Jenson Button looks to sophomore season

The final day of the Autosport International Show in Birmingham, England opened with a Briton Jenson Button on the Autosport Stage. The current darling of the British fans spoke for more than a half an hour in the first of his many appearances ...

The final day of the Autosport International Show in Birmingham, England opened with a Briton Jenson Button on the Autosport Stage. The current darling of the British fans spoke for more than a half an hour in the first of his many appearances throughout the day. He was also challenged by a fan in a head-to-head competition on the new Gran Turismo game for Playstation 3. He won narrowly, but not before driving the wrong direction on more than occasion.

Much of the conversation centered on the young driver's meteoric rise, and the whirlwind that surrounded him throughout the year.

"It's such a different world, Formula One," said Button. "Although I've been racing competitively since I was eight years old, and had tested extensively in an F1 car, I was really overwhelmed at the first Grand Prix back in Melbourne."

"Really what helped me most throughout the year was remembering that I am a racecar driver and have been racing most of my life," continued Button. "It's all about competition really. The more time you have in a car or kart competing, developing your racecraft and getting time in the car, the better off your going to be. And at the end of the day, F1 is just racing and competition, albeit at the highest level."

Now driving the Michelin shod Benetton in 2001, Button is eager to get on with the season, and is enjoying the atmosphere.

"Giancarlo (Fisichella) and I get along well so far," says Button, "though he seems to sleep a lot. If he's not in the car he's asleep! I think he's out clubbing a bit to late into the night."

"I have yet to drive the 2001 car which will be out later this month, but we've already done quite a bit of testing in the interim-car. It's going quite well so far and working with Michelin is fantastic. We'll go out and evaluate a set of tires and the engineers will swap on another set of tires, and they'll be fantastic, better than the ones I just drove. It goes on like that throughout the entire test," Button revealed.

-George Tamayo

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button
Teams Benetton