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Sabtu, 26 September 2009

Button taking it 'race by race'

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Jenson Button is refusing to entertain thoughts of an overdue victory on Sunday just yet despite enjoying a productive night of practice ahead of the Singapore GP.

The Brawn GP driver was second fastest behind team-mate and title rival Rubens Barrichello in the first session on Friday before setting the fifth fastest time in the second under the lights at the Marina Bay street circuit.

Button is without a win since June and has managed just one appearance on the podium since then.

The 29-year-old knows he needs to improve if he is to remain on course for a maiden World Championship title and, though he is confident about his chances this weekend, he will continue to take each race as it comes.

He said: "I don't go to bed thinking 'can I win the Championship?' or 'when am I going to win the Championship?'

"I take it race by race.

"Every race I go to I want to perform as well as I can and I want to win so that is the way I think.

"I am excited about this weekend, it's a circuit I enjoy and already our pace looks good.

"We had a pretty full-on evening with a busy programme of set-up evaluations and tyre testing.

"This venue is a tough one with the heat and humidity to contend with and the nature of the circuit and the closeness of the barriers demand your total concentration.

"The key is achieving consistently quick laps and that's what we've been working on today. The car feels reasonable and with some more work, we should be ready for a good weekend."

Button leads Barrichello by 14 points with four races of the season remaining but the Brazilian has ambitions of his own of winning the Championship.

After topping the timesheets in the first session the 37-year-old dropped to 11th in the second, but he admitted he is feeling confident heading into the weekend.

"The car is feeling pretty good here after the first practice sessions and we're pleased with the work that we achieved," he said.

"We've been focusing on our pace for Sunday and that's the most important consideration as we need the car well balanced to be quick in the race.

"I'm feeling positive and we should be able to achieve the right set-up ready for the weekend."

Sebastian Vettel harbours a slim hope of usurping the two Brawn drivers to win the Championship, with the Red Bull driver third in the standings but 26 points behind Button.

Vettel was fastest in the second session of practice but the German was cautiously optimistic of his chances this weekend.

"It is a challenging track - quite 'stop and go' - you don't experience as much G-force here as other circuits," he said.

"There are a lot of bumps which don't make your life easy but I like the circuit a lot.

"Overall it was a good day for us and we look better than we did in Monza."

Reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton was disappointed with his performance as he finished seventh and ninth in the two sessions.

"I'm still lacking some speed in certain areas, so I need to work on that," he said.

"The sessions were a little up and down for me today - I didn't have any major problems, but I wasn't as fast as I'd hoped to be."

There was some encouragement for Renault, though, as they looked to rebuild following the race-fixing scandal as Fernando Alonso was second fastest in the second session of practice.

However, team-mate Romain Grosjean endured a frustrating evening as he crashed out of the first session - ironically in the same place Nelson Piquet Jr did in the race last year - and could only manage 19th fastest in the second session.

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