Friday August 17th, 2001
Briton Jenson Button hopes to feel a load taken off his shoulders in Sunday's Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix. The 21-year-old's Benetton team are using power steering at the Hungaroring for the first time this year and Button, who was troubled by a strained shoulder earlier in the season, is delighted.
"Power steering will help big time. It's going to help more than Monaco I'd say. It's so hot here and it's just turn after turn after turn," he told Reuters. Button was 14th in Friday's first free practice session.
"I wasn't used to not having power steering. Also the tyres are a lot softer this year so it's a lot heavier anyway. It's pretty tough," he said.
Button joined Benetton at the start of the year after a fine first season at Williams where, aged just 20, he became the youngest driver to score points in a Formula One race.
"Last year I had power steering and going to a car that didn't have it was quite difficult," he said. "Now we've got it and it's running fine and I'm looking forward to using it. I don't think it will make a huge difference in qualifying but in the race it will make a big difference.
"You just have a lot more left for the end of the race because when you don't have power steering it's pretty tough. Here it would just be a nightmare."
Button arrived at the Hungaroring refreshed from a brief vacation and with two points in the bag from his surprise fifth place at Hockenheim last month. The Briton said that result was unlikely to be repeated in Hungary or even this season.
"That was a strange race and to get the same result here is going to be very tough," he said.
Button said the relief of scoring points after a nightmare season had been huge and greater than his fifth place in his debut British Grand Prix with Williams last year.
"It was probably more than Silverstone last year because I've waited for so long. It's been 11 races to get two points. It was getting pretty hardcore. I was like 'Jeez, is it going to happen this year?'
"I didn't expect to get points this year," he added. "I thought maybe we could get some at the start of the season when there's failures but I didn't expect to get any towards the end."
Published at 11:35:41 GMT