Jenson Button will not resort to dirty tricks to win the World Championship, Formula 1's points leader declared during a media briefing in the build-up to the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend.
The Briton is fully aware that if circumstances fall his way, he could win his first F1 world title at Suzuka – scene of so many previous dramatic and controversial showdowns in the past. But Button, who holds a 15-point advantage over Brawn teammate Rubens Barrichello, says that if he drove the Brazilian off the track in an attempt to secure the title, he wouldn't be able to derive any satisfaction from becoming World Champion.
"I don't think it means so much to you [if you do that]," said Button. "It matters what sort of person you are, but it wouldn't mean so much to me if I did that or if I did something during the season like stopping the car on the circuit.
"I would feel like I have cheated myself and I am not the only driver who feels that. If Rubens was a different character maybe I would think differently, and I was in a different situation with a teammate that I hated, but I am not in that situation. I would feel cheated and I would feel like I cheated the people watching."
Button, who counts the bitterly contested 1989 championship – ultimately won by Alain Prost after he and McLaren teammate Ayrton Senna had collided at Suzuka – as his favorite championship, says he would rather not win the title at all than to take it by foul means.
"Otherwise, you would always think I have got this title but I cheated," he said. "What is the point of that? "It is a lie doing a running race and taking a short cut and getting a good time. You just don't do it. It would be just like robbing a bank."
Asked if he was prepared to bring more menace into his driving approach to secure victory, Button replied: "No. I don't see the point. It just ends up in accidents. It is better to be precise and for me I don't see what you are trying to get at."