Button sets sights on constructors title

Jenson Button is fully aware of the burning desire within McLaren to finally end their constructors' championship hoodoo.

Motorsport News: Mclaren Jenson Button

For a team with the resources, experience and know-how of McLaren, it is hard to believe they have not won the team title since 1998.

It is a crown that should have been theirs in 2007, but McLaren were excluded from the constructors' championship that year in the wake of the spygate saga.

But after winning the last three races - Lewis Hamilton's triumphs in Hungary and Italy sandwiching Jenson Button's victory in Belgium - there is real optimism within McLaren this could be their year.

The Woking-based marque have closed the gap to Red Bull at the top of the standings to 29 points, and with seven races remaining, the fight is on, starting in Singapore tomorrow [Sunday].

"For the guys who have been here that whole period of time (since the last constructors' title win), not winning it has been difficult," said Button.

"Obviously they lost all their points one season when they would otherwise have won it.

"So it's more difficult for them than it has been for me because this is only my third year with the team.

"I know it would really mean a lot to the guys in the garage who put the cars together, and all those back at the factory, to finally win the constructors'. It would be massive.

"For us as drivers it means a lot to help the team achieve that, and to achieve it together.

"But for those guys, it would be a very special feeling if we could come away with the constructors' this year."

Hamilton could sense the enthusiasm and passion bubbling away on his last visit to the team's factory following his success at Monza.

"The atmosphere was fantastic. The guys are incredibly geared up to challenge and fight for this world championship, which is great to see," said Hamilton.

"When I went back the guys were still wearing the rocket-red tops (worn after each win), which is great.

"We've had some great performances the last three wins, so they are all thinking 'Jeez, we're going to push like crazy because we might be able to do this'.

"You felt energy, so it's comforting to know the guys are working harder than ever, they're excited, so of course that makes you happy."

On Hamilton's mind, however, is his own title bid, with the 27-year-old trailing Ferrari's Fernando Alonso by 37 points.

He admits winning one and not the other would be tough, adding: "It would be a positive if we won the constructors' championship. It would show we are the best as a team.

"But if we didn't win the drivers' championship at the same time, it wouldn't be the greatest feeling."

Button and Hamilton finished second and fifth quickest following the two practice sessions yesterday [Friday] at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.

Reigning champion Sebastian Vettel topped the timesheets in his Red Bull by a third of a second to Button.

Alonso was half a second down in third, with Hamilton 0.746secs adrift, while another of the title contenders in Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen was two seconds off the pace.

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