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Page last updated at 15:56 GMT, Sunday, 27 September 2009 16:56 UK

Positive Button eyes Japan chance

Lewis Hamilton

Highlights - Singapore Grand Prix (UK users only)

Brawn GP's Jenson Button declared his Singapore Grand Prix "almost perfect" after battling to fifth place to extend his championship lead by one point.

Button started 11th but finished a place ahead of Rubens Barrichello, who is 15 points behind his team-mate, with Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel 25 adrift.

"I'm very happy with the result," the Englishman said, "and I go to Japan very positive for the next race."

Button will win the title next weekend if he makes five points on Barrichello.

The 29-year-old's championship hopes had appeared to take a big blow after a Saturday qualifying session he described as "disastrous", but a typically smooth drive during the race coupled with a relatively unsuccessful day for his title rivals helped him recover.

It's almost like a victory to win these points

Brawn's Jenson Button

Three races of the season remain with 30 points on offer and only Barrichello and Vettel, who finished fourth in Singapore, can now reel Button in.

Vettel's team-mate Mark Webber is out of the championship race after suffering brake failure on lap 46 at the Marina Bay circuit.

"I come away with a result which doesn't look so good on paper but it's almost like a victory to win these points," said Button.

"I gained one point on Rubens and lost one point on Sebastian so all in all it is almost the perfect race.

"Mathematically Rubens can still beat me for sure but it has taken a lot of weight off my shoulders, this, and so it is a good finish.

Jenson Button

Button pleased with fifth place

"My aim is to win the world championship and it is not when or where. You want it sooner rather than later but you've got to think that your aim is to win and that's exactly what my aim is.

"It is going to be three tough races."

He added: "I got stuck behind Heikki [Kovalainen] for quite a few laps of the race but when he pitted I was able to get past him.

"I was happy to get Nakajimi off the line and that was key for me - that really made the race for me."

Team boss Ross Brawn said: "There was a recovery for us, it looked pretty grim yesterday afternoon [after qualifying]. Our main competitors have not made progress today."

Though Barrichello qualified in fifth on Saturday he was handed a mandatory five-place grid penalty to drop to 10th, before gaining one place because of a later grid penalty to BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld.

The Brazilian fought hard to make the most of the opportunities that arose in the race and insists he will continue to push for the title.


"It was a very tough race," he said. "I fought all the way with plenty of things - it could have been better for sure.

"I'm disappointed because I fought with plenty of things all weekend - gearboxes, shunts, safety cars, pit stops - but I've got to be positive.

"I'm not going to throw my towel in for sure - 13 or 15 points doesn't make a huge amount of difference. I will fight until the end."

Vettel was chasing winner Lewis Hamilton during the middle stages of the Singapore race and looked on course to finish at least second, but a drive-through penalty cost him the chance of getting closer to Button in the title race and he now sits 25 points adrift.

"We were quick today, especially during the second stint, but there was no chance to catch Lewis Hamilton," said the German.

Rubens Barrichello

I'll fight to the end - Barrichello

"Then I was given a drive-through for speeding in the pit-lane, which surprised me a lot because I wasn't in any rush. We'll have to check if that was a technical issue, because I felt I was OK.

"With that penalty and the damage to my car by the end - it was falling apart - fourth place was the best we could do.

"As for the title race, we'll do what we did here - we will try to attack to the maximum, try to win the races and keep pushing."

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see also
Vettel surprised by penalty
27 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Boost for Button as Hamilton wins
27 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Singapore Grand Prix photos
27 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Singapore Grand Prix race results
14 Sep 09 |  Results
Hamilton on top as Button toils
26 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Ecclestone sends Donington threat
26 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Vettel heads Alonso in practice
25 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
F1 returns to scene of the crime
24 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Button rejects cautious approach
24 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Ferrari cast doubt over Raikkonen
23 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Reeling Renault to continue in F1
24 Sep 09 |  Formula 1

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