BAR's Jenson Button talks about the team's progress and the upcoming races Q: Having scored points in every round since the start of the season, picked up five podiums and consolidated third place in both driver's constructor's championship, you...
BAR's Jenson Button talks about the team's progress and the upcoming races
Q: Having scored points in every round since the start of the season, picked up five podiums and consolidated third place in both driver's constructor's championship, you must be delighted with the year to date?
Jenson Button: Yes -- it's been a good season so far. We were confident during the winter we'd have a good season as the new car was running very strongly. We also knew there were a lot of improvements coming. It seems at every race we are improving our pace. But, yes, to get five podiums out of seven races makes us very happy at the moment but our main aim is still to get that first win.
Q: You have always had a strong belief that Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda would make it to the top...
JB: Definitely; especially Honda and B.A.R are working very closely together and that's a big part of it. Team effort is really showing through and I think that's what a lot of teams are lacking...
Q: In what areas is this year's B.A.R Honda 006 better than last year's car?
JB: There's lots of areas: the engine is lighter and more powerful; the car, again, is lighter and stiffer; we've got a carbon-fibre gearbox which means we've got a lot more weight to move around on the car which always helps. We are working really well with Michelin, which is really important and aerodynamically the car in the wind tunnel has really moved on from last year.
Q: Judging by the season to date, the car appears to be very competitive on all the different kinds of circuit right from the narrow streets of Monaco to fast sweeps of Barcelona and Imola?
JB: Normally with a good car it works everywhere. Renault are slightly strange, they seem to be up and down but Ferrari are quick everywhere and we are, too. But we're still not quite on Ferrari's pace. We've still got a little bit more to go.
Q: How pleasing is it to start challenging for top honours with a team that, until now, hasn't been one of the fancied outfits?
JB: It's nice to do it with a team that I've been with as they've grown over the last couple of years. It sounds a bit cheesy but it's more like a family. We all understand each other and have experienced the lows as well as the highs.
Q: Has your approach to a Grand Prix weekend changed now you're in the running for a podium rather than just racing in the midfield for occasional points? It must be far more exciting?
JB: It is, yes, but that must be normal. Every Sunday morning, even if qualifying has been bad, I'm fifth or sixth on the grid so it's a great feeling as you've always got a chance. As a racing driver we all love racing and whether we're racing in 12th or fifth it's still exciting but you always want to have a chance of winning or at least getting up on the podium.
Q: On paper, the next two races in North America should be strong events for B.A.R Honda - do you agree?
JB:In Montreal we're having a new engine which should help us because there's a lot of time on full throttle. Also the car mechanically is very strong so that should work in the slow speed chicanes. And Indianapolis is similar.
Q: Is a win on the cards?
JB: That's the aim. We are not just out there to beat all the other Michelin teams, we want to beat Ferrari and our strategy is always to win. I think we'll be even closer to Ferrari over the next few races and that means we'll be closer to our dream, which is to win.
Q: Looking further ahead, you must be excited at the prospect of racing on home ground at Silverstone in such a competitive car?
JB: It would be awesome to win anywhere but even more so at Silverstone. It's a very fast and flowing circuit and those are the circuits I like. In front of your home crowd got to be the most amazing thing to win or even get onto the podium. So I'm looking forward to Silverstone and I think it will be a very special Grand Prix for the whole team and hopefully it's going to be busy and we'll put on a good show.
Q: Finally are you confident that B.A.R can take you right to the top?
JB: I think they can. Next year, I'm personally looking at fighting for the World Championship both as a team and as a driver. So yes, I think we can.