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Button vows to improve next year

Sebastian Vettel

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 90 seconds

Jenson Button believes he will be a stronger driver next year after winning the world championship in 2009.

The Brawn driver, who clinched the title in Brazil two weeks ago, finished his season on a high with third in Abu Dhabi, his first podium for four races.

"What I've been through this season I haven't experienced before. Mentally it's been tough," he told BBC Sport.

"I've learnt a lot. I'll for sure be a stronger driver when I get on the grid for the first race in Bahrain."

Button dominated at the start of the season, winning six of the first seven races, but his charge hit the buffers as a run of 11 points in five races allowed team-mate Rubens Barrichello and Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel to close the gap.

However, a daring performance in Brazil earned him the necessary points to seal his maiden world title, and it was a relaxed Button who moved up from fifth on the grid to finish third in Abu Dhabi - and had an entertaining duel with Vettel's team-mate Mark Webber for second.

"It was so much fun," Button said of his battle with Webber.

We wanted to finish the season on a high and I think we have done that

Sebastian Vettel

"Getting on the podium here was what I came to achieve. The Red Bull was just a little bit too fast for us, but this race is a bit of a bonus for me.

"After winning the world championship, I came here to have a bit of fun and really enjoy myself and that's exactly what I did."

Button must now decide where his F1 future lies.

The Englishman, 29, is thought to want an improved deal to stay at Brawn after he took a pay cut to help the team to survive following Honda's withdrawal from the sport.

With no agreement yet in place, he has emerged as a possible contender for the second seat at McLaren alongside Lewis Hamilton, his predecessor as world champion.

However, Button denied that money was his motivation.

"For me winning the world championship has always been my dream since I was a little boy," he said.

"The next dream is to get out there and challenge the rest of the drivers for the championship next season. That's the most important thing."

There's going to be a big battle at the front next year, with four teams fighting it out

Jenson Button

Button said he expected the battle at the front to be even tougher in 2010, with Ferrari and McLaren joining Brawn and Red Bull.

"Ferrari and McLaren are going to be competitive next season," he said.

"They have the resources, they have the expertise, they have competitive drivers. For sure they are going to be quick.

"They've had a different approach over the last few races. If you look at Ferrari, they've said that they've had no development which is unusual to hear, as there's not much that changes for next season [in terms of the rules].

"But it seems that McLaren have thrown everything at the car and have been very competitive over the last couple of races.

"So going into next year, they're going to be quicker compared to the start of this season but I don't think they're suddenly going to be stronger than Red Bull and Brawn.

"I think there's going to be a big battle at the front which is going to be a new thing for all of us, because having four teams fighting it out at the front, that hasn't happened [for a while]."

Brawn team principal Ross Brawn has said he is "99%" confident that Button will sign - and he has promised that the team will carry their form into 2010.

"It's going to be far more difficult next season as by the second half of this year the teams caught up," Brawn told BBC Sport.

"But we've got every reason to believe we can be competitive. We are quietly confident about next year."

However, Red Bull also head into 2010 with confidence high after winning the last three races of the season, with Vettel and Webber making it a fourth one-two of the year in Abu Dhabi.

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"We didn't succeed with the world championship but I think we can be proud of what we achieved," said Vettel, who finished 11 points behind Button in second place in the drivers' standings.

"There has been a lot of positives this year - we wanted to finish the season on a high and I think we have done that.

"There are also a lot of lessons to learn. We made some mistakes but very quickly we understood them.

"Now in the winter we have plenty of time to analyse, look back again and come back stronger for next year."



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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

RaceLast updated: 15 Nov 2012 12:34 UK
Position Country Driver Race Time
1 germany S Vettel 1:34:03.414
2 australia M Webber 1:34:21.271
3 great britain J Button 1:34:21.881
4 brazil R Barrichello 1:34:26.149
5 germany N Heidfeld 1:34:29.667
6 japan K Kobayashi 1:34:32.757
7 italy J Trulli 1:34:37.780
8 switzerland S Buemi 1:34:44.708
9 germany N Rosberg 1:34:49.355
10 poland R Kubica 1:34:51.594

see also
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix race results
14 Sep 09 |  Results
Vettel wins as Hamilton drops out
01 Nov 09 |  Formula 1
Brawn 'confident' of strong 2010
30 Oct 09 |  Formula 1
Brawn '99% sure' Button will stay
25 Oct 09 |  Formula 1
Brilliant Button clinches title
18 Oct 09 |  Formula 1
F1 salutes champion Button
18 Oct 09 |  Formula 1
How good is Button?
18 Oct 09 |  Formula 1


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