Jenson Button says he is desperate to add a victory in the German Grand Prix to his resume as F1 heads to the Nurburgring this weekend to kick-start the second half of the championship campaign.
The 2009 title winner heads into the weekend having endured two frustrating races following his dramatic success in Canada, with a sixth place finish in Valencia being followed by a retirement in his home race at Silverstone.
Those results have all but ruled Button out of the championship running given the continued strong form of current champion Sebastian Vettel, but the Briton said he was keen to try and take a second win of the year in Germany to keep his title faint title hopes alive.
“Perhaps we've lost a bit of the momentum we'd built up in previous races, but not much,” he reflected. “Although Silverstone was disappointing, our pace has been good this year. Sometimes we've been quickest, sometimes we haven't.
“This is a race I'd really like to win. In my championship year I finished fifth and my best position before then was third, back in 2004. To be able to say you've won at the Nürburgring is a major achievement because it's such a historic and challenging location. People don't drive around with Nordschliefe stickers on their bootlids for nothing!
“This is a truly historic and equally tricky circuit and not to be underestimated. You've got the rest of the 14-mile original layout just next door and there have been some memorable moments in the sport, both good and bad, often in the same weekend. Think of 1976, where James Hunt won in a McLaren but Niki Lauda had an appalling accident, or 1968, where Sir Jackie Stewart was almost blinded by mist and spray but won by four minutes just driving from memory.”
McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh insisted that the Mercedes-powered outfit was working hard to make sure it is able to fight for a fourth victory of the campaign now that the regulation arguments seen at Silverstone have been resolved.
“There has been a degree of uncertainty in recent weeks, with new restrictions placed on off-throttle exhaust blowing, and our entire team has demonstrated enormous passion and commitment as they come to terms with those challenges,” he said. “We missed an opportunity for a podium finish at Silverstone, and that race was a reminder that while we are always pushing to make our car even more competitive, are rivals are doing likewise with their own machinery.
“I'm optimistic that we can move forwards this weekend and be challenging at the front once again. This will be a Santander German Grand Prix to remember!”