Brackley, Tuesday: F1 world championship leader Jenson Button has vowed to change his approach to racing in the final six Grands Prix of the season, as he defends his lead in the title race from Rubens Barrichello, Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel.

Quick-ish: Title hopeful Jenson Button
Quick-ish: Title hopeful Jenson Button

Since the Turkish Grand Prix in June, Button has seen his advantage reduced from 26 points to just 18, and having finished no higher than fifth in the last four Grands Prix, he has acknowledged that the world championship, once seemingly safely his, is dangerously close to slipping away.

“The last few races have been disappointing,” Button reflected after finishing seventh in Valencia while teammate Barrichello stormed to victory. “So now’s the time for me to have a new focus on the way I race, as I try to win the world championship.

“Basically I need to drive faster. So when I’m in the car, I’ll be putting my foot down more, braking less, turning the wheel just the right amount and stuff like that. Hopefully that will mean that I’ll go faster.”

Team principal Ross Brawn welcomed the announcement: “It’s great that Jenson has finally realised that he needs to drive quickly in order to secure the world championship. Frankly, I’d have thought that was obvious, but apparently not.”

While watching a video of last weekend’s European Grand Prix, Button pointed at Rubens Barrichello and said: “That’s the sort of thing I need to be doing. You know, driving quickly in a straight line, cornering quickly and all that. Hopefully in the right order too.”

Button’s realisation comes just before the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa, one of the more challenging races on the calendar. “Spa is the perfect place to test my new approach,” Button revealed. “It’s a circuit that really rewards driving quickly.”