Jenson Button put in a good performance at the Malaysian Grand Prix, only to be robbed of his first podium finish when his Renault developed suspension problems on the penultimate lap. The Englishman, who had been running as high as second during...
Jenson Button put in a good performance at the Malaysian Grand Prix, only to be robbed of his first podium finish when his Renault developed suspension problems on the penultimate lap. The Englishman, who had been running as high as second during the race, lost third to Michael Schumacher and was left to drag his ailing car home fourth. During the race he was contending with the two Williams at the head of the field -- he is still under contract to Williams and speculation has it that he may return to the team in 2003.
Button enjoyed his first taste of competitive racing this season: "Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo had the quickest cars around Sepang and for a considerable time I was sandwiched between them," he said. "We put on some great racing; and to have Michael Schumacher behind me, I kept thinking, this is the way it is going to be in the future. To come round and see my pit-board hanging over the wall with 'Button P2' or 'P3' was amazing as I swapped places with the Williams, especially after the frustrations of last year."
Last season Swiss team Sauber emerged to take a surprise fourth in the Constructors' championship and are again looking strong to hold the position this year. But Button thinks Renault can challenge Sauber for the 'best of the rest' slot in the standings and give the top three teams of Ferrari, McLaren and Williams a hard time as well.
"We started the season with (intentions of) seeing Renault fourth in the constructors championship. Sauber are our main rivals for that 'best of the rest' category, and I think we have now shown we have the edge over them and are capable of mixing it with the big three." Button concluded.