Q&A with Renault driver Jenson Button 1) This is your second year with the team, how do you look back on last season? It was a tough year for me, but I have learnt from it and developed as a Formula One driver. I did initially struggle to find...
Q&A with Renault driver Jenson Button
1) This is your second year with the team, how do you look back on last season?
It was a tough year for me, but I have learnt from it and developed as a Formula One driver. I did initially struggle to find the right set up for the car, but I worked hard with the team during the year and it really came together during the latter part of the season. There were highs and lows of course, but it was good to finish the last race in 7th place, just outside the points.
2) How important will the work of 2001 be this season?
The whole of 2001 was in preparation for Renault's return to Formula One in 2002, so it was vital. I am sure that the hard work and efforts of the entire team in 2001 will pay off in 2002.
3) What do you think of the new Renault R202?
The progress and development we made last year have played an invaluable part in forming the new car. I believe we will have a great package for 2002 and beyond.
4) You are in your third season in F1, what are your expectations?
I am looking for podium finishes and points for the team. My first race win is obviously a high priority too. Renault has experienced winning the World Championship in Formula One previously and this is their ultimate goal again. I will be giving the team 100 percent and I am looking forward to scoring some points for Renault F1.
5) Is life tougher now than when you started out in F1?
I think the first year is actually your easiest, as there are no expectations to perform. You are a rookie. It is after the first season that the pressure is on, and 2002 will be no different.
6) How do you feel your driving developed last year?
My driving style didn't suit the car at first, so I had to adjust and find the way to get the best out of the car. Even changing little things, like sitting lower in my seat, helped me get more from the car. I learnt a lot about the set up of the car and that really helped me find the balance towards the end of the year.
7) What does it mean to have the continuity with your engineering team?
That is very important to me and I have built up a good relationship with the guys in the team. Aside from working together at race weekends and tests, I have been to the factory a number of times since October, purely to talk through plans for the development of the 2002 car. That is very beneficial to me as I am increasing my understanding of the new car and I also get to spend time with people at the factory who I don't see at the track.
8) How do you rate your fitness after the winter training?
My fitness is very good. I am at a much higher level than I was at the start of 2001. I didn't enjoy training until I came to the team last year, but the idea of training camps makes working out fun and brings a competitive edge into training. I have taken part in a much wider variety of sports this year, and can really feel the benefit in my overall fitness and physique.
9) How have you bonded with Jarno?
He was also at the Kenya Training Camp during the winter and that was a good opportunity for us to get to know each other better. We trained together and it was a good way to break the ice with a new team-mate. We get on fine and I am looking forward to working with him in 2002.
10) How are you going to go about beating him?
You will have to wait and see! We have a lot of testing and work to do before the first race and so I am concentrating on that at present. Both Jarno and I have a lot of miles to complete in the new R202 before Australia and working together will play a big part in the preparation of the new car.