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Page last updated at 09:29 GMT, Monday, 31 August 2009 10:29 UK

Button shrugs off Spa title blow

Kimi Raikkonen

Highlights - Belgian Grand Prix

Jenson Button insists he is approaching the climax of the Formula 1 season in a "positive" mood despite failing to score points at the Belgian Grand Prix.

The English driver left Spa with minimal damage to his championship lead as none of his title rivals capitalised significantly on his first-lap crash.

"It could've been worse, but then it could have been a lot better," he said.

Button leads his Brawn team-mate Rubens Barrichello by 16 points with a maximum of 50 available, with five races to go.

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel is a further three points adrift of Button, with his team-mate Mark Webber 20.5 off the lead.

Button was taken out of the race in Belgium by rookie Renault driver Romain Grosjean, less than halfway around the first lap.

He has now scored only 11 points in the last five races after winning six of the season's first seven grands prix.

Rubens Barrichello

Brawn duo philosophical after tough weekend

But Barrichello, his closest challenger going into the Spa race, managed to score only two points after finishing seventh.

Vettel leapfrogged Webber into third place in the championship by finishing third, while the Australian was ninth after being hit with a drive-through penalty for an unsafe release from a pit stop.

Button - who started Sunday's race from 14th on the grid, 10 places behind Barrichello - said: "It's frustrating as I was in a reasonable position having made up some places and with a lot of fuel on board.

"But it's better to have my first retirement here where I haven't been so competitive than when I'm running at the front.

"We're determined get back on track at the next race and be more competitive there at a track which should be quite good for our car."

If you think that I was 26 points behind Jenson in the championship two weeks ago and I'm 16 now - so, well, I'm getting back

Rubens Barrichello

He added: "Despite what happened, I'm positive. There's no reason for me to be down, even though I lost two points of my championship lead, which is not good.

"None of my title contenders had a great day so it was not a bad weekend.

"We go to Monza positive, not negative, because we're in the lead. We know we have to have some good races, but we're looking forward to it."

Barrichello had an eventful race, almost stalling at the start and then nursing his car to the finish with an oil leak.

Sebastian Vettel

Mixed feelings for Red Bull drivers

"At the end, I was just praying to finish the race," the Brazilian said.

"I should have done a lot better with Jenson out of it and it was a good chance for me.

"But if you think that I was 26 points behind Jenson in the championship two weeks ago and I'm 16 now - well, I'm getting back."

Vettel believes the championship remains wide open.

"Looking at the championship you see how quickly things can change," said the German.

"This championship is a bit crazy, to be honest. It's a good result for us. We've taken points out of the Brawns."

Webber said: "I'm not even thinking about the championship. We've got a long way to go and (we'll take) each race as it comes. I'm disappointed we didn't get any points today, but that's the way it goes sometimes."

As a team Brawn GP, having collected 96 points in the first seven races of the season, have now picked up 32 in the last five.

Team principal Ross Brawn echoed Button's hopes that they will be back on the pace at the next race in Monza on 13 September.

"It wasn't a great weekend for us but it could have been a lot worse," he told BBC Sport.

ANDREW BENSON BLOG

"We'll cleanse our minds before we go to Monza. The car should work well there. We're good on brakes, we're good on traction, so I think we can look forward to Monza."

And Brawn said he was not worried about Button's ability to cope with the pressure of leading the drivers' championship.

"This is pressure he's never had before and he's got to get used to it, but he's handling it very well," he added.

"I keep saying to the guys that six months ago we didn't have a team, so whatever we get is a bonus, even if we don't get to where we might want to be."



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see also
Fisichella closes on Ferrari move
31 Aug 09 |  Formula 1
Raikkonen wins exciting Spa duel
30 Aug 09 |  Formula 1
Belgian Grand Prix race results
27 Aug 09 |  Results
Button and Hamilton crash out at Spa
30 Aug 09 |  Formula 1
Highlights - Belgian Grand Prix
30 Aug 09 |  Formula 1
Belgian Grand Prix as it happened
30 Aug 09 |  Formula 1
Fisichella on shock Belgium pole
29 Aug 09 |  Formula 1
Iím not feeling pressure - Button
27 Aug 09 |  Formula 1
Nerves threaten Button's title bid
25 Aug 09 |  Formula 1


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