bd671246cad78210VgnVCM200000e66411acRCRDapproved/thenational/Articles/Migration/2009-Q2It's Button's to throw awayad671246cad78210VgnVCM200000e66411ac____It's Button's to throw awayAfter five wins from six races, Jenson Button is beginning to look more and more like this season's world champion.<p>Jenson Button is beginning to look more and more like this season's world champion.
Five wins from six races with four pole positions for good measure for the Brawn GP driver, a 16-point lead in the standings, and yet to put a wheel wrong on the track.
The Englishman has shown he can win from the front and although from further down the order, and with Brawn's reliability being excellent so far, the prospects of the drivers' championship still being at stake come the final race in Abu Dhabi on Nov 1 do not look good at the moment.
This weekend sees the world championship visit Istanbul for the Turkish Grand Prix.
In the unlikely event that Button and Brawn are getting over confident about their advantage, they only need to look back at the 1994 and 2006 seasons for a reminder that things can change very quickly in Formula One.
In 1994, Michael Schumacher won six of the opening seven races for Benetton, building up a whopping 37 point lead in the process.
Yet due to being disqualified from both the British and Belgian races, as well as banned from two races, he saw his season implode and while he still won the first of his seven world titles, he would only do it by a solitary point from Damon Hill at the final round in Australia.
In 2006, Alonso won six of the first nine races for Renault, opening up a 25 point lead over Schumacher, who was driving for Ferrari.
But unreliability, Ferrari's improved speed and poor strategy saw their advantage wiped out completely by the penultimate round, and although Alonso did go on to take the title it was much tougher than it had looked earlier, with it only secured at the last race of the season in Brazil.
So the history is there for Button to take note, but for him and Brawn to be threatened they are going to need a serious rival to challenge them, and realistically that threat is likely to come from Ferrari and
Since Ferrari had a revamp to their car for last month's Spanish Grand Prix they have been a much more competitive creature, running well in Barcelona, and finishing third and fourth in Monaco, with Kimi Raikkonen missing out on pole position by just 0.025 seconds.
The Italian team will be confident of a strong showing in Istanbul on a track they have won at for the last three years.
Each time it has been Felipe Massa who has triumphed for them and he'll be looking to make it a quadruple at a circuit that he simply flies on.
Istanbul, like Bahrain and Interlagos, is a track that Massa thrives on, and last season's championship challenger, if given a good car, will certainly be a strong contender for victory.
Given that he is 43 points behind Button in the standings, with Raikkonen one point closer, the Ferrari drivers can only aim for race victories realistically, needing Brawn to have an absolute disaster if they are to challenge for the top honours.
It will be interesting to see how Sebastian Vettel bounces back in Turkey after his poor performance in Monaco in his Red Bull-Renault.
The German failed to put a very light car on pole, then crashed out in the race as he desperately tried to make up time after having his opening stint ruined by his super-soft tyres wearing out too quickly.
Vettel is probably Button's biggest threat, outside of his Brawn teammate Rubens Barrichello, but he is already 28 points adrift in the standings.
The Red Bull has been consistently quick at all tracks, and Vettel was a worthy winner in the Shanghai rain in April.
Indeed he was probably quicker than Brawn in both Bahrain and Barcelona, but poor race starts didn't allow him to show his true pace and instead it was Button who took the race wins.
Red Bull clearly noted this by putting Vettel on an aggressive qualifying strategy in Monaco with the plan clearly being for him to lead at the start, only traffic and a mistake on his fastest lap leaving him fourth.
But expect a repeat in Istanbul as Vettel needs to start winning races, starting in Turkey.
One aspect that has made this season particularly interesting is that the teams can't change their car set-ups massively during the season.
Where once you could set-up the car especially for a high downforce track like Monaco and completely differently for a low downforce circuit like Monza in Italy, now it is something you can't do.
The car chassis has to stay largely the same and it means that you get the massive change of fortunes that hit Toyota.
In Bahrain they could, with a better race strategy, have won after Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock had locked out the front row in qualifying.
But in Monaco they struggled massively, unable to gain heat in their tyres, and had the back row of the grid - a massive decline in just four weeks.
Istanbul, with high speed corners and long straights, should suit the Japanese team more, and expect Trulli to be back challenging for a top six spot in qualifying.</p>
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