Button not giving up on title
McLaren driver still aiming high despite Monza retirement
Last Updated: 11/09/12 11:15am
Despite his Monza disappointment, Jenson Button has vowed not to give up fighting for this year's World Championship in a car he now believes is the class of the field.
Button now trails title leader Fernando Alonso by 78 points with his title ambitions hanging by a thread following his retirement from second place at Sunday's Italian GP. But the Englishman, who won at Spa the week before, remains in buoyant mood - and determined to fight for every point as the campaign enters its final stage.
Seven races remain in the 2012 season, with a potential 175 points available, and Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh has confirmed both drivers will allowed to race each other for at least the next few events.
"We've had a great stretch and we've been the only team that has had a stretch like that," said Button. "It's great for the team and I'm very happy to be a part of that.
"Every time I jump into the car I know we have a chance of winning the race, and for a racing driver that's such a good position to be in. That's the position we'd all love to be in, so yes, it is good and I look forward to Singapore and having the chance of fighting for that victory again.
"If we'd had a second at Monza, or fought for the win, it would have been great for the championship. It wasn't the case. It's one of those things, and you don't get too down about it.
"The pace was there, we proved the car is very competitive, so you pick yourself up and move on."
The British driver admits that his Monza retirement makes a title challenge difficult as, coupled with Alonso's podium, it effectively negated any boost his hopes received in Belgium.
"It's obviously even more difficult for the title now, but it doesn't change my view on the season" said Button.
"Every race I go in for I want to win because the buzz when you do win, that adrenalin, sometimes is better than winning a world championship.
"There are positives to a grand prix you don't have winning over a 20-race period, and I want that feeling back."
Whitmarsh added that whilst Button may be asked to support Hamilton before the end of the season, it would not be for the foreseeable future.
"It will be quite a few races before we make that decision," he added.
"There may well come a point (when we use team orders), but there are still many races left and many points on offer - things can change quickly.
"With the performance we were showing going into the break, we should be focused on winning more races and contesting for the Championship. It's wide open and we're in contention.
"McLaren prides itself on going into each Championship giving both drivers equal opportunity to win races and fight for the Championship.
"We therefore have to be measured in terms of when we talk to those drivers about putting their support behind the other.
"The good news for fans and for both drivers is that I can assure you both drivers will be going into the Belgian Grand Prix trying to win the race and as a team, we will do our best to allow them to do so."