Jenson Button may be in the midst of another trying season with the Honda F1 team, but he insists that he is prepared to suffer the downside of the sport in the belief that he will soon be back in a winning position.

Eight years in the top flight appear to have flown by since Button made his debut as a fresh-faced youngster with Williams but, one season with BAR aside, he has rarely been in a position to challenge at the front of the field. Recent campaigns with Honda have seen the Briton struggle to score points, but he maintains that there is better to come from the Brackley equipe.

"I'm in Formula One and that is every driver's primary goal," Button told the official F1 website when asked to assess his current status in the sport, "Beyond that, it's a question of where you are in F1, whether you're in a good team and whether you have the experience to challenge for the world championship.

"I'm only 28 years old, yet this is already my ninth year in F1, so I have the necessary experience to win the title. I haven't got the car underneath me to do that at the moment, but that will come."

It's not just Ross Brawn's arrival at Honda that has encouraged Button, who also feels that he is having more input into the development of the current car as the team pushes forward.

"I'm working much harder now than I did in 2004, when I finished third in the world championship, because that's what you have to do to get back to the front," he explained, "I make sure that the team are making the changes that need to be made.

"I love what I do, so I have no problems with motivation. It isn't nice knowing that I'm going into the British Grand Prix without a realistic chance of battling at the front but, when I'm in the car, I push 110 per cent. That's what I do every time I get in the car; it's what I have to do to drive the team forward and ahead of what will be a better year in 2009."

Button puts a lot of his new mental resilience down to having taken up the discipline of triathlon, which brings together much of his usual training regime, but in a competitive setting. In his first event, he finished 16th out of 250 starters while, in the second - the Olympic-distance Windsor Triathlon - he came home 117th out of 1700.

"The main benefit from the multi-discipline event is overall fitness," he revealed, "The bike is particularly good because you build up lactic acid, which is what happens in the car due to the vibrations, [while] swimming is good for upper body strength, and I also work my neck while I'm in the water. Triathlons are competition, which is what F1's all about, and knowing that I'm one of the fittest drivers on the grid makes me feel very strong psychologically.

"I like the pain and I like pushing my body to the limit. I also enjoy the fact that there's nobody else involved. It's just me on my own and if I'm not quick enough, then it's solely down to me."

Having enjoyed the unusual experience of being able to hear spectators shouting his name rather than just muffled engine noise, Button is looking forward to racing in front of his home crowd at Silverstone this weekend.

"I always look forward to the British Grand Prix," he admitted, "The fans are great and I love seeing all the Union Jacks in the grandstands - but it's also a bit frustrating at the moment because I want to give them better results than I'm currently able to. With the race selling-out on all three days, there will be a fantastic atmosphere."

 

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