Button: I took a wrong turn
McLaren driver admits he was lost on car setup during first part of season
By William Esler. Last Updated: August 22, 2012 12:19pm
Jenson Button admits he went in the wrong direction on set-up between the Chinese and German Grand Prix, but the McLaren driver is now confident he is back on the right path.
Throughout the intervening six races, the former World Champion scored just seven points, falling out of the battle for the 2012 Drivers' Championship.
However, a second place in Germany after miserable home Grand Prix, where he qualified 16th and finished 10th, showed Button has not lost any of his raw pace.
"At one part of the season I went in a certain direction because I was struggling to get tyre temperature and that is my weakness," Button told Sky Sports.
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"So I tried a few things with the car and it was the wrong direction. That was sort of the Canada time. But we have come back from that. In the last couple of races I have been a lot happier - I think the general car is good, the updates we have put on it for the last two races have been great and I think we have done really well at getting everything together.
"Pit-stops have been great and I'm working well with my engineers.
"The guys are in the factory now working hard on making improvements for Spa and I'm really excited. Our car is working well at the moment, obviously I got a second in Hockenheim, Lewis won in Hungary and I think if we get it all together we can fight for a victory in Spa.
"We love Spa. It's a historic race and a lot of Brit's go over as well so there is a good atmosphere. So we hope to have a great race there."
The McLaren driver sits 88 points behind Fernando Alonso in the standings, and admits all he can do is win races and hope the deficit decreases.
"I'm so far behind Fernando, it doesn't really matter what he does," Jenson added.
"I've just got to keep my head down and keep fighting for wins. It is difficult from where I am in the Championship, but, I go to every race thinking I can win."
Button added that Alonso was in a near-identical situation to the one he himself experienced during his title-winning year of 2009. Then driving for Brawn, Jenson headed into the second half of the season without the quickest car and had to manage his points lead through to the season finale.
"They are in a similar position to what we were," the 32-year-old said.
"The last couple of races they have done well to score the points, but, I don't think they really had the speed. I think they are going to manage it well, they are a great team, Fernando is a very intelligent driver, but, it is tough when you see other teams consistently winning races and I think that might happen."