Gold: Germany 1958
Load comments
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Plus

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz Jr. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers Plus

Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory Plus

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021