Jenson Button has travelled to Japan as the only driver apart from Sebastian Vettel still mathematically able to clinch the 2011 title.
But the Briton, who wears Japanese characters on his helmet and whose girlfriend is the model Jessica Michibata, told Die Welt newspaper that he knows German Vettel is the sure winner.
“There is no need to build sandcastles in the sky and kid ourselves,” said Button. “It’s really been clear for quite some time that Sebastian has earned the title. He’s been so strong all season.”
Even if Vettel cannot secure the tenth place he needs for the championship at Suzuka, McLaren’s Button would have to win in order to stay in the fight for Korea.
“On paper, I think it (Suzuka) will suit the Red Bulls, particularly in the high speed sweeps,” 31-year-old Button admitted, “but we showed at Spa that we also have a car that’s very effective in high speed corners.”