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Button already over 'bad day in office'

6 April 2012

Jenson Button has already put the Malaysian Grand Prix firmly in the past as he prepares to get his 2012 F1 world championship challenge back on track in China.

With a three-week gap between races, the Briton has taken a chance to relax ahead of the next pair of back-to-back 'flyaways' in China and Bahrain, and insists that he will not be thinking back to the wash-out at Sepang that denied him a chance to extend his points lead after winning the season-opener in Australia.

“[A bad weekend] makes you a little keener to get back in the cockpit as you're always a bit more determined to be looking ahead rather than looking back but, like I say, it doesn't really make any difference," he explained, "In fact, the three-week break has been extremely relaxing – I was able to get away, relax and keep training. It's still the start of a very long season, so it's good to keep fit and refreshed."

Button, who finished second in the standings to Sebastian Vettel and second on the road to McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton in China in 2011, but tasted victory in Shanghai on only his third outing with the Woking team, and has an affection for a circuit that leaves others cold.

"I've usually gone well in Shanghai, it's a circuit I really enjoy and I'm looking forward to the race weekend," he confirmed, “The facilities are amazing, but it's a very good, modern circuit.

"The first two sectors are pretty technical, there are some interesting combinations of corners and you need a good, responsive car to go well. Then the track opens up, the straight is one of the longest in F1 – it just keeps on going – before you're into the hairpin and the final turn, both of which offer good opportunities for overtaking. There's no one particular corner that stands out, but that's good, because it means they've done a good job with the whole track."

While McLaren has a strong record in the Chinese Grand Prix, having won the race three times and finished on the podium on seven other occasions, Button acknowledges that another wet weekend, as already experienced in both Australia and Malaysia could throw the form book out of the window.

“If it rains, then it's going to be another extremely unpredictable race as we're all still learning about the cars and tyres in damp conditions," the 320year old said of the 56-lap race, "Whatever happens, it should be interesting.

“Tyre wear will be very important as, last year, we saw a real disparity between the compounds, so getting the preparation right will be crucial. There will be the usual set-up compromises, getting the car up to offer good downforce through some of the faster corners, but without sacrificing too much speed along the straights. We saw different teams address that balance in different ways over the first two races, so it will be interesting to see if things start to converge this weekend after a few weeks back in Europe.”


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