Button vows to go "aggressive" in new Super GT season
Jenson Button has vowed to take a more “aggressive” approach in his sophomore Super GT campaign, having admitted to being cautious in his first full season in the Japanese series.
Formula 1 convert Button appeared to struggle in some races last year, particularly with traffic management, but put on a stellar defensive drive in the Motegi season finale to win the GT500 title along with Naoki Yamamoto.
The 37-year-old, who will have #1 on his Team Kunimitsu-run Honda NSX GT this year, admitted his lack of sportscar experience meant that he was too wary about crashing the car during his title-winning campaign.
“This is a very competitive category, it took me a little bit of time to get used to it,” Button said shortly after Honda officially confirmed that he would stay in the series to defend his crown.
“Luckily I found [Yamamoto] who was super-fast from the first lap of the season. So now that I’ve learnt so much in the year of races that we’ve had.
“I think coming into this season I’m personally going to be a bit more aggressive in a good way. I think I was cautious in some ways because I might damage the car. I don’t want to crash the car.
“Now we have the championship in 2018 I think we got to go out there and be a bit more aggressive in a good way, in a controlled way.
“But I’m looking forward to some really really good fights. And I think there will be some great fights within Honda but also I think especially from the #37 [TOM’S Lexus] car and the #23 [NISMO] car. Those two are really gonna push us hard.”
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Button’s foray into Super GT allowed him to race at some of the smaller tracks in Japan that were never or are no longer used in international series.
And having now got a chance to witness them first-hand, the Brit likened the domestic racing scenario in Japan to that in his home country.
“I think for me racing in Japan, it’s been pretty special to go to all these new circuits,” he said. “Before it was Fuji, it was Suzuka I raced in Formula 1. And now I get to race in smaller circuits which remind me of racing in the UK.
“it’s great to see such a big fan base even at these smaller tracks in the middle of nowhere [like] Okayama and Autopolis.”
Additional reporting by Tomohiro Yoshita
#1 Team Kunimitsu Honda NSX-GT
Photo by: Tomohiro Yoshita
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