Button eyes elusive podium finish after narrowly missing out last year


YOUNG and mean BAR Honda driver Jenson Button is out to bury the ghost at the Sepang F1 Circuit. 

Last year, Button, racing for Renault, came agonisingly close to capturing his first podium finish at the Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix, but he had to watch in horror as Ferrari's Michael Schumacher overtook him on the last lap. 

“I hope to be a lot quicker this time. There have been few good changes and driving for BAR Honda is certainly great and I am determined to go out there and get on the podium this time,” said the 23-year-old Button. 

In yesterday's one-lap qualifying session, he stayed out of trouble to post a 1:36.632 to finish as the ninth fastest, five spots higher than his teammate and former world champion Jacques Villeneuve. 

Although, finishing ahead of Villeneuve, Button did not want to be dragged into the issue on a competition with his teammate. 

“A lot have been said about us. Certainly these make good stories but for me, my attention is on doing well in the races. That is what really matters,” said Button. 

And for this season, Button's target is to go one step better than his seventh position in the drivers' championships last year. 

“The main aim is to be consistent and reliable throughout the season. Hopefully, I can improve on my drivers' standings but I will be happy if I can remain at the seventh position.” 

Having driven with three different teams in his last four season, Button said he had gained valuable experiences to become the best. 

“I am with a great team now and I will use them as my base to realise my dream to do well in the F1.” 

On yesteday's qualifying session he said: “I was struggling with too much understeer and I had more oversteer in the afternoon.  

“We did some set-up changes but it just seems to have got worse. Anyway, we will work out the right strategy to be ready for the race.” 

“But Ferrari is certainly the team to beat.  

“They are certainly the quickest team during the qualifying but for the race, they have to watch out for several other teams.” 

At Melbourne, Button finished 17th while Villeneuve ended up one place above. 

The poor results were a result of a muff-up communication problem. Button was left fuming over a radio communication mix up, which saw both drivers entering the pits at the same time. 

The team's principal David Richards felt that BAR Honda could have done better yesterday. 

“They did not get the right balance and certainly did not do what they are suppose to. I am confident that the engineers will be able to address the balance issue overnight and the good news is that there we expect better performances from the drivers and the cars,” said Richards. 

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