Jenson Button has revealed that he is not expecting to cruise to a fifth victory in six races this season, despite qualifying on the pole in Monaco.

While securing top spot on the grid is usually a good omen for success in the race - four of the last five Monaco races have been won by the poleman, with Lewis Hamilton the exception in 2008 - Button remains wary of opposition that has pushed him throughout the opening two days, and also of the extra problems that racing around the tight streets brings.

"Some people say Monaco can be a procession, but I don't think that will be the case," the Briton insisted, "There will be a lot of marbles, and I think there will be quite a few mistakes with the tyres graining, so it will be an exciting race. I think we will put on a good show for the fans."

While acknowledging that Red Bull remains a legitimate threat to Brawn's chances, Button also pointed to Kimi Raikkonen's presence on the front row, the best grid slot for a car with KERS technology in 2009.

"It's always perfect for the guy that starts on pole - you think that going into the race but, as I've said, anything can happen," the points leader commented, "The first lap of the race is always exciting for us all but, if there is a car that can overtake us it will, for sure, be a car with KERS.

"There are a couple of places on the circuit where there is always that possibility. The first few laps are important, but the way the system is now with fuel, going into qualifying, Kimi might be running five laps longer than us on the first stint, which might work better, might work in his favour, or might not. We have to see, but it's not as easy as just qualifying on pole and you've won the race. But it won't be a boring race."

While Raikkonen may be the first to reach Ste Devote courtesy of his KERS - although the Finn has claimed that the start-finish straight isn't long enough to make the system a major benefit - Button remains wary of team-mate Rubens Barrichello and the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel, despite the German's decision to run light in qualifying being scuppered by catching a slower Williams on his flying lap.

"Rubens has been so bloody quick all weekend," the Briton noted, "Having a team-mate, who is not pushing you but is in front of you for the whole weekend, does spur you on.

"All through the weekend, I have been fighting with Rubens, or Rubens has definitely had the upper hand, but the McLarens have been up there, the Ferraris have been up there, the Red Bulls, the Williams - it has been a fun weekend for everyone involved and, hopefully, the viewers too. Qualifying was no different - it was manic as it always is in Monaco.

"It's not over yet. Starting on pole is obviously an advantage, that's why we get so happy about the best lap in qualifying, but it's a long race and anything can happen, as they always say. We don't know what fuel other people are on, but they might be much longer than us which would obviously make them more competitive than us. We have to wait and see - as you might have seen in practice, there's been a lot of graining on these tyres, especially the rears, so that's going to come into play. The Ferrari seems good on the harder of the two tyres, maybe quicker than what I've been, so it's going to be an exciting race."

Having spoken before the weekend about the need to perhaps alter his driving style to suit Monaco, swapping his usual smooth progress for something a little more aggressive, Button admitted that he was more likely to try and find a compromise between the two for the race, after a couple of close scrapes in practice.

"I tried [to change] in the first session and it didn't really work," he revealed, "I sort of scraped a few barriers with the rear of the car - it looked pretty cool, but the lap time wasn't there. We have got to make sure that we look after the tyres in the race, as I am damaging the rears a little bit, but hopefully it will be a different situation in the race.

"You've got to be on the edge [in the race], but you've got to think in a different way than you do in qualifying, so it's a difficult one. You can't be touching any barriers in the race because that would screw you, so you have to drive a little bit differently. I will drive as quickly as I can, but obviously within the limits, as you've got to respect the barriers. I hit one on Thursday, only just tapped it, but it bent something on the car, so I will be staying away from them, for sure.

"People will say, if you're quick round Monaco, you're a master and what have you, but I don't think that's the case. I think it's just different to other circuits, it takes a little bit of a different driving style and that's it. Some drivers might be very quick for the rest of the season and they're not so quick around here - it's just the way it is."


Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment