Jenson Button lost his cool yesterday with the man from the Times, Ed Gorman, when he suggested that in the eyes of some, Button didn’t actually want to win the world championship.
“I don’t think people are saying that seriously. Who could possibly say that?” said an incredulous Button.
Button has made heavy going of shutting out this world title lately, especially in Valencia where he failed to turn a winning car into a winning result. He made a mistake in qualifying and then got boxed in at the start, dropping from 5th to 9th on the opening lap. This has led to questions about Button’s killer instinct, his raw desire to finish off the opposition.
Button went on; “Does Jenson want this title or not? It’s a pretty silly question, isn’t it? Why the f*** am I here?”
“This is not what I have to say because that is not a question, is it?” he said. “In reality, that is not the question — it can’t be. ‘Does he want the title?’ ‘No, I want to finish second or third.’
This exchange took place in part 2 of his briefing yesterday afternoon. The first part was conducted in good spirit with Button talking about being in the best position with a big advantage over his rivals. This time last year Lewis Hamilton left Spa with a single point advantage over Felipe Massa.
I always think that it is not the way a sportsman conducts himself in planned situations which counts, but how he reacts to situations and Button’s hair trigger temper yesterday, when he should have just laughed and risen above it shows that he is clearly feeling the pressure. It was a pretty daft question, but a cunning one in that it was soliciting a response. But there is no reason to panic. He knows that there are two tracks coming up which will suit his car more than the Red Bull, Singapore and Abu Dhabi.