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David Richards, whose Prodrive team is due to announce its chassis and engine package for 2008 next month, has said that Jenson Button will find his form and bounce back.
Curiously, Richards, who took Button to BAR, which was subsequently bought by Honda, didn't mention the Japanese manufacturer, when he claimed that Button can still do a good job if given he right equipment.
"Jenson has extraordinary talent and this sport is often about people being in the right place at the right time," Richards told the Daily Mirror.
Referring to the youngster who has taken Button's place as Britain title hops, Richards continued: "We've seen the route Lewis has taken in the last 10 years. This is no accident, he has been totally dedicated and focused and is still only 22, almost the same age as Jenson when he came into F1.
"But I'm convinced Jenson still has a big opportunity in front of him," said the former BAR team boss. "If the right circumstances happen and he has the right people around him, he could still be successful."
Having finally taken his maiden F1 win at Hungaroring last year, part of a string of results that saw him amass forty points in the last seven races, a score only beaten by championship-runner up Michael Schumacher, much was expected of the Britain this season.
However, in addition to the stunning debut of Lewis Hamilton, the equipment at Button's disposal means that neither he nor his teammate has been able to open their 2007 points account.
It is understood that despite the smiles and public votes of confidence, Button is already applying pressure to the Brackley-based outfit, with some claiming that the Englishman has a clause in his contract which could see him move at the end of the season. The big question, however, is where would he go?
There has been speculation that Button could join forces with his former boss Richards at Prodrive, especially if the British team has access to a McLaren-Mercedes package.
However, despite the fact that Button's family has known Richards' for some time, there is thought to be 'bad blood' between the two men, with some claiming that a row between them over the driver's contract and bonus money led to the first 'Buttongate'.
"Jenson has the David Beckham thing, while Lewis brings the fresh new approach," said Richards, though it's not entirely clear what he meant by "Beckham thing".
"There has been a barrier to entry to people who don't have the resources," he continued. "Jenson and Lewis have shown that with proper support, hard work and backing you can do it."
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