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Rediff.com  » Sports » Button can turn tables on Vettel

Button can turn tables on Vettel

July 08, 2009 16:42 IST

Jenson Button can take his revenge on Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel in front of the German's home fans at the Nuerburgring this weekend, and also restore some pride to Mercedes.

Brawn GP's championship leader was well beaten by the 22-year-old Vettel on his home turf at Silverstone last month and is eager to turn the tables on the only other driver to have won races this season.

"My last stint at Silverstone showed that the pace of the car is really competitive so we are confident that we can turn it around at this race," said the Briton, who leads Brazilian team mate Rubens Barrichello by 23 points and Vettel by 25.

The Nuerburgring marks the halfway point of the championship, the ninth of 17 grands prix, and is a home race for Stuttgart-based Mercedes as well as Bavarian rivals BMW.

Mercedes have won with McLaren in Germany for the past two seasons, at Hockenheim last year and the Nuerburgring in 2007 when the current schedule started, but this year is different.

McLaren's world champion Lewis Hamilton has scored just nine points and the team have drawn a blank for the past four races, their worst run since 1980-81.

"This year, we will start without a chance of winning because our work of improving the car did not bring the desired success," said Mercedes motorsport vice-president Norbert Haug.

VETTEL DETERMINED

Button, winner of six of the first seven races, can save some of their blushes with his unbranded Mercedes-engined car.

That would be little consolation for the home crowd, eager to see Vettel become their first home winner since Michael Schumacher retired in 2006.

Vettel, who led Australian Mark Webber in a Red Bull one-two in China as well as in Britain, is more determined than ever for his first Formula One appearance at the Nuerburgring.

"I'd say it's like a soccer match when you play on your home ground," he told the team website (www.redbullracing.com). "You always give 100 percent, but in a home race you're even more motivated because you feel comfortable."

Brawn will have new aerodynamic parts that were not used at Silverstone while Red Bull are continually refining their Renault-powered car.

Barrichello won at the circuit in the Eifel hills with Ferrari in 2002 and has been on the podium there five times. Webber was third in 2007.

Behind the top two teams, Germany is also a home race for Cologne-based Toyota.

Its driver Timo Glock, one of five Germans in the race, will also make his Nuerburgring F1 debut despite regular appearances at the track in junior series.

"It feels like a second home to me," he said. "It's also a race where I have generally always had success; I won or was on the podium in almost every race I've had there."

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen cannot say the same, with the circuit never favouring the 2007 world champion. The Finn has retired in four of the last five races there, despite twice starting on pole position.

"Realistically this year our objective can't be a win," he said on the Ferrari website

Source:
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