Driven Button growing attached to No1 status

WORLD champion Jenson Button insists he is more motivated than ever as he takes the first steps in his McLaren career.

Button has been tipped to be eclipsed by team-mate and fellow Englishman Lewis Hamilton in 2010, despite scooping the drivers’ title last year. But while he is wary of talking up his chances before testing on his MP4-25 begins next month, the 29-year-old is determined to maintain a winning habit.

“My aim is to keep the No1 on my car for as long as possible,” said Button. “At the moment, it’s a little bit too early to start talking about the world championship. The backbone of any title challenge is built on good preparation, hard word, focus and dedication.

“And the hard work starts here; the next 10 weeks could well largely dictate the destiny of the 2010 world championship, so it’s crucial that we start testing very strongly and that we never let up. I’m more motivated than ever to work with the team and my engineers, and I’m extremely positive.”

McLaren struggled for pace early last season, denting Hamilton’s bid to add to his 2008 title. He said: “You can never take competitiveness for granted in Formula One – we saw that last year – so our common goal has to be to make MP4-25 a winning proposition as quickly as possible.”