Jenson Button has acknowledged a win from pole in Belgium on Sunday is crucial for his fading world championship hopes.
This season’s first winner, Button’s 2012 campaign then nosedived so badly that he has been fending off questions all week about when he will slip into a ‘number 2’ role to accept team orders and help his teammate Lewis Hamilton. But the 32-year-old has bounced back strongly after the August break, securing a dominant pole at Spa-Francorchamps. He is now focused on cutting into his huge 88 point championship deficit.
Asked how important a win on Sunday is, the Briton answered: “It’s very important. It (the title) is a long shot. I need to be on the podium and finishing in front of Fernando (Alonso) at every race for the rest of the season, which is not easy given his consistency.
“But this (pole) is a good start,” he said in Belgium.
“Yeah, a win is very important tomorrow (Sunday) to fight for the championship,” said Button.
He admitted all the questions in the last few days about ceding to team orders and a ‘number 2’ role to support Hamilton have been “very unusual” so early in the season.
But those stories were fuelled by team boss Martin Whitmarsh suggesting there may eventually be a time for team orders, to which Button told F1’s official website on Saturday: “Well, I have never had a teammate that helped me.” He also told reporters on Saturday that rumours and stories like that are “Part of formula one and I’ve experienced it before”.
“The important thing is that within the team we’ve got a very good relationship and we’re working together to build the best car we possibly can and on the weekends trying to extract everything from it.”