Multiple F1 world champion, Michael Schumacher has said that he 'expects' Jenson Button to win the drivers' title this season.
Button has come under pressure in recent months, but bounced back at the Italian Grand Prix a few weeks ago, when he took the runners-up spot, eventually finishing 2.8 seconds off his Brawn GP team-mate and closest championship rival, Rubens Barrichello.
Prior to that the Englishman had last been on the rostrum back at the start of June, when he won the Turkish Grand Prix. Indeed he had endured five frustrating events, which culminated with his first DNF of the year at Spa-Francorchamps, venue for the Belgian GP.
In Italy though, he responded and while the critics still pointed to the fact that he didn't win, whilst Barrichello did, Button still enjoys a healthy 14-point lead in drivers' championship with four races to go.
"Looking at the situation, I would pretty much expect Jenson to win this title," Schumacher said in an exclusive podcast for the 2009 Race of Champions, which will take place on November 2-4 at the Bird's Nest Stadium in Beijing.
"It's very hard [for anyone] to take it away from him, particularly knowing the problems and reliability issues they have had at Red Bull.
“It's going to be a tough challenge [for Button's rivals], but the points' difference is normally too big already."
Despite backing Button though, Schumacher is confident that fellow countryman Sebastian Vettel will go on to follow in his footsteps by winning the F1 drivers' crown in the not-to-distant future.
"As I proved every two weeks in Formula 1, he is showing his qualities now," Schumacher added. "He has all the ingredients to win the title – but I never wanted to be compared to anybody else because I wanted to be myself, as he wants. Everybody should quite rightly respect that."
As for his own future and if that is it now for him in F1, Schumacher was cagey in his reply: "I don't need to say yes and I don't need to say no," he summed-up. "There is no reason to confirm it.
"What I do like is having fun. Four-wheels or two-wheels, racing or driving on the track is simply fun.
"So I have no reason to stop enjoying that - and as long as I can combine the fun and excitement, why not [continue competing]?"