Feb.2 (Reuters) Jenson Button is hungry for a second Formula One title, and the great British breakfast, minus the fried bread, could feed his ambition this season.
The 2009 world champion told Reuters at the launch of McLaren’s new MP4-27 car on Wednesday that he had a new regime to get him sharper than ever for a campaign that kicks off in Australia on March 18.
Button, winner of three races last year and overall championship runner-up to Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, explained that he was taking a different look at his nutrition with a Monaco fitness firm.
“It sounds crazy, but when you are at the top of any sport you’ve got to look for everything, to run through different things,” he said, looking tanned and trim.
“Certain things work for certain people, can keep you positive and in the right frame of mind for the time you need it within the car, and also out of the car. It’s all going really well. I’m enjoying it.
“Normally you’d think it’s easy, you don’t have fat and things like that, but that doesn’t work for some people.”
Asked jokingly if that meant the full English fry-up, beloved of team ‘truckies’ and mechanics toiling in the garages, was off-limits, the lover of sushi and Japanese delicacies smiled.
“No, it’s not a bad thing for me actually. Steak and eggs is actually the best thing for me for breakfast.”
Button said nothing had changed for him mentally since last season, his best since he won the title with Brawn GP, but his pre-season training regime left little doubt that he was pushing hard to find every possible performance gain.
After three “pretty awesome” weeks in Hawaii, he returned to work at the factory on Jan. 5 for some time in the simulator and to see how the new car was coming along.
He also spent an energetic day with engineers and mechanics at Bisham Abbey, where many of the British Olympic athletes gearing up for London 2012 are put through their paces.
“My head’s definitely in the right place and… it’s nice to have spent quite a bit of time here really feeling the mood and spending time with the guys and then running through everything,” he said.
The Bisham event, which was not attended by team mate Lewis Hamilton, allowed him to spend time with his crew and factory colleagues.
Button, who will give the new car a test debut at Jerez in southern Spain next week, suggested the shared experience could also pay dividends in races.
“We got everyone on the bike doing six minutes of sprint, which was agony, but it was good for everyone to do, feeling the pain that they go through there, they’re never going to feel that again,” he grinned.
“Then we worked as teams on the bike, to try and get to a certain distance the fastest before the other team,” added the 32-year-old, the only team mate of Hamilton to have beaten him over the course of a season.
“Also they are doing a lot of stuff on the pit stops to improve those, finding out where the mechanics’ strengths are around the car. Maybe it’s on the (wheel) gun or somewhere else. It’s been very useful.”