x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Button puts brains over Brawn

The English driver refuses to apologise for putting so much daylight between himself and the rest of the pack.

Jenson Button of Great Britain and Brawn GP prepares to drive during practice for the Turkish Formula One Grand Prix at Istanbul Park.
Jenson Button of Great Britain and Brawn GP prepares to drive during practice for the Turkish Formula One Grand Prix at Istanbul Park.

ISTANBUL // It may seem unfair to criticise Jenson Button for being a winner at long last. But that seems to be the case as this season's Formula One world championship has turned into a stroll for the Briton. Five wins from six races have left many of his rivals fearing the title race is over, and, with seemingly little competition for Brawn GP, their dominance has made the sport boring. Button is 16 points clear of his teammate Rubens Barrichello as they go into this weekend's Turkish Grand Prix, with Sebastian Vettell, representing Red Bull, 28 points further behind. But the Englishman said: "We are all here do the best job we can, and you have to say as a team we've done a better job than any other, and that's a fact. We are all here to win. I'm sorry if it gets boring if we win so many times, but it's the way it is. "I want it to be as boring as possible, in fact, but it hasn't been like that. If you look at the other races, there has always been a team as quick as us, it's just that we've done a better job over the race weekend." And Barrichello, 37, is determined to ensure the title race goes on as long as possible, fulfilling his own dream of winning the big prize. The Brazilian, who has not won a GP since 2004, has finished second three times in this campaign and said: "I should have won a race by now, but, after so many years, the shoulds and the ifs don't exist any more. "It's down to what you wake up in the morning and dream of. I dream of being champion. People might say he's crazy because his teammate has won five races already. "I'm lucky that the championship is not decide by the wins, because otherwise I would definitely say he had won the championship already. "The thing that makes me enthusiastic about it is that, if you take Jenson's five wins and all that hype and momentum, I'm still only 16 points behind. "There are still plenty of races, 11 to go. Four months ago I was dreaming at home that I could have a car. Now I do and now I am dreaming of becoming world champion." The fear for the Brawn duo in Sunday's race will be Felipe Massa, who has won in Istanbul for the past three seasons. The Ferrari driver admits it would be "very special" to make it four and Barrichello admits Massa will be one to watch. "Ferrari has been on an up and it will be the team to beat here because they won the last few years," he added. "Massa is going to be a huge factor here, but all in all, I still believe that we have a good car around here." akhan@thenational.ae