Fri, Sep 14, 2012 - Page 19 News List

Jenson Button to work up a sweat

Reuters, LONDON

Jenson Button will be getting on his bike and building up a sweat to prepare for Singapore next week after failing to finish on Sunday in an Italian Grand Prix won by McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton.

The 2009 Formula One world champion had thought he was building up momentum after winning from pole position in Belgium and racking up a string of points to put himself back in the fray after a mid-season slump.

Instead, Monza left him with even more of a mountain to climb after a fuel-system problem forced him to retire while running in second place.

Button is to have two days in McLaren’s race simulator at their Woking headquarters and then do some sponsor activity before heading to Singapore tomorrow with his trainer to prepare for the Sept. 23 race.

“We’ll be doing a lot of cycling outside in the humidity to get used to it. Because that’s the big thing about Singapore, it’s humid, it’s hot, it’s sweaty and it’s two hours,” he said.

“It’s the longest race on the calendar [time-wise] so it’s good to get used to that. And I think I’ll have a head start,” Button added.

The Briton, a popular figure in Asia and particularly in Japan, because of his girlfriend Jessica Michibata and his Honda past, is now in sixth place and 78 points behind Ferrari’s championship leader, Fernando Alonso, with seven races remaining after last Sunday’s farewell to Europe.

He is also 41 adrift of Hamilton, who lies second.

If there was no personal positive from Monza, the fact that McLaren have won the last three races from pole position was encouraging, at least.

“Every time that I jump into the car I know that we have a chance of winning the race and for a racing driver that’s such a good position to be in,” Button said. “I look forward to Singapore and having the chance of fighting for that victory.”

The heat and fury of the title campaign may have moved further away from him, but Button indicated his own focus had switched more to individual battles.

“The buzz when you win a Grand Prix, that adrenalin, sometimes it is better than winning a world championship,” he said.”

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