Button pleased to finish F1 season on a high

Jenson Button will head into Formula One's break with a smile back on his face & belief McLaren can make the most of the biggest rule change in the sport.

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Button's fourth place in Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix represented a minor victory at the end of the team's worst season for 33 years.

But for that placing then McLaren would have suffered an all-time low since they were founded in 1966, although it was still one that ended without a podium for the first time since 1980.

But after starting 14th at Interlagos and to finish behind only Red Bull pair Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, Button was rightly proud for once this season.

Speaking to Press Association Sport, Button said: "It was a good race, a lot of fun, and it was nice to actually enjoy a grand prix because there have been a lot this year I haven't.

"I got the best result of the year at the last race, so we've made some progress, and more importantly it puts a smile on the face of everyone in this team who has been through such a tough year.

"Whether they would have had that smile if we had finished eighth or ninth, I don't know, but it was nice for them to have a reasonable result.

"I'm happy, though, the season is over, and I'm happy I crossed the line with a smile on my face as well to finish off the year.

"We all know what the year has been like. There's no point talking about it any more, so to end on a reasonable high is nice."

For the 33-year-old, however, there is no flying off to a beach any day soon as he first faces sponsorship commitments before heading to the team's factory in Woking to continue work on the 2014 car.

After making many errors with the design of this year's car, McLaren now have the perfect opportunity to go back to basics given the clean slate every team has been presented with for next season.

The change in the regulations, as the V8 era bowed out at Interlagos to be replaced with 1.6-litre V6 turbo-charged powertrains for 2014, offers a chance for someone to end Red Bull's dominance.

"Everyone is excited about next year," enthused Button.

"We have lucked into the regulations changing - every team has except for Red Bull because they have such an advantage over everyone.

"You can't close that gap over the winter unless they make a mistake like we did, so the regulation changes are great for all of us, apart from Red Bull.

"It means a long winter of development and moving forward, so I'll have days working with the engineers on the powertrain, the driveability.

"There is so much more to play with than we have ever had before, so it's really exciting.

"And with experience you know where you can go with things and what tools you have available, so again I'm looking forward to that."

Button has no doubt that despite the pain endured by everyone within McLaren this year that there are positives and it will stand them in good stead.

"You don't just forget what happened," said Button.

"We know we made a lot of mistakes and that everyone expects us to be where we ourselves expect to be.

"We've learned a lot this year on how not to do things, and how to do things, and we've also tried more than you would normally do.

"If you have a championship-fighting car you are very worried and scared to go away from a set-up you know because you are quick with it.

"We have tried everything to go quick and been places we wouldn't have thought of in the past, so that's really helped us, so you have to take positives from a bad year."

Button will at least have four weeks off over the Christmas and New Year period before F1 2014 begins in earnest again in just eight weeks' time with the first day of the first test in Jerez.

That break cannot come quick enough as he added: "It's an important break to recharge the batteries because this year has been very draining. It's put years on me!

"So it's nice to have that break, but there is a lot of hard work needed before I can go and relax."



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