By Jonathan Noble
World championship leader Jenson Button has vowed to push talk about a new Brawn deal for 2010 to the back of his mind - saying his only focus at the moment is keeping his title charge on course.
As AUTOSPORT reported last week, Brawn is ready to rewrite the terms of Button's multi-year contract to give the Briton the kind of money deal that will deter him from being tempted by big cash offers from rival outfits.
But despite his bosses' pledge, Button says any talk about money or new contractual terms will be ignored for now – because he does not want to get distracted from his on-track efforts.
"It's not something that I'm going to talk to the team about until much later in the season," said Button in Turkey on Thursday. "A lot, lot later in the season. Because I'm having a great time, but I know that it could end very quickly if you take your eye off the ball. So that's not what I'm going to do."
Button says he has not talked to bosses Ross Brawn or Nick Fry about his contractual position, having originally signed a cut-price deal, and has no interest in bringing up the subject yet.
"I haven't spoken to anyone about it," he said. "I've read the articles and that's about it. Even after reading the articles I haven't spoken to the team about it because I'm not interested. I'm here to race and I don't want to talk about money.
"I don't want to talk about anything else. It's irrelevant at the moment. I've got to concentrate on this weekend, and that's what I've got to do at every race we go to. I'm not thinking about money at all. I was with this team and continued with this team because I thought the car would be competitive, that's all."
And he says he is unmoved by reports that rival teams are forming a queue to try and lure him away from Brawn for next year.
"It obviously looks good when you read it, but I have no interest in discussing anything with anyone at the moment," he said. "I'm very happy, I'm doing what I'm here to do, and that's winning races and leading the championship. I'm not thinking about next year yet."
Although Button has won five of the first six races of the season to emerge as clear favourite for the championship, he thinks that things will be much tougher for his Brawn team in Turkey this weekend.
"I think that the Red Bulls should work quite well here. The car that they had in Barcelona, if they brought that here they would be competitive. We'll have to see if their diffuser makes a difference on this circuit. But they're expected to be competitive and I think they will be.
"If you look at the times in the races previous to Monaco, they were very competitive. You could say that they have been as quick as us; they just haven't got it together over the race weekends. You can't blame KERS cars, I think strategy is important, and a few other things. They haven't had race wins, but I think they're quick enough to fight with us for sure.
"The Ferraris will be quick here too. I think they've made up ground at every race and they performed very well, especially in Monaco. You can say it's a different type of circuit, but there's a lot of slow speed here and they've got KERS for the drag up the hill, which should help them quite a bit. So those two teams will be strong.
"McLaren I think will be quick for most of the circuit but I think they'll struggle so much with Turn 8 that maybe they won't be there over a lap time. And Toyota maybe will be competitive because they've reverted to a previous aero package and they'll be quite good at a circuit like this."
Button also thinks talk about an early end to this year's championship is premature – especially because teammate Rubens Barrichello is only 16 points behind him so far.
"I can't see it happening with the way the system is," he said. "We've had six races and I've only got a 16-point lead. It's not a lot. If nothing changed now it would only be two races before the end of the season when I would have won it, and there's so much that's going to happen before then.
"It's definitely not going to be a walk in the park. You can see that by the competitiveness of the other teams. If you look through all the data after the races, their lap times are the same as ours, we've just done the better job on the weekend. But they will get it right, for sure. But hopefully not too often."