Pundits say up to Button to cure F1 'yips'
(GMM) It's now up to Jenson Button, rather than the Brawn team, to step up and defend his dwindling lead in the world championship.
That is the assessment of triple world champion Niki Lauda, after Button's teammate Rubens Barrichello recorded his first win of the season at Valencia while the 29-year-old Briton finished just seventh.
The fact the Red Bulls had an even worse weekend cushioned the blow for Button, but Lauda insists any points lead would not be safe if a driver is no longer on form.
"The problem must be something within Jenson ... something must have gone wrong in his own mind. He must find the solution within himself and I think he will," the Austrian said, according to the Mirror.
Button, who won six of the opening seven grands prix this year but has not featured since June's Turkish GP, admitted that with Brawn back on the pace at Valencia he must now look inwards for improvement.
"This was the first time when we have had a strong car that I have not been able to get the most out of," said the Briton.
"I am going to go to Spa and be more aggressive, for sure," he is quoted as saying by the Sun. "The team have asked me to push harder now if I want to win the title."
Former driver and British commentator Martin Brundle believes that after a long stint with a points lead and the end of the championship drawing nearer, "Button is tightening up in the car".
"Can he lose the championship from here? Of course he can," he wrote in his column for the BBC.
David Coulthard agrees that the problem may be located within his friend's incandescent yellow helmet.
"I'm not sure whether something has changed psychologically for Button since Turkey," the former grand prix winner wrote in his column for the Daily Telegraph newspaper.
"Perhaps he has developed something akin to the yips in golf, but he is certainly not the fluent force of the early season," Coulthard added.