Jenson Button insists he has no concerns about Fernando Alonso possibly joining forces with Honda in Formula 1 in 2009 – and indeed has said it is a good thing that the team is in discussions with the former double world champion about a race seat next year.
The rumours that Alonso is Honda-bound refuse to go away, with both Button and Honda team-mate Rubens Barrichello – one of whom would necessarily have to make way for the Spaniard – making no secret of their conviction that the Brackley-based outfit is seriously considering taking the 19-time grand prix-winner on [see separate story – click here
It is widely believed, however, that should a deal indeed take place, it is far more likely that it will be veteran Barrichello who is shown the door than Button. Both are out of contract at the end of the 2008 F1 campaign.
“They are going to talk to other drivers – that's only natural,” the Briton expressed in Valencia. “I'm very happy with my position within the team; I'm not worried about myself.
“In a way, it's good the team are talking to someone like Alonso, who has a lot of experience with good teams.”
Turning his attentions to the job in-hand, meanwhile – this weekend's European Grand Prix around the all-new, harbour-side Juan Carlos I Marina circuit – the 28-year-old underlined that Friday practice had been a promising start.
“The car was not very well-balanced in the morning,” he confessed, “but we made a lot of mechanical and aerodynamic changes between sessions, and most of them took us in the right direction. The car now feels good to drive – it inspires confidence, it's consistent and it looks after the tyres quite well.
“There are still some areas we can improve, so things look positive. It was a good Friday – and we haven't had many of those this year.”
Alonso, for his part, was like most drivers enthusiastic about the sport's latest venue – even if he did admit to having got a little lost at one stage…
“The two long straights are very similar,” the local hero explained, “and at one point I wasn't sure whether I was at turn twelve or turn 17. I missed the apex at the next corner as a result.”