Jenson Button: Exclusive Q&A

Eurosport - Tue, 25 May 09:32:00 2010

Jenson Button tells Eurosport why he does not expect McLaren to catch up with Red Bull in Turkey this weekend and why he loves the F-Duct.

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What upgrades will McLaren bring in for the Turkish Grand Prix this weekend?

New aerodynamic parts, amendments to the wings. But how much difference it will make I don't know; will it be enough to close the gap on Red Bull? They were so far ahead at Barcelona and also at Monaco that we can't bridge that gap with one update. We need to get closer to Red Bull in qualifying because our race pace is very good and if we start closer to them perhaps we can cause them problems.

How is the track in Istanbul better-suited to the MP4-24 than Monaco?

Yes, it is faster and more flowing than Monaco obviously, which suits our car. Hopefully our F-duct will help us there. Red Bull are looking to adopt one but that is only the start of the job: it takes time to tune it. The more you run with it the more efficient it becomes, so we have a head start in that regard.

What do you like or dislike about the track in Turkey?

It's a fun circuit, a great place to race. They've done a really good job with it. Turn eight is great: it's fast and contains four apexes, is bumpy and you always get out of shape around there. It's fun. When you turn in there you hug the corners. It's like a rollercoaster, high speed, although you are always in control of the car. And you can overtake, which is what you want.

Last year you must have got fed up with people asking you about double diffusers, but they were clearly important. Is the F-Duct as crucial to performance this year?

Yeah, they are a great idea, really innovative. We need that sort of thing in F1. It takes time to do it, it's not something that people can just copy. Each team's version has its own style. It's the kind of thing that people dislike when they haven't got one, but they love them when they do. It's good for interest in F1.

What has struck you as the biggest difference in racing this year to last?

For me it is a different car, so that's the biggest change. I was with the same team for seven years and they built the car around me, whereas now I'm finding my way slowly with a new one - as I'm sure Michael Schumacher is finding out. I'm working on it, but there are a couple of tweaks still needed. Every race the team learns more about me and that helps. Things are not going badly at all as we've won two races, but I'm not going at 100 per cent yet.

You had a rip-roaring beginning to last season while this one has seen you steadily building up points. What are your thoughts on that?

From the first race I've been happy with the team. We gained each other's trust and started working on the car from there. To win two of the four opening races and lead the championship by 10 points was amazing, but in the last two races we have not been so comfortable and there have been problems. It's been an up-and-down start.

You would have been where you are now under the old points system, fourth in the championship and lurking behind the leading trio. The main difference is that Mark Webber sits top when he would have been third under 2009 rules. Has the new system led to drivers pushing harder to win races, as intended?

People changed the points system because they wanted us to fight for wins. But, as I knew it wouldn't, it has not changed anything. As a driver, if you see a move you make it. That's our way of thinking. It's good to see race winners rewarded more but it is difficult getting your head around it.

You would have run away with the title last year in those early races...

I had a runaway 30-point lead - and that would have been 75 points under the new rules, which is incredible.

You're doing an advert with Head and Shoulders. After using the product do you have a more lustrous mane than Jimmy Bullard, who recently filmed with another iconic shampoo brand, Wash & Go?

It’s a fun brand to work with - and I love it because, as I use it, I don't have any dandruff and because of the smell! It's like a team: they wanted to know who I was and made the advert around me rather than having me acting. And there is a story involved, it's not just me in the shower. You'll have to wait and see what it is. It's been an eye-opener - most of the time I'm wearing a crash helmet and I'm sweaty-haired, but I'm always aware that the camera might be on me and try to look good.

Jenson Button is the new ambassador for the UK's number 1 shampoo brand - head&shoulders

Jonathan Symcox / Eurosport

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