Jenson Button says he will go into the final four rounds of the World Championship "confident, relaxed and happy," even though he is currently at the tail of the group of five drivers battling for the crown. The reigning champion has not won since Shanghai in April and is 25 points behind leader Mark Webber in the standings, but feels he has no reason not to be upbeat.
On his personal website, Button said his mood was good: "Confident. Relaxed. Happy. Yeah, I can put it in perspective: for the second year running, I'm right in the hunt for the World Championship.
"I'm already the World Champion and I've still got every chance of holding on to my title. That's what I'm in Formula 1 to do, and that's why I signed for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes; to have that opportunity."
McLaren could not match the pace of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel in Singapore, but Button does not believe this had any particular significance for form over the remaining races.
"It was a little disappointing to see that we probably didn't have enough pace to take the fight to the Ferraris and the Red Bulls, but that was to be expected, really," he said. "Singapore is one of the highest downforce tracks on the calendar, so it's not a place where our car would really excel. I think the next four races will be very interesting, they'll certainly play more to our strengths."
He dismissed any suggestion that Singapore was a pivotal weekend in the title battle.
"It's funny, because every race we go to seems to be called a 'pivotal' race and, while every result is obviously important, I don't think you'd say that any one race is really pivotal to your title campaign – it's more about the pace you carry across the balance of the season," Button said.
"Funnily enough, I think Singapore showed that it will probably actually take a couple of races to have a more significant impact on the overall standings. OK, Fernando's had two good races, and is right in the thick of things, but Lewis [Hamilton] has retired from the last two races, and he's still right there, and both Sebastian and me are ready to strike.
"I think the new points system has definitely amplified what people think of the standings, but I've always imagined the points as they would have been under last year's system: So, in old money, I'm 10 points off Mark, and Lewis is about eight or nine behind him. And, with four races to go, that's not much at all.
"When you say you're 25 points off the lead, that sounds a lot – but it's just easier for me to reference it by the old system. It makes it seem easier to understand and compute, too.
"So, as I said, there's not going to be one pivotal race, except perhaps for the final one, it's just about taking home the points every weekend."