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Page last updated at 15:47 GMT, Tuesday, 7 July 2009 16:47 UK

Title is 'Button's to lose now'

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Interview: Red Bull driver Mark Webber

Mark Webber says the Formula 1 world title is Jenson Button's to lose as the Brawn GP driver prepares to take a 23-point lead into the German Grand Prix.

The Englishman has won six of the first eight races, and Webber says only mechanical problems can deny him now.

"I don't see Button losing the fight himself," Webber told BBC Sport.

"He's been so impressively consistent and just doesn't make mistakes. If he loses the title now, it will be down to a problem from the team, not him."

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel is the only other driver to take the chequered flag this season, winning in wet conditions in China and at Silverstone where Brawn struggled with lower track temperatures.

But Webber believes Button, who holds a 28.5-point advantage over him and a 25-point lead over Vettel, has built a big enough cushion to protect his position in the final nine races.

606: DEBATE
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"Button has such a big lead that he can afford not to win points in a few races and still stay ahead," said the Australian, who has been on the podium four times in 2009.

"The battle for the drivers' championship is much tougher for us because of the way he's been driving. He's been so consistent in all sessions and races."

In the aftermath of Vettel's win in Silverstone, there were suggestions Red Bull would soon start favouring the German in their pursuit of Button and his team-mate Rubens Barrichello, who is second in the drivers' table.

Team principal Christian Horner has said he has will not decide on a team strategy for another three or four races - or until one of his drivers becomes a clear title contender.

Just 3.5 points separates Vettel and Webber and the Australian says the team are doing all they can to ensure both cars are equally competitive.

I don't have to beat Sebastian on home soil in Germany - but I'm not going to settle for staying close to him

Mark Webber

"It is too early to start backing someone, and the team are being brilliant with that," said Webber, whose best championship finish is 10th in 2003 and 2005.

"We're trying to beat Brawn and so as a race team we are preparing both cars as best we can to see who's in the best position to fight for the front row and likewise for Sunday.

"I don't have to beat Sebastian on his home soil in Germany. He's only 3.5 points ahead of me which means mathematically I still have a chance to do very well.

"I'm staying relaxed but I'm not just going to settle for staying close to him.

"I want to play my role in the team as we aim to close down Jenson Button and Brawn's lead in the championships and when Sebastian has made mistakes I've been there to take points for the team."

Webber is confident Red Bull can still claw back Brawn's 30.5-lead in the team standings over the remaining nine races.

Red Bull are expecting to take the fight to Ross Brawn's team again at the German GP at the Nurburgring.

"I think we all know we can take it too them in the constructors' championship," said the Australian.

"It's doable. They are on the front foot no question about it but we still have a lot to play for.

"We will be strong at the Nurburgring but whether we will be as strong as Silverstone we are waiting to find out."



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see also
Red Bull blow F1 fight wide open
23 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Red Bull to change reserve driver
01 Jul 09 |  Formula 1
Button plays down Red Bull gains
21 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Vettel romps to Silverstone win
21 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Button hopes to bounce back in Germany
21 Jun 09 |  Formula 1


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