Jenson Button has said that he is determined to ride the momentum he created with his victory from pole position in Belgium last weekend, and improve on recent results at the Italian Grand Prix.
Having finished second in the Monza race on both previous appearances there with McLaren, and with Brawn the year before that, the Briton clearly has one aim in mind, particularly as it will help him further reinforce the belief that his title challenge is far from over. Winning at Spa-Francorchamps on Sunday - with points leader Fernando Alonso retiring on lap one - allowed Button trim the gap between them to 63 points but, with 25 points for a win and eight races remaining, the 2009 world champion is confident that recent McLaren developments can help him remain in the fight.
“I head to Monza absolutely full of motivation after a fantastic result in Spa," the 32-year old confirmed, "It was the perfect weekend for me – it's not only put me back in contention for the drivers' championship, but it's shown that we have a car that can definitely fight for the constructors' title.
“It'll be great to be back in the car so soon after the victory too. Monza is one of the greatest circuits in the world and our car seems to be particularly well suited to high-speed circuits, so I'm optimistic that we'll be competitive again this weekend. For some reason, the car we've brought to Monza in the last two seasons has been really well suited to me. I've really been able to work with the balance and enjoyed pushing the car. The success we had with a low-downforce configuration at Spa also gives us cause for optimism. I've finished second here in both my previous races for McLaren, but I'll definitely be going for the win this weekend.”
Team principal Martin Whitmarsh is equally confident that McLaren can continue its recent run of success, having triumphed with Lewis Hamilton in Hungary and Button in Belgium either side of the summer break, but refrained from predicting another victory after seeing the former wiped out in the same first corner accident that claimed Alonso at Spa.
“Our victories in Hungary and Spa hardly feel like back-to-back wins because they were achieved so far apart, but they give us enormous encouragement because they demonstrate that we can win on circuits of distinctly different character," Whitmarsh noted, "While I still think that making predictions from race to race is largely futile, it's satisfying to see there's some shape to our performances. We've qualified a car on the front row of the grid for seven of this year's 12 races – and that's hugely motivational for our designers and engineers because it shows that we're able to develop and refine the car successfully from track to track.
"There's no reason why that shouldn't continue."