Button: Vettel best placed in title battle
Jenson Button believes that Sebastian Vettel is the best-placed driver to retain the World Championship after Red Bull's recent upswing in form.
By Mike Wise in Yeongam
Last Updated: 11/10/12 12:51pm
Jenson Button believes that Sebastian Vettel is the best-placed driver to retain the World Championship after his and Red Bull's recent upswing in form.
Vettel closed to within four points of Drivers' Championship leader Fernando Alonso after claiming his second successive victory in Japan last weekend. In contrast, Alonso was forced to retire his Ferrari on the opening lap at Suzuka after a collision with the Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen caused a puncture.
Button and team-mate Lewis Hamilton also closed the gap to Alonso after finishing fourth and fifth respectively in Japan.
Yet although both McLaren drivers still remain within reach of the Spaniard - Hamilton is 42 points adrift of Alonso with Button 63 points down - the 2009 World Champion thinks the team's best bet now lies in winning the Constructors' Championship.
Speaking on Thursday ahead of the Korean GP, Button said of Vettel and Red Bull: "They've been competitive for many races. In Suzuka they took another step forward, yes, and they had some new parts on the car. Obviously the (double DRS) but I don't really know how much that helped them.
"You would say at the moment that Sebastian and Red Bull are in the best position to fight for the Championship. They're very, very strong. But you can never discount Ferrari and Fernando.
"They could bring something here which gives them a couple of tenths, or three or four tenths, and then they are back at the front again."
With 125 points still potentially up for grabs, the title might still be a mathematical possibility for Button. However, the driver himself now admits that any individual success is highly unlikely.
McLaren stand 41 points behind Red Bull in the constructors' standings, however, and Button thinks his team still have everything to play for.
"We could claw that back in one race in one race, that's the great thing - if we both get a good result and those two don't. The constructors' is definitely on," he said.
"When I get out of the car at the end of the race and I look at the points, that's the bit I really look at.
"The drivers' is such a slim opportunity. If it happens, it happens. But I'm not going to get too excited about it."
Of this weekend's race, Button said that finding a good set-up is a difficult task at the Korea International Circuit because the track layout gradually tightens during the lap.
One of the longest straights on the calendar comes soon after the start but the final section features tight corners more akin to a street circuit.
"You've got Monza for the first 45 seconds and then you've got a mid-high speed section of the circuit, quite flowing. And then you've got driving round your living room at the end of the lap," Button explained.
"It's quite unique. I'm not sure which bit I like the most, probably the second sector."
Button also reckons that overtaking will be more possible this year after the decision to lengthen the DRS zone on the main straight.
"I think last year was very difficult but this year hopefully you can actually pull in front on the DRS. It's not an exciting move I know, but we'll see some overtaking at least," he added.