Jenson Button has confirmed that he will still be pressing his claim to a second F1 world championship when the season moves on to Monza for this weekend's Italian Grand Prix, after his victory at Spa-Francorchamps on Sunday edged him closer to points leader Fernando Alonso.
After a week where the line of questioning put to the Briton centred on whether he was prepared to accept a supporting role to McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton, Button's fading title push was reignited when both Hamilton and Alonso were involved in a first corner shunt not of their making. With neither scoring, the rest of the chasing pack made hay, with Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen joining Button on the podium, and Mark Webber taking sixth place from twelfth on the grid.
Vettel has now passed his Red Bull team-mate to assume second place overall, still 24 points behind Alonso, while Webber and Raikkonen sit third and fourth in the standings, a further eight and nine points adrift respectively. Hamilton's DNF drops him back to fifth place, now 47 points off the pace, but still one spot ahead of Button, who remains sixth and with a lot of work to do. Despite the margin needing the 2009 champion to claim more than a couple of wins, Button remains defiant.
"As I said before the race, it's a massive long shot to win the title, but today proves that you can claw back 25 points very, very quickly," he pointed out, "[It was] a great day for me, but [the gap is] still 63 points. If we can keep fighting for victories like this, there's so many people in the championship that still have the possibility to win, [and] there's still a small chance that I can really fight for that championship
"Anything is possible. Monza is a circuit like this in a way, so there's a good possibility that we will have good pace there. Whether we will be as competitive as we were here, we still have to wait and see. The temperatures will be different, [and] it is a little bit different in terms of downforce level, so we will see. [However], going to Monza, I don't think about the championship. I think, as we all will say, we go there to do the best job we can and to bring back the most points that we can. It's a tough race for anyone that's not in a Ferrari, but it's a great atmosphere there and it's one of the best races on the calendar."