Daily Archives: January 16, 2010

Button: I’ll be even stronger in 2010

Jenson Button at the Autosport International

Jenson Button at the Autosport International

Jenson Button has said that the struggle he endured last year to win his first world championship will help him in his title defence in 2010.

In 2009, after dominating the first half of the season, he struggled in the second half, but still hung on to take the 2009 title. However, he has said that the lessons have been learned by him and Brawn, and these lessons have been taken on board as he goes up against Lewis Hamilton this year.

At the Autosport International, he said:

“Because we were in such a position of leading the championship by quite a few points, we were too cautious. We didn’t want anything to go wrong.”

“We were too cautious for the situation, although you can say too cautious and we still ended up winning the championship. I think we should have been a little bit more aggressive with our strategy, and also myself, I should have been more aggressive.”

“It was a position I had never been in before. It was something I really learned through the season, and it is amazing that you learn so much when you are fighting for a championship – a championship that is so important to you. So it was a very up and down season, and when we got to Brazil, and also a couple of races before Brazil, we realised we started to need to get aggressive again and we really had to fight for this.”

Also, he has supported his decicion of moving to McLaren, as he says that he wanted a new challenge in his career. He also added that this new challenge will help him for this season.

“I have been working for 21 years to achieve my goal – but yes, I am massively hungry. When I won the world championship in Brazil I was looking for something else. I thought I have achieved what I set out to do, but what do I do now? It is a very strange situation to be in, because you should enjoy the moment but it is very, very difficult to because you are always thinking too far ahead that you have to be careful of.”

“I knew that moving to a new team and moving to Vodafone McLaren Mercedes would be a real challenge for me, and racing alongside Lewis, but it is a challenge I am so excited about. I am putting so much effort into making this work. This is the most important thing for me at the moment.”

His full interview at the Autosport International is available here:

Wurz not interested in F1 return

Alex Wurz, racing for Williams in 2007

Alex Wurz, racing for Williams in 2007

Despite being linked with a drive with USF1 this year, Alex Wurz has said that he has no intention of returning to Formula 1.

He last raced in F1 in 2007, with Williams. Since then, he has been a factory sportscar driver with Peugeot, and scored his second Le Mans win last year.

In 2009, he was involved in the Superfund F1 project, but was not given an entry by the FIA. Ever since then, rumours of his return have been circulating. However, he has said that he is not making a comeback:

“No. I’ve changed from the show business to the real business,” he said at the Autosport International.

“Just look at the Peugeot or the Bentley [on display] here. Since my childhood I always loved sportscars. After 13 years of F1, I’m very happy to be with Peugeot, going to Sebring and hopefully some other races as well as Le Mans.”

Paffett to continue as McLaren test driver

Gary Paffett

Gary Paffett

Gary Paffett has confirmed that he is to stay on as McLaren’s test driver, despite his main employer Mercedes forming its own racing team.

The 28-year-old is a factory driver for Mercedes in DTM, and is also the test driver for McLaren in Formula 1. He has been there since 2006.

Speaking at the Autosport International, he said:

“I will continue the testing work with McLaren to try to develop the car and help the all-British team to win championships.”

“I haven’t been involved with the Mercedes team. I’ve got a job in DTM with Mercedes and a job in Formula 1 with McLaren. There is still a relationship between the two through the engines and, although there is a rivalry there now, I’m very much with McLaren in F1 and Mercedes in DTM.”

Rossi has Ferrari simulator run

Valentino Rossi

Valentino Rossi

Valentino Rossi has had a go on Ferrari’s F1  simulator in Maranello today, as part of preperations for his upcoming test in Barcelona.

Ferrari had announced this week that Rossi, the 9 times motorbike champion, would be allowed a test of the team’s F2008, as a reward for winning his latest title. This test will take place in Barcelona, on Wednesday and Thursday.

Today, Rossi prepared for the test with a run in the team’s simulator, and was allowed to drive a Ferrari 458 around the Fiorano track.

Update: While Rossi was in the simulator, GMM reported that he had an appendix operation. Fail!

Button interested in Dakar and Le Mans

Jenson Button at the Autosport International

Jenson Button at the Autosport International

Jenson Button has said that he is interested in contesting the Dakar rally, when he retires from Formula 1.

However, he added that he would prefer to race with a low-key privateer, rather than one of the big Dakar teams.

Speaking at the Autosport International, he said:

“I want to do the Dakar, which would be quite fun, that is on at the moment and I would like to do that.”

“If I raced in other formulae it would be because I want to go and have fun. Doing the Dakar, for example, I would want to do it as a privateer, just go there and have fun. It would be such a life experience.”

“If you get into one of the top teams and you are racing for them, it is just so much pressure. I would want to go there and enjoy the race.”

He also mentioned that he would be interested in contesting the 24 Hours of Le Mans, after his F1 career finished.