Runaway 2009 Formula 1 World Championship leader Jenson Button has admitted that his current situation is the most stressful he has ever known in the top flight, acknowledging that with his parents having 'been through the sh*t [over] the last couple of years', he now has a golden opportunity to reward their enduring faith in him – and he doesn't want to mess it up.
Following his flawless victory in the Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul at the weekend, the Brawn GP star heads next towards his home outing at Silverstone in front of his adoring partisan supporters with a commanding 26-point advantage in the drivers' title standings, and mathematically needing only to finish second in every remaining race of the season to clinch the crown.
With six triumphs to his name from seven starts thus far this year, though, finishing second is not something for which the British ace has betrayed much desire – and in the form he is in at the moment, surely nothing less than the top step of the podium will do in the British Grand Prix. But he will enter the weekend, he reveals, feeling anything but relaxed.
“Michael Schumacher won seven world championships and I understand why that guy retired,” the 29-year-old is quoted as having said by the News of the World
. “I am sure it must have been the most stressful time of his life. It sounds stupid, but being at the front there is so much to play for.
“It is more stressful than being further back on the grid, for sure. I have been in both situations, and it is definitely more stressful than last year – but I am happy with that. I can put up with it. It is good stress.
“I don't get as emotional as my family. You don't get time to think about it, because as soon as daylight comes you are thinking about the next race. My parents have been through the sh*t [over] the last couple of years. Parents always feel it more, probably, than the person involved. Monaco was very special for my father, as he has watched racing since the 1950s. It was quite an emotional one for him.
“They text me most days, and it is nice as you don't think about it all in the same way as they do. You read the texts and you think 'wow, you are so right', but then immediately you are into 'right, let's go even better in the next one'. That's the way you have to think.”