F1: Button in mood

While Jenson Button heads to the Japanese Grand Prix aiming to maintain his fine run of form, the Englishman will do so with a tinge of regret.

Jensen Button, Formula 1

While Jenson Button heads to the Japanese Grand Prix aiming to maintain his fine run of form, the Englishman will do so with a tinge of regret.

Sunday's race is the last at the famous Suzuka circuit for the foreseeable future after Formula One officials announced earlier in the year that next season's Japanese Grand Prix would be hosted at the Toyota-owned Fuji Speedway.

That means Honda driver Button will miss out on a chance to drive at one of his favourite circuits in 2007.

"It's massively disappointing for me and for Honda, it being their own circuit," said Button.

"I hope we get back there soon, maybe in two years' time as it's a great place and it'll be a shame not to see it on the calendar."

While the focus has been on the battle between Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso for the world title, Button has been quietly amassing points over the last five races.

In Hungary he scored his first win in Formula One while also scoring three fourth-place finishes and a fifth to trail only Schumacher in the number of points scored in the five most recent races.

He will be hoping to maintain that run of form at Suzuka, where Honda will roll out their new engine on a circuit that has been a happy hunting ground for Button since making his debut in Formula One in 2000.

Button was fifth there in his first season in the sport while driving for Williams and has gone on to finish in the points in all but one of his six races at the track located outside Nagoya.

Third is his best finish at Suzuka, in 2004, and last season he finished fifth as Kimi Raikkonen won one of the most exciting Formula One races of recent times.

But, while the 26-year-old claimed his maiden Grand Prix win this year in Hungary, Button believes he can only harbour hopes of winning in Japan if the seasonal rains that regularly blight the track hit again.

"If it's dry, we're not quick enough," he said. "But I think it'll be a good race. There are a lot of competitive cars out there who are pretty quick.

"Suzuka's a great circuit for racing and one of my favourites, and then we go to Brazil. At both circuits there's a chance of rain so we'll give it a go and see how good we are."

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