With all the talk swirling around the F1 paddock that Jenson Button's season is all-but-over bar the supporting role he may be called upon to play to Lewis Hamilton, the McLaren
driver has received a vote of confidence from an unlikely corner at Spa.
"The points can change around pretty quickly," said Red Bull
team boss Christian Horner. "I know Jenson's some way behind at the moment but if he puts a run together I think it would be premature to discount him."
Horner may well be wary of the risk of McLaren
uniting behind one driver and playing the remaining nine races of the season tactically, since Horner himself has pledged that Red Bull
won't be invoking team orders in 2012.
"We gave both drivers the opportunity to go for the title [in 2011], and it came down to that final race in Abu Dhabi and it will be very much the same this year," said Horner.
Mark Webber is currently only 2pts ahead of reigning champion Sebastian Vettel, making it impossible to choose between them in terms of who might have the better chance of challenging Ferrari's Fernando Alonso
who is a worrying 40pts ahead of Webber.
"Both drivers are fully in the race for the championship," Horner told Reuters
. "They both know they need each other to take points off Fernando as well."
As for Alonso, Horner was sceptical of the Spaniard's assertions that the Ferrari
wasn't currently as fast as others on the grid.
"I'm not sure he's right there," said Horner. "He's won more races than any other driver this year, scored more points and finished all the races," he said, adding that as far as he was concerned that was the definition of a car and driver being the "quickest combination," whatever Alonso might want others to believe.
"I think he's driven fantastically well," said Horner of Alonso's 2012 season so far. "He's grasped his opportunities with both hands and he's really punched above his weight on occasion."