Jenson Button says he is keen to keep his recent momentum going when F1 heads to Korea this coming weekend for the latest round of the season.
Victory in Japan gave Button his fifth successive podium finish and allowed him to extend his slender lead over Fernando Alonso in the race to finish the season as runner-up to championship winner Sebastian Vettel.
Last season, Button could only manage twelfth in the Korean race – which marked the only time he would finish a race but fail to score all season, his only other no-scores coming as a result of retirements in Monaco and Belgium.
However, as one of the form men on the grid, Button said he was heading to Korea keen to keep his current run going and was confident of better result than twelve months ago.
“Winning in Japan was one of the most satisfying and emotional victories of my career, and I'm really looking forward to carrying that momentum into this weekend, too,” he said. “Although last year's Korean Grand Prix wasn't one of my greatest performances – we just couldn't get the car hooked up properly – I think that, given the current pace of the car and the form the team has at the moment, I'm going into this year's race feeling much more positive.
“The most important difference is that I have a car beneath me that I can really trust – for me, that wasn't really the case here last season: but, this year, our car just feels positive in every type of corner, and I feel comfortable pushing hard, because you can really feel the limit. I think you could really see that at Suzuka.
“So I'm feeling much more optimistic about this year's race. It's an interesting circuit, there's a good range of corners – Turn eleven is pretty unique, it's a double-apex, heavily cambered left-hander, and the back-end of the track is quite interesting, too – there's only really one line through that sequence of bends, and, if you get one wrong, you can risk losing out through the whole sequence. I'm quite confident that we should be able to hook the car up quite well through that sequence this year.”
McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh again praised Button for his recent performances, and said he was hopeful that the Briton – or team-mate Lewis Hamilton – would be right at the sharp end in what will be a landmark race for the Woking-based team.
“Jenson's fantastic victory in Japan last weekend was his fifth consecutive podium finish and a great reward for him after some of the most impressively consistent driving of his career,” he said. “He's in fantastic spirits, and I know he's heading to Korea feeling incredibly positive about following up that win with another great result.
“It's a matter of considerable pride to the whole team that this weekend's Korean Grand Prix will mark McLaren's 700th Formula 1 grand prix – that's a massive achievement, so I hope we can crown it with another victory.”