The Formula One title remains a long shot for McLarens Jenson Button but he is determined to give it his best shot after his pole-to-flag Belgian Grand Prix victory on Sunday.
The 2009 world champion,with Brawn GP,had made clear all week that he would not be giving up his championship hopes until forced to and winning at the classic Spa circuit only made the Briton even more up for the fight.
He is still 63 points behind Ferraris Fernando Alonso with eight races remaining,but this season has been nothing if not unpredictable. McLaren have won the last two races and if a car goes well at high speed Spa,it should be equally competitive at Monza the fastest track of all that hosts the Italian GP next weekend.
Theres still a lot that can happen,its just over 60 points. Its not easy but Im going to give it a go, he said after a weekend that saw Alonso fail to score for the first time in more than a year after being caught in a pile-up at the start.
Team principal Martin Whitmarsh saw no reason why Button should not be a contender. People quickly got on the case of loss of form,and he said himself he was frustrated when it didnt go well, he told reporters.
But after a performance like that he has to believe hes capable of going out there now and doing well. Weve clearly got a quick car…and on very different circuits,which will be reassuring for him and the confidence he can get the job done.
Button ended last season strongly and,with two podium finishes in three races,Whitmarsh sensed he could be on a similar roll now.
Monza,the temple of Italian motorsport and Ferraris backyard,might be the next target on his list but it is not the place where he most yearns to win. That is Silverstone and he will have to wait until 2013 for a shot at that.
The only one thats missing is my home grand prix which I havent been on the podium at, he smiled.
car data is secret
Meanwhile,Button has criticised team mate Lewis Hamilton for revealing confidential car data on Twitter before Sundays Belgian Grand Prix.
We work so hard to improve the car and keep things like that secret and private. I didnt want to see it on Twitter, said Button,whose relationship with Hamilton has hitherto been unusually harmonious for title rivals. It was the whole telemetry from qualifying. It wasnt just the rear wing. I was very surprised and disappointed, said the 2009 world champion,who added that the matter was also now behind him.