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Button geared to take next step upward

2/25/2005

LONDON -- BAR's Jenson Button wants to look
down on Ferrari's Michael Schumacher this season.

The British Formula One driver told BBC radio on Friday that
he was tired of finishing runner-up to the seven-time world
champion.

"Ferrari have been on top for a long time and it can't stay
like that," said the 25-year-old, who is yet to win a grand prix
after finishing second four times in 2004 and ending the season
third overall.

"My goal for this season is to stand on top of the podium
and look down on Michael.

"Last year was an exceptional season for the team, getting
11 podiums, but this year we really need to start fighting with
Ferrari and challenging for race wins."

Button's 10 podiums last year helped Honda-powered BAR
finish second in the constructors' championship, the team's best
performance since they entered the sport in 1999.

Schumacher, chasing his eighth title in the season starting
in Melbourne next week, won a record 13 out of 18 races.

Button said Schumacher had all the confidence of being a
seven-time world champion but others could do just as well
given the same car.

"I think Michael has the best equipment at the moment. But
that is down to him -- he has really got the team around him and
got the right people in place," he said.

"He is the seven-times world champion, that's the
difference.

"But I think if you put a driver like (McLaren's) Kimi
Raikkonen or Juan Pablo Montoya into his position with a team
like Ferrari then they would have done exactly the same."