Formula One world championship leader Jenson Button has put his tyres nightmares behind him and is confident he will bounce back to form with a strong performance in this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
After two difficult races in Britain and Germany, where cool conditions stopped him getting heat into his tyres, the Brawn GP drivers believes the hotter weather in Hungary, plus upgrades for his car, will see him back on the podium at the circuit where he picked up his maiden win in 2006.
While Button and his Brawn team-mate, Brazilian veteran Rubens Barrichello, have battled to generate any heat in their tyres at the last two colder races, their two main rivals have enjoyed their superiority.
The Red Bull duo of Australian Mark Webber and German Sebastian Vettel, delivered two successive one-two triumphs at Silverstone and the Nurburgring to underline their bid for world title glory.
But Button, who has been training hard at his home in Monaco, is still 21 points ahead.
He said: “I know that the guys at the factory and at Mercedes-Benz have been working really hard on our latest upgrade package and I just can’t wait to get back in the car.
“We need to make another step and to show our performance is still there. Red Bull have stepped up their game and it is up to us to respond now, and I am certain we will.
“The Hungaroring is one of my favourite races and I feel good about it even more so this year as it should finally see a return to some real summer temperatures. I’ve been at home in Monaco for the past week concentrating on my training because I know how physical it can be there with the heat.”
Button won six of the opening seven races this year before the Red Bull revival in colder climates and after the German race, he said: “This is hurting now. If Vettel had won here that would have been a disaster for me.”
His team boss Ross Brawn said: “I know we face another fierce battle, but we have significant upgrades on the car for Budapest and they will give us performance gains.
“The last two races at Silverstone and at the Nuerburgring were frustrating for the team. We could not achieve the full potential of our car at the same time as our competitors have taken a good step forward.
“However, the problems we faced were unique to the circumstances of those races and we are confident that the inherent performance of our car has not disappeared. Now we have to focus again.”
Alex Kapadia, Operations Team