Jenson Button says he is eager to return to form in Singapore this weekend after the disappointment of his retirement from the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
Button was forced out while running second behind team-mate Lewis Hamilton in Italy, with the retirement all but ending his faint hopes of securing the championship title this season.
Keen to put that retirement firmly behind him, Button said he was hopeful that the recent pace shown by McLaren – which saw the team win the final three European races of the year – would put him firmly in the mix for victory.
“I didn't spend too much time looking back at my non-finish in Monza,” he said. “Obviously, it was disappointing not to be able to help the team to a one-two finish, but these things happen. What's more encouraging is that we have strong pace on a range of very different circuits – and, hopefully, we can continue to push that momentum in Singapore next weekend.
“The Marina Bay track is unique – there are a couple of long straights, so it's very fast, but all the corners are generally taken in second or third gear, so you're trying to find the best set-up compromise – particularly as you need good end-of-straight speed for overtaking into Turn Seven. That's the best opportunity for passing as it also comes at the end of the DRS zone.
“Every lap is a great challenge: I had a really enjoyable race at Singapore last year. My car was completely dialled in and I was able to push to chase down Sebastian [Vettel] during the closing laps. This year, I hope we'll once again have a package that will enable us to fight at the front.”
McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh said he too was optimistic about the weekend ahead as the team seeks to maintain its championship challenge.
“We at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes travel to Singapore with considerable momentum after winning the last three grands prix,” he said. “Both Jenson and Lewis's recent performances have given our engineers and designers the conviction to keep pushing development through the season. And, make no mistake, there'll be no let-up with the aggressive development of MP4-27 until the end of the year.
“This season is far from over. We are continuing to refine and improve our car and have both the drivers' and constructors' championships within our sights. Every race from now on will be an important marker, and I'm optimistic that we can once again score good points in Singapore next weekend.”