Defending World Champion Jenson Button has denied that his confidence has been dented after being summarily thumped out-paced by his team-mate Lewis Hamilton at the season-opening Bahrain GP.

Hamilton qualified in fourth place, four places ahead of Jenson, and managed to finish on the podium. Jenson finished over 20 seconds behind Lewis in 8th place.

When asked if his confidence had taken a hit after the trouncing, Button replied: “Absolutely not at all.”

Button & Hamilton Rivalry

"Lewis is an exceptional driver but most of the grid are.

"Going into any team with a driver who has been there for a while they have experience of working with that team. I’ve just got to find something in the balance which suits my driving style more and sitting with the engineers now, they have been really listening to what I have to say and throwing ideas around. So it has been really useful."

Despite many feeling that the refuelling ban would reward drivers whose style encourage better tyre management (such as Button), Jenson does carry with him the reputation of being poor on fine-tuning a set-up to his liking, and he has an inherent dislike for an imbalanced car.

Button admitted that he needs to improve his qualifying pace if he wants to match Hamilton this season, describing it as “an area I really want to work on.”

In trying to remain upbeat, he added, “I think the race showed that we have a car better than we saw in qualifying. We know that it is one lap that we struggle with at the moment. I think maybe with a different layout it would have been a little bit better.

“I am happy with the way the weekend has gone. I would rather have got more points but that didn’t happen. I go to the next race confident that we can take a step [further].”

You’d better hope so, Jenson!

[Original image via AUTOSPORT]

The following two tabs change content below.

Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.