Formula One world championship leader Jenson Button admits that he is itching to get back into the cockpit in Valencia, despite enjoying the category's summer break.

The Briton, who has seen his advantage over the pack diminish in recent races, particularly following the advances made by Red Bull Racing, is keen to take up the cudgels at the European Grand Prix, even if his car has not been the best through the summer.

Should RBR's progress - and that of new second place man Mark Webber - be continued over the next few weeks, Button has estimated that he could be knocked off top spot in the championship by the time F1 embarks on its end-of-season 'flyaways', and unable to do anything about defending his title ambitions, but the Briton insists that he would rather be on track that sat at home pondering what might be.

"It's going to be great to get back racing again after the summer break and everyone at the team is looking forward to Valencia," he claimed, "I've kept pretty busy over the past few weeks, with the London Triathlon at the start of the month and then some time to relax with my family and friends, but it's seemed like a long time without a race!

"Valencia is quite challenging for the drivers with so many turns and the added factor of being surrounded by barriers means you have to maintain your concentration, but there's been a lot of work going on at the factory following our shutdown and, with the cars at the front being so close at the moment, it will be an interesting weekend."

Above all, Button will be hoping that temperatures, on race day especially, climb back into the range that accompanied his stellar start to the season. The Brawn car looked unbeatable through the first seven rounds - with the notable exception of the wet Chinese race - but has struggled since Silverstone as temperatures have failed to reach their expected highs.

"Valencia presents an unusual engineering challenge as the circuit is quite different from anywhere else on the calendar," team principal Ross Brawn commented, "It's not the type of street circuit that we have been used to racing around in Monaco - it's much more open and quite fast flowing with higher top speeds.

"Traction is important here and the sectors of the lap which have a stop-start nature make Valencia tough on the brakes. Cooling is also a consideration in the high ambient temperatures, but we do not expect to encounter any issues. The team has been working extremely hard since returning from our summer shutdown and everyone is looking forward to the racing getting underway again this weekend."

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