Jenson Button refuses to give up on Formula 1 world title hopes
Jenson Button believes he proved he is far from willing to play the role of Lewis Hamilton’s sidekick just yet and that his own Formula One world title ambitions are very much alive.
In the build up to last Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix, Button found himself being asked as to whether he would support McLaren team-mate Hamilton in his fellow Briton’s quest for the crown.
The evidence was that in trailing championship leader Fernando Alonso by 88 points and Hamilton by 41, his hopes of glory were all but over.
Needless to say, Frome-born Button was outright dismissive of the prospect when quizzed about it, and as if to underline his point went on to enjoy without doubt his best weekend for McLaren.
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Dominant in qualifying, the 32-year-old comfortably claimed his maiden pole in 50 races for the Woking-based team, following up with a pole-to-flag victory at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
With Alonso and Hamilton amongst four casualties of a pile-up at the first corner La Source hairpin, Button slashed the gap to the duo to 63 and 16 points respectively.
“It was a long summer break, and once the Olympics were over I don’t think there was a lot to talk about, so you get asked tricky questions you wouldn’t normally at that point in the season,” said Button. “It was a little strange, but I took it with a pinch of salt. I’m here to race and do the best job I can, and as with every driver, I’m competitive.
“If the car is working for you, you give it your all and you try and take as many points out of a weekend as you can, and it’s exactly what I did.
“I think it’s the case I’ve now scored more points than anyone in the last three races.
“Yeah, I’m still a hell of a long way behind, but it proves what you can still do from that far back.
“The car is working, both on the higher and lower downforce wings, and with my second place three races ago, Lewis’ win (in Hungary) and my win in Belgium, it proves the McLaren is looking good at the moment.
“There has been a period in the year when we’ve been poor, with the car not performing as we would like, and also us not having great races.
“But there’s still a lot that can happen. It’s just over 60 points, and as I’ve said it’s not easy, but I’m going to give it a go.”