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Button: Feeling like a kid again

NEWS STORY
10/03/2009

Following three months of uncertainty, Jenson Button isn't merely back in an F1 car, he's topping the timesheets.

Yesterday, for much of the day, the Englishman sensationally topped the timesheets at Barcelona, as the final major pre-season test got underway. However, what makes the achievement all the more remarkable is the fact that not only is this the first time the Brawn BGP 001 has been driven in anger, less than a week ago nobody, including Button, could be certain that either he or the car would be given the opportunity to prove themselves.

With the future of the Brackley team secured, at least for the next year, Button was grinning like a kid from the moment he arrived at the Circuit de Catalunya yesterday to the moment he left, and he had every reason to.

"I feel like a kid again," he told reporters, "getting into a Formula One car, it's so exciting. "It feels like 2000 again," he continued, referring to his sensational debut season with Williams, "but with nine years of experience, so it's the perfect position to be in. I have the experience but I have the hunger to achieve."

While it is rumoured that Brackley employees will have to either take pay cuts of up to 40% or accept redundancy packages worth around 10% of what Honda was offering in December, Button has already made his decision, taking a 50% cut in order to remain on the grid.

"We all have to make sacrifices," he said. "You might say 'You're an F1 driver, you earn loads of money', and some of of us do earn quite a bit of money. It's a very different situation now than what it was a year ago but that doesn't mean anything to me because I want to race.

"What would I do sat at home?" he asked the journalists present. "There's nothing out there for me at the moment. I'm 29 years old, still a kid in my eyes, and I've still a lot to prove.

"In five or six years, if that sort of thing happened then I might walk away and look to do something else," he admitted, referring to Honda's shock withdrawal from the sport, "but that's not my aim at the moment. It's to be here on the grid and show I can win races, and with Brawn GP there's a good possibility of that in the future."

Button admits that when Honda announced its decision to quit F1 in early December he was stunned. However, it was the spirit of determination, of we can do this, at Brackley that kept him going.

"I didn't turn to the bottle, I turned to the team," he said. "I went to the factory the next day and in a way I was shocked because I was quite emotional thinking we might not be racing in 2009. To see the team was great for me because it showed me they are all still focused and doing a great job. It helped me more than me helping them."

No doubt, yesterday's performance will have given the guys at Brackley a further boost.

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