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Monday January 14, 2008
LONDON: Honda should be in a position to come back strongly this year and be Formula One championship contenders in 2009, Jenson Button said on Saturday.
“I think we will be a lot closer to the front in 2008, and in 2009 we have to be fighting for the world championship,” the British driver said on stage at the Autosport International show in Birmingham.
“If we can get to that position with a good car, then this team will win the world championship. As a team, we are very, very strong,” he added.
Button has just one win to his credit from eight seasons in Formula One, his Hungarian Grand Prix victory with Honda in 2006.
The Briton, who will be 28 next Saturday, scored just six points in a dismal 2007 season for the Japanese team while experienced Brazilian team mate Rubens Barrichello drew a complete blank.
Since then, former Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn has joined as team principal and Honda are confident they have corrected the aerodynamic failings of last year's car.
“I'm so happy that we've got Ross,” said Button.
“When he first walked into the team, there was the biggest round of applause I've ever seen.
“On his own he's not going to turn the team around but I think that everyone is positive and doing a great job.
“He's fitted in quicker than everyone imagined and the way of working in the team has changed a lot already.”
Button said 2007 had been strangely good for the team because it opened eyes to the problems they faced after the euphoria of winning a race in 2006.
“If we'd had a reasonable year, we might have carried on in the direction we were going,” he said. “But after such a bad year, we've realised we do need to change something and we have done that now.” – Reuters
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