F1: Singapore Challenge Too Much For Drivers - Button Photo:

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Mike Stevens | Sep, 23 2011 | 0 Comments

Singapore is too tough a challenge for F1 drivers, 2009 world champion Jenson Button said in the city-state this week.

The McLaren driver has called for the length of the floodlit street race to be shortened due to the heat and high humidity, the bumpy surface and the fact it runs close to the sport's two-hour limit.

"We find it very tough and after the race you are shattered, in pieces," Button, 31, is quoted by the Daily Star newspaper.

"It's one of the races we actually think is a little too long, that they need to maybe shorten."

And The Sun newspaper quotes him adding: "At the end of the race all the drivers sit in their cars for a few moments before getting out. If you get out too quickly, you feel light-headed and dizzy.

"It (the race) is almost too tough -- you're totally drained by the end. If you look at pictures on the podium, you can tell the drivers are not completely with it, due to the heat and dehydration," said Button.

But not all of the Briton's rivals agree with him: "The heat and humidity make it pretty hardcore," acknowledged Team Lotus' Heikki Kovalainen, "but I like it."

Brazil's Globo quotes the Finn adding: "It is a big challenge and that is what F1 is about."



Button is F1's 'best number 2' - Irvine

Jenson Button is the "best number 2" in F1 one; that's the view of former Ferrari and Jaguar driver Eddie Irvine.

Irvine said that Button's laid-back style is because he is not looking for a second world championship.

"Jenson is doing nothing special. He just does a reasonable job," the Ulsterman told Germany's Auto Bild Motorsport amid suggestions the 2009 world champion has got the upper hand on his McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton this season.

Irvine said of Button: "He knows he will never again be world champion and he drives accordingly. Lewis on the other hand absolutely wants to be champion again and so he's too aggressive.

"He fights not only against the others but against himself; in some races he has been simply stupid," said the 45-year-old Ulsterman.

Irvine said he would like to see Hamilton switch to Red Bull.

"Then we will see how good (Sebastian) Vettel is," he insisted. "And we really would, because one thing we already know is that Hamilton has beaten Alonso in the same team."

Irvine said German Vettel, 24, is clearly "very, very good, but many drivers have taken a title in Newey's car. And, for me, his teammate Webber is not a top driver".



2012 to be tougher challenge for Vettel - Schumacher

Sebastian Vettel will have a tougher time in 2012, according to his countryman, friend and rival Michael Schumacher.

It is possible Vettel, 24, will secure his second consecutive drivers' title this weekend with still five races to follow Singapore.

"Of course Sebastian has had a great performance this year," German Schumacher, who in 1995 similarly won his second title in successive seasons at Benetton, told Sport Bild.

But the 42-year-old, tipping Red Bull's rival teams to speed up in 2012, added: "I don't think he runs the risk of getting tired, but it will be more difficult for his team.

"The gap will be less. This year there have been races in which no one was able to follow him (Vettel). That's not going to happen again."



Schumacher not sorry after Monza driving criticism

Michael Schumacher is unapologetic in the wake of criticism of his driving at Monza.

Two weeks ago, some of the seven time world champion's rivals, and former driver and Monza steward Derek Daly as well as commentators, said Schumacher should have been penalised for his tactics to prevent Lewis Hamilton from passing him.

But Schumacher told Germany's Sport Bild this week: "I use the rules up to the limit. As for the others complaining, I am used to it.

"As long as the officials say it's 'hard but okay', then I have done everything right," added the 42-year-old.

Schumacher acknowledged that he is not able to win races in the last six races of 2011, but he expects to add to his record tally of 91 victories at some point next season.

"There should be wins but I don't think we need to talk about the title in 2012," he said.

The fact he is only expecting a championship tilt to be possible for Mercedes after 2012 is ramping up speculation the great German intends to extend his contract.

"We will sit to discuss the future next year; I don't want to say any more than that," said Schumacher.



Alonso swore at Vettel after Monza duel - report

Sebastian Vettel was sworn at by Ferrari's Fernando Alonso after winning the Italian Grand Prix at Monza two weeks ago.

That is the unconfirmed claim of the German daily Bild-Zeitung, who said Spaniard Alonso whispered in the ear of championship Vettel before the Monza podium: "F*ck you, my boy".

Earlier, to the passionate Tifosi's chagrin, Vettel had passed Alonso to lead the race, a move the Red Bull driver described as "very hard but fair".

Afterwards, the team's outspoken Dr Helmut Marko said it was "good to show Alonso how the wind blows".

Double world champion Alonso however denies Bild's claim that he insulted Vettel.

"We chatted briefly but it was quite normal and friendly," said the Spaniard.

Bild said Vettel would not comment.

But in an interview with the German broadcaster RTL, he talked about having the respect of his rivals.

"It's important to me that I can feel it," said the 24-year-old, "even if you have had an extremely tough race."

Should Vettel extend his huge lead by another 13 points in Singapore, he will be crowned champion with five races still to run in 2011.

An analysis by Financial Times Deutschland said that with 27 per cent of the calendar to go, Vettel's achievement will rank among the best in F1 history.

But Jim Clark (1963 and 1965), Jackie Stewart (1969 and 1971) and Nigel Mansell (1992) actually secured those championships in an even more rapid manner.

And the record is held by Michael Schumacher, who won the title with more than 35 per cent of the 2002 calendar still to run.

At least Red Bull figures are now starting to admit the inevitability of Vettel's 2011 triumph.

"In many ways it's more of a challenge to defend a title," said Vettel's boss Christian Horner. "It's one thing to win a title, another to stay up there," he told Die Welt newspaper.

"Sebastian just gets stronger and stronger."


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