SINGAPORE // The Formula One championship leader Jenson Button will go all out to win Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix rather than drive cautiously to protect his lead over Brawn teammate Rubens Barrichello. The Briton holds a 14-point advantage with four races left but does not want to fall into the trap that snared compatriot Lewis Hamilton two years ago when the McLaren man let slip a sizeable lead in the closing races to miss out on the title.
"I am in a great position and very privileged to be leading the championship but it's also a very tricky situation," the 29-year-old said. "As a driver your instinct is to win, to challenge for victory. You also have to think 'All I have to do is finish just behind my teammate in every race and the title is mine by six or eight points'. "It is a difficult one but as soon as you start backing off and taking it a bit easier it is asking for trouble. That's when accidents can happen."
Button alluded to his two worst performances of the season to highlight his point that being too conservative presented its own problems. "At (the Belgian Grand Prix in) Spa, I started at the back of the field and had an accident and my race was over. In Valencia, I also had a bad race because I was stuck behind a Red Bull. "You have to go all out and you have to be aggressive. Yes, it's always in the back of your mind that you have to finish the race and be consistent. So nothing really changes in that regard."
Button began the season with six wins in his opening seven races before suffering a midseason slump that allowed his rivals to turn what looked like being a formality into a contest. Barrichello has emerged from the pack as his main contender with two wins in the last three races but Button was buoyed by a solid second place finish behind the Brazilian at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza. "After my last victory in Turkey (in early June) we struggled with the car a bit. The balance was bad and we couldn't get the tyres to work properly. It was a frustrating period," Button added.
"We knew we had a good car but couldn't get the best out of it. I knew I had to stay cool and we would eventually get back on track. "In Monza, I didn't put a foot wrong. Rubens did a great job to win the race but I was close behind him so for me, that was a fantastic result. "Back on the podium with eight points to move further clear of the Red Bulls and now my only real competitor is my teammate." * Reuters