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F1: Button is relaxed about Honda and 2009


Jenson Button says he and Honda are in no hurry to sign on the dotted line for next year – but he’s looking forward to getting to grips with the changes new regulations will bring to the team’s car.

Talking at the Thursday press conference ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix, Button confirmed he did not yet have a contract for next year.

Jenson Button on parade at the Motor Sport Japan 2008 Festival
Jenson Button doing promotional work for Honda earlier this month – riding a Honda S2000 and waving to the crowd at the Motor Sport Japan 2008 Festival in Odaiba, Japan.

However, he suggested the biggest changes at the Brackley team next year would involve the need to improve on the team’s underperforming machinery.

“I am positive for next year and hopefully I will be with Honda next season and we can build a very competitive car. I know that the team will do a great job in building a new car. It’s what other people do.

“Every team will say they are going to be quicker next year than this year, they are going to build a good car. There is one thing we can’t do and that’s make a slow car.”

Faced with a direct question on his status for next year, he confirmed he had not yet been signed – but seemed confident that the delay did not represent a threat to his chances of driving the new Honda when it emerges from development.

He said: “We are not in a rush, it’s fine. There is a lot changing next year which makes it very exciting. Ross [Brawn] is very good at new regulations and I am looking forward to it, driving with slick tyres and new aero spec and obviously the KERS. There is a lot to play with there and a lot for us to get right.”

One place he won’t be visiting next year is Canada, unexpectedly dropped from the 2009 calendar. He said he would miss the chance to visit Montreal more than he’d miss the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, which suffered problems with its surface in the run-up to this year’s race.

He said: “I’ve obviously spent a few years racing in Montreal. I love the city, I think it’s a great city and it’s one of the best races to go for, for the nightlife – it’s a lot of fun. The steaks man, the steaks are good.

“I don’t know the reasons behind it but for sure I will miss the city, Montreal, probably more than the circuit – it was breaking up quite a bit over the last couple of years and causing a lot of marbles and difficulties for us. It’s always sad seeing a circuit go. We get a holiday now in the summer which is quite nice, but it’s sad to see it go, for sure.”


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