Button not always Mr Cool
British driver concedes he is still trying to discover who he is
Last Updated: 12/04/12 6:04am
Button: Says he's not as relaxed as people think
McLaren driver Jenson Button concedes that he does not always fall in line with the Mr Cool imagine he portrays in the public eye.
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Button concedes the stress can get the better of him at times, even when things are going well, commenting the lows make him appreciate the highs even more.
The 32-year-old now comes across as a model of professionalism and diplomacy, someone who knows how to race hard on track, but is a relaxed character off it.
"I definitely have days when I'm an arse, a side of my character I don't show to you guys (the media)."
Jenson Button Quotes of the week
Button, however, admits that is occasionally not the case as he is still trying to discover exactly who he is.
"We all have days when we're stressed, even when times are good. That's about being a human being, I guess," said Button.
"But I definitely have days when I'm an a**e, a side of my character I don't show to you guys (the media).
"I keep that under wraps because I am quite a private person when it comes to my personal life.
"But I'm not as relaxed as people may think. Maybe it's just the perception from the outside.
"But there are two types of people in every sport - one who is running towards something and one who is running away from something, and I still don't know which one I am.
"I know I love what I do, and I hate the days when I don't do very well, but I love the days when things go well.
"I just couldn't go through life with nothing. I need the highs and lows - and I hate the lows - but the highs make them worthwhile.
"Even when you get the lows you have to stay strong and try and be as positive as you can."
That is why Button surrounds himself with people who can pick him up when times are tough, but also bring him back down to earth on occasions when he is appearing big headed.
Aside from 'Team Button' that includes dad John, manager Richard Goddard, girlfriend Jessica Michibata and trainer Mikey Collier, there are also his closest friends, Richie Williams and Chrissy Buncombe.
"If I do step out of line, which I'm sure I do now and again, maybe I get a bit too big for my boots sometimes, then I'll be pulled back in again," added McLaren star Button.
"My girlfriend will say something, maybe Mikey, or my manager will definitely say something. He's very outspoken.
"Even two of my friends who come to a lot of races, straight away will say if something is wrong.
"I remember taking pole in Montreal (Canadian Grand Prix) in 2005, but I crashed when I was third.
"When I went back to the paddock one of my friends, Richie, was there having a beer, which really annoyed me.
"I said to him 'You're never coming again. Did you not see what happened?', to which he replied 'Well, it's not my fault you were crap'.
"This was straight after the race, and he was right, so having people putting you in your place and who are not afraid to say what they think is really important.
"So we're all on the same level, we speak to each other in the same way and take the mickey out of each other.
"When things are good they'll tell me things are great, but when things are bad, they'll obviously console me, but they still let me know I could have done a better job."
Which would have been the case 17 days ago in Malaysia when, just a week after his finely-crafted season-opening win in Australia, Button made an error that cost him a top-10 finish.
Button apologised to his team after a race in which he finished 14th, primarily due to sliding into HRT's Narain Karthikeyan at one point, damaging his front wing.
A philosophical Button described the race as "a bad day in the office", one he hopes to address this weekend in China where he won in 2010.
"What happened makes you a little keener to get back in the cockpit as you're always a bit more determined to be looking ahead rather than looking back," said Button.
"I've usually gone well in Shanghai. It's a circuit I really enjoy and I'm looking forward to the weekend."