Button: Next two races are important

Date published: July 16 2012

Jenson Button concedes the next two back-to-back races in Germany and Hungary will be “vital” to any title challenge he may pose…

Jenson Button concedes the next two back-to-back races in Germany and Hungary will be “vital” to any title challenge he may pose.

After winning the season-opener in Australia, Button’s recents have fallen further and further of the pace, resulting in the Brit losing touch with the leaders in the title race.

After nine races, the McLaren driver has just 50 World Championship points, 79 less than Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso.

There is still time for Button to turn his season around starting with the upcoming German GP.

“Performance-wise, I still think it’s difficult to accurately predict where we stand in the competitive order,” said Button, who scored just one point at last weekend’s British GP.

“Valencia and Silverstone were certainly difficult races for us, but I don’t think they were truly representative of our pace.

“The final back-to-back before we head into the summer break will be important for the whole team: coming off the back of a couple of disappointing weekends, it’s important that we capitalise on the opportunities available in Germany and Hungary.”

The Brit, however, concedes that if he wants a great result in Germany both himself and McLaren will need an error-free weekend.

“This year, you really need a problem-free build-up to the race if you’re going to maximise the car’s potential – and that’s exactly what we’ll be hoping for in Germany.

“I’ve always enjoyed Hockenheim: I raced here when it blasted through the forests – a long time ago!

“I had a great race here in 2004, finishing second, despite starting back in 13th after a penalty for an engine failure in practice.

“It’s a circuit where you can attack; it’s good for racing and the newer layout is better for the spectators, too.”

Meanwhile, McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh admits a strong showing in Germany and Hungary will give McLaren a much-needed lift ahead of the summer break.

“After Silverstone, our focus immediately turned to Hockenheim, which, along with the Hungaroring in Budapest, will bring the curtain down on the first half of the season at the end of the month,” he said.

“There is a huge resolve within the operation to ensure that our aggressive development strategy is upheld across the summer.

“We are determined to narrow the gap to the Championship leaders before the start of the summer break.”