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Page last updated at 17:54 GMT, Thursday, 20 August 2009 18:54 UK

Button out to reignite title push

Venue: Valencia Dates: 21-23 August 2009 Coverage: Live coverage of Friday's practice sessions, Saturday qualifying and Sunday's race - which starts at 1300 BST - across BBC TV, radio and online platforms. Find full listings here

Jenson Button
Button has won six races so far in an impressive season

By Sarah Holt
BBC Sport in Valencia

Championship leader Jenson Button is confident Brawn have resolved the car's problems in time to reignite his title charge at Sunday's European Grand Prix.

A lack of pace has seen him off the podium in the last three races and his championship lead cut to 18.5 points.

"We know where we went wrong and hopefully those issues are now resolved," said Button.

"The car is not bad, we just went in the wrong direction but we can pick up pace and be strong again."

Button's title charge has stuttered since he won the Turkish Grand Prix in early June.

Cool conditions saw the Englishman finish sixth at the British GP and fifth in Germany but when he followed that with a season-low seventh under sunny skies in Hungary team boss Ross Brawn commissioned an audit to find out why the car had so drastically lost performance.

There has been a lot of work going on and we understand the car more than we did two races ago. So it is looking positive

Jenson Button

Despite a two-week break on car development agreed among all teams on the grid, Button is confident that staff at the team's Brackley base have had enough time to turn things around for this weekend.

"There has been a lot of work going on and we understand the car more than we did two races ago. It is looking positive," the 29-year-old said.

"I spoke to my race engineer Andrew Shovlin on Monday and we went over step-by-step through the season where we've gone with the car mechanically.

"We thought through everything - the ride height, the weight distribution, and the mechanical set-up - and we saw a bit of a trend.

"So we think we know some of the reasons for our issues, especially with tyre temperature."

Button pinpointed Brawn's inability to heat up their tyres to the optimum working temperatures, especially in cooler weather, as the key cause in their performance decline.

The team are also understood to have highlighted problems with the car's suspension, for which new parts are being brought to Valencia.

Zoom in and fly around the Valencia circuit

Button believes the team are capable of returning to the front of the grid even if Valencia's steamy temperatures drop off over the weekend.

"If you can't get the tyres working nothing else really matters," he explained.

"I'm positive that we know the reasons now and even if the circuit is cool here this weekend I'm really hoping we can get the car working and back to where it was."

But Button concedes that despite the data gathered at Brackley, the team cannot be certain that they have rediscovered their form until they hit the track in practice on Friday.

"It all sounds great in the engineering office and I believe them, but at the end of practice we might put our hands up and say we really don't know why we can't get the tyres working."

Red Bull driver Mark Webber propelled himself into second in the championship, ahead of team-mate Sebastian Vettel, after the Australian followed his maiden victory at the Nurburgring with third in Hungary.

Button, though, believes McLaren and Ferrari will also be in the fight for victory in Spain on Sunday.


Defending world champion Lewis Hamilton is also expecting another promising weekend after claiming his first victory of the season for McLaren, Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen following him home in second.

"Red Bull have been competitive over the last few races and the only positive I can take is that they are both going at it hard between them," added Button.

"Webber has upped his game and has got the advantage over Vettel, but he's not going to settle; he's still fighting for the world championship.

"We now have two Ferraris and McLarens around us at the start and so things have got a lot more complicated."

First practice for the European GP in Valencia starts at 0855 BST with second practice at 1255.

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see also
McLaren talk up Kers 'advantage'
20 Aug 09 |  Formula 1
Renault cleared for European GP
17 Aug 09 |  Formula 1
F1 big picture
27 Jul 09 |  Formula 1
Button bemused by Brawn problems
26 Jul 09 |  Formula 1
Button wins as Brawn GP dominate
10 May 09 |  Formula 1
Jenson Button
02 Nov 09 |  Formula 1
F1 on the BBC
01 Dec 11 |  Formula 1

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