Optimistic Button targets Spa podium

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Jenson Button can see the light at the end of the tunnel following a disastrous first half of the season for McLaren.

He is expecting a resurgence in form when F1 action resumes at Spa-Francorchamps following the August break.

“There are new bits that will be on the car for Spa, and I’m sure there will be more we can do in the week when we can work on the car,” said Button.

“Spa is a low downforce circuit, and what we already have on the car will suit Spa more than here. I still say we should be able to fight for a podium. We might get there and it be a definite no no, but it’s what I’m aiming for.”

Button drew some positives from his seventh-place finish in Hungary on Sunday: “The result is still not what we look for, but we beat a Ferrari and we would have beaten a Mercedes if it hadn’t have blown up [Nico Rosberg suffered engine failure with six laps to go], so that wasn’t too bad.”

“The pace we had on the soft tire was exciting, setting a couple of fastest laps in the middle of the race. So I genuinely believe we have improved the car, and on a circuit I didn’t think was quite right for us.”

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”