• McLaren news

Button returns to his second home

ESPNF1 Staff
October 1, 2010 « Heidfeld confident he will stay in F1 next year | »
Jenson Button with his Japanese girlfriend Jessica Michibata © Sutton Images
Related Links

Jenson Button has said that heading to Japan for next weekend's grand prix will not be remotely strange for him.

"I've spent such a large part of my Formula One career working in Japan that I almost consider it something of a second home nowadays," he said. "Tokyo is one of the greatest cities in the world - just an endlessly exciting place to discover and explore, and Suzuka is the perfect venue for the Japanese Grand Prix - one of the world's truly great circuits, and a supreme challenge for any racing driver.

"I love the whole Suzuka experience - the fact that it's a real trek to reach from Europe, the amusement park that you walk through to get to the paddock, the incredibly loyal and friendly Japanese fans, who cheer me on all weekend, and the whole atmosphere, which is invariably extremely tense and frantic, because the race always plays such a decisive role in the outcome of world championships."

But one thing eludes the defending world champion - he has never won a race there. "I've had some great results at Suzuka, but I've never won in Japan. I think it's a circuit that suits my style - it's all about scrubbing off as little speed as possible through the corners and maintaining a very smooth and precise rhythm: get it wrong and you're usually scrabbling to regain your momentum for several more corners. It's a punishing place."

With five drivers all within 25 points of each other at the top of the drivers' championship, Button insisted the race remains wide open. "Obviously, there's no room for mistakes, but any of the top five drivers could easily steal the title. It might seem a disadvantage to be behind in the points standings, but, make no mistake, I know I can win this championship. I'm still as determined as ever to keep No. 1 on my car for 2011."