Button geared to take next step upward

Updated: February 25, 2005, 3:37 PM ET
Reuters

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."

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