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Page last updated at 22:43 GMT, Saturday, 17 October 2009 23:43 UK

Button fears title blow in Brazil

BRAZILIAN GRAND PRIX
Venue: Interlagos Dates: 16-18 October 2009 Coverage: Comprehensive live coverage of Friday practice, Saturday qualifying and Sunday's race - which starts at 1700 BST - across BBC TV, radio and online platforms. Find full listings here

Rubens Barrichello

Highlights - Brazilian GP qualifying

Jenson Button admitted team-mate Rubens Barrichello has a "very good chance" of taking the title race to the wire after his disastrous qualifying session.

Button, who leads the standings by 14 points, will start the Brazil Grand Prix in 14th, with Barrichello on pole.

"I'm massively disappointed. Rubens on pole is not good," he said.

"He has a very good chance of taking it to the last race, but a lot could still happen. I'm going to have to fight because I want to get the job done."

Barrichello will ensure the title race heads to the final race in Abu Dhabi on 1 November if he can close the gap by at least five points on Sunday.

He will hope to make up much more than that after getting the better of a qualifying session disrupted by heavy downpours in Sao Paulo.

We have won nothing just yet, we just need to keep it calm

Rubens Barrichello

As the track dried in the second session, Brawn opted not to put their drivers on intermediate tyres, and while Barrichello just made the cut for the top-10 shootout, Button missed out.

"We made a mistake not putting intermediate tyres on at the end, but it's a collective decision, it's a team effort," said the Englishman.

But Brawn team principal Ross Brawn took responsibility for the error.

"Ultimately it's my call to decide what to do," he said.

Brawn nonetheless backed Button to finish in the points, but said he hoped the title would be decided in Abu Dhabi.

"If we can go into the last race with our two drivers fighting for the championship, I think that would be a fitting finale," he said.

"It has been a season of two halves for both of them. Jenson dominated the first half of the season and Rubens is doing a better job in the second half and there's not much between them."

Barrichello took his first pole of the season in front of an ecstatic home crowd, who had sat through the frustrating rain delays to cheer on their hero.

But the 37-year-old stressed the need to remain calm ahead of the race.

Jenson Button

Button rues choice of tyres in wet

"We had to be on pole, but this is only the first stage of the dream," he said.

"We have won nothing just yet, we just need to keep it calm.

"There are going to be a lot of people who are very happy, I am very happy, but I could be having less fuel than my competitors."

Barrichello may also be mindful that in 16 attempts, he has never won his home grand prix, and indeed has only finished it four times.

He added: "I will race as hard as I can to win the race, then when the race is finished I will open the radio and see where Jenson and Sebastian [Vettel] finish."

The only positive to come out of Button's day was that Vettel, his only other challenger for the title, could not even make it out of the first qualifying session.

The German, who needs to finish in the top two, to keep his hopes alive will start 16th on the grid.

"It's a shame... but this is life and we have to deal with it," said the 22-year-old, who vowed to race "with the knife between our teeth".

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"People have won races from this far back on the grid but it is going to be really hard."

Sunday's weather forecast is better than Saturday's, but there remains a threat of showers.

"I'd rather it was dry," said Button.

"We have very good pace in the dry and we'll have good possibilities to overtake. But in the wet, I suppose anything can happen."



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see also
Button bid hit by qualifying flop
17 Oct 09 |  Formula 1
Brazil Grand Prix qualifying results
14 Sep 09 |  Results
Brazilian GP qualifying as it happened
17 Oct 09 |  Formula 1
Button warned about playing safe
16 Oct 09 |  Formula 1
Brazil Grand Prix practice results
14 Sep 09 |  Results
Brazilian GP practice as it happened
16 Oct 09 |  Formula 1
Button to take cautious approach
16 Oct 09 |  Formula 1
Button needs 'champion's drive'
06 Oct 09 |  Formula 1
Brazilian GP practice photos
16 Oct 09 |  Formula 1
Report - Brazilian GP second practice
16 Oct 09 |  Formula 1


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