Belfast Telegraph

Friday 21 November 2014

I need to chill out more, admits Button

Jenson Button admits he still needs to get out more a year on from providing a colourful self-assessment.

Ahead of last season's Monaco Grand Prix, following a phenomenal start to the year in which he had won four out of the first five races and was chasing down the title, for the first time in his career Button was eating, sleeping and drinking Formula One.

In immersing himself in the sport in a determined bid to become champion, Button described himself as “a right boring b*****d”, a remark that naturally made headlines.

The 30-year-old concedes that now he has a title to his name it has eased the stresses and strains, but in truth little has changed and he is still how he characterised himself.

“I'm a lot more relaxed now than I was last year, definitely so, but I still think about Formula One maybe too much,” Button said.

“Sometimes you need a break, to get away from it and have another hobby, which I have — triathlons, but I haven't done any since August last year.

“So most of the time I'm still thinking about Formula One, which is sometimes a good thing, sometimes it isn't.

“That's because you do need to get away to ensure you are far more fresh when you return. So I would say I am pretty similar to last year, just a bit more relaxed.”

Becoming champion and switching to McLaren from Brawn GP has also played a key role in Button failing to escape as much as he would like.

McLaren are, and have always been, sponsor orientated, placing high demands on their drivers to ensure those who pay into the team are rewarded.

It has had an effect as Button's fitness regime has tailed off, although not to a degree where it has damaged his racing.

“I'm definitely busier here,” added Button. “The thing is, when you get a day off, sometimes you need to rest from everything. But I want to get out there and train to make sure it doesn't drop off.

“There has to be a balance to everything, and I've probably not trained as much as I would like. But I'm definitely training enough for racing, and that's the most important thing to me. That's number one.

“It's a busy schedule with McLaren, but we make sure it's balanced, that it's not too overpowering and we're not tired when we get to the circuit.”

With Monaco quiet yesterday ahead of qualifying today, Button remains upbeat, adding: “I'm reasonably happy, although we don't know where we stand.”

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