Canadian Grand Prix winner Jenson Button says victory in Montreal proved he is capable of fighting Sebastian Vettel for this year’s world championship, and that he intends to strengthen that push at next weekend’s European Grand Prix.
The 2009 champ made it three podiums in a row with victory in Canada, jumping to second in the standings as a result. He has outscored team-mate Lewis Hamilton 55 to 26 over the last three events, with only Vettel – who has taken 68 points from a possible 75 – outscoring him since Spain.
And though Vettel remains the clear favourite Button believes that the German is very much beatable, with his Montreal win merely strengthening his resolve to demonstrate this.
“We’ve proved we can challenge and beat Sebastian, and we know we can fight for this world championship,” Button said as the buildup to the Valencia race begins. “I wouldn’t say that winning in Montreal has given me extra motivation, because I was already totally committed, but I think it will help to sharpen the focus and conviction of everyone in the team.
“I’m looking forward to Valencia. I had a good race there last year and I think the track shares some of the characteristics of Montreal and Monaco, so I’m confident that we’ll be competitive again.
“The trick will be to find enough performance in the race to overcome any potential difficulties in qualifying. It’s a hard place to pass and, even though there will once again be two DRS zones, I don’t think that’s going to make it much easier during the race.”
Button currently trails Vettel by 60 points, a gap that would require the McLaren man scoring two race wins and a fifth place finish with Vettel failing to register points for three straight races to eliminate.