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Page last updated at 12:18 GMT, Friday, 29 October 2010 13:18 UK

McLaren promise to support Jenson Button in Brazil

Brazilian Grand Prix, Interlagos, 5-7 November
Qualifying: 1500-1720 on BBC One, Red Button, online and 5 live sports extra
Race: 1510-1815 on BBC One, Red Button, online and Radio 5 live sports extra

Fernando Alonso of Ferrari drives during the Korean Formula One Grand Prix

Highlights - Korean Grand Prix

McLaren have confirmed they will give Jenson Button their full support as he attempts to defend his world drivers' title at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Button is 42 points behind leader Fernando Alonso with 50 points available and he trails his McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton by 21 points.

"He has vowed to fight on and we will be supporting him fully next weekend," said McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh.

"Jenson knows you can't lift the title without being a resolute fighter."

Whitmarsh added: "That's exactly why we hired him, he is a great driver and we will be supporting him fully next weekend."

ANDREW BENSON'S BLOG

Button has said he would not be able to forgive himself if he did not try to defend his Formula 1 crown at the season's penultimate race at Interlagos on 7 November.

The Englishman clinched his 2009 world title in Brazil but he admits the odds are stacked against him this year.

"It is a long shot but I'd regret it for the rest of my life if I chose not to go for it," said Button.

"I've always said I'll fight until it's mathematically impossible for me."

Alonso, the Red Bulls of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel as well as Hamilton and Button are all still in the title hunt with only two races to go in Brazil and Abu Dhabi on 14 November.

Button needs to finish at least second in Brazil and hope other results go his way.

Two-time champion Alonso, who leads the standings by 11 points from Webber, is the only driver who can clinch the 2010 crown in Brazil.

Asked by BBC Sport if he was still in contention after finishing 12th at the Korean Grand Prix, Button said: "Not really."

Martin Brundle, Eddie Jordan, Jake Humphrey and Eddie Jordan

Button on his title hopes

But the 30-year-old has now vowed to fight on, saying: "It's totally possible I could win at Interlagos, take home maximum points and have none of the other title contenders finish.

"If it's another wet race, that could easily happen. In Formula 1 you never know; you learn early on in this sport that it's not over until it's over."

With just two races left to settle both the drivers and constructors' titles, McLaren and Red Bull find themselves in the unusual situation of having both their drivers still in the hunt.

Hamilton is 21 points behind Alonso but Button told the BBC in Korea that he will not yet be asked to support his team-mate's bid to retake the title he won in Brazil in 2008.

Button added: "For Brazil, we're bringing more updates to the car. The pace of development is just incessant, and everybody is so determined to make the car faster.

"We haven't backed off the development stream just yet, so again we're hopeful of another step forward in performance for Brazil.

"In Korea, we looked extremely quick during the practice sessions, only to see that pace narrow in qualifying and the race, so I think we have every reason to still feel optimistic.

"It's a track that should suit us, so I'm already looking forward to it."



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see also
Alonso wins as Red Bull implode
24 Oct 10 |  Formula 1
Button downbeat on title chances
24 Oct 10 |  Formula 1


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