Jenson Button has warned McLaren’s Formula One rivals the team are heading into the remainder of the season in “full-on battle mode”.
A few days after being shunted out of the Belgian Grand Prix by Sebastian Vettel, Button is still at a loss to understand the German’s actions that have left him trailing team-mate Lewis Hamilton by 35 points in the drivers’ standings.
The positive for Button is that after a miserable race in Hungary four weeks previously, McLaren appear to have regained some of the ground lost to Red Bull.
That leaves Button confident for the remaining six races, even if he appreciates he faces an uphill struggle personally in the title fight.
“We were very pleased with our performance (in Belgium),” said Button.
“We were on the pace for the whole weekend, and had one of the fastest cars, probably the fastest car in mixed conditions, so that’s all very positive.
“While Spa wasn’t a personal highlight for me, I think Lewis’ win came at exactly the right time for the whole team.
“Hungary was probably the low point of our season, so to be able to bounce back so strongly will have given the team the assurance we’re headed in the right direction for the rest of the championship.
“We know it won’t be easy, and that some circuits won’t favour our car as much as Spa, but we’re heading into the final six races in full-on battle mode.
“We know how to win and we want to keep winning.”
Button still feels aggrieved at being t-boned by Vettel who lost control of his car as he attempted to pass the 30-year-old as they entered the Bus Stop chicane.
Believing it was “a missed opportunity” as he was running second behind Hamilton at the time, Button added: “My thoughts haven’t really changed.
“At the time I was pretty confused by what Sebastian did. Now, I still think what he did was completely unnecessary.
“He didn’t need to pass me at that point, and I wasn’t making his life difficult, so his car shouldn’t have been on such a knife-edge when he hit me.
“What’s most frustrating is that I’ve lost out on a good handful of championship points.
“I know there are 150 points still up for grabs, but it doesn’t help to now be 35 behind Lewis.
“Anything’s still possible, but at this point in the season you’ve got to take every point you can, and the incident in Spa certainly didn’t help.”