However despite still having not managed a top-three finish in 14 starts there since his Formula One career began in 2000, the race unsurprisingly remains special for the British driver and one in which he still revels.
“We’re not going to be fighting for a podium as we haven’t been anywhere near this season,” he said, but acknowledged the support the race attracts. “You have to put on a great show for the fans, they are here whatever the condition, whether there is a British guy at the front or at the back or no British guy at all. They will be here to love the sport and there has been so much support over the years it has been fantastic. It really helps when it’s tough, when you’re fighting as far back as we are right now.”
Button is currently on a one-year contract with McLaren, so this may yet be his last race at his home grand prix. “I’d be pretty happy if I retired right now with my career in terms of achievements but I would love to win the British GP or even be on the podium,” he said. “It’s a shame because I can imagine it is an unbelievably emotional experience that you share with all the fans. I look forward to this race every year. Out of all the races here and Suzuka stand out as special for me in terms of crowd support and love for the circuit. I really enjoy it, it’s a great place to drive.”
He has scored the team’s only points this season with an eighth place at Monaco and has been stoical all season about the task that developing a new car in partnership with a new engine from Honda would be. His opinion was echoed by the former world champion John Surtees this week. “Sometimes you have to make an investment,” he said. “Jenson and Fernando have found that out this year. I can quite understand what they’ve done because I entered some projects because I thought they were worthy of investment.”
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