Jenson Button will not sacrifice his own ambitions to help Lewis Hamilton for the rest of the Formula One season, even though his McLaren teammate is in a stronger position.
Button, who won the season's opener in Australia, has drifted down to seventh place overall and is 41 points behind Hamilton. Button is a further 88 points back from championship leader Fernando Alonso with nine races left, including Sunday's Belgian GP in Spa.
But while Button does not realistically expect to catch Alonso, he still feels Hamilton is within his sights, and does not expect team orders to work only for Hamilton - who is fourth overall and has a realistic shot at his second F1 title.
"I'm not here to just race around and just help my teammate win a championship, because none of us are. We're here to fight and we're here to do the best job we can for ourselves first of all," Button said. "It's not a big margin, it's less than two wins. Half the grid is in front of their teammates. All their teammates are not going to turn round and say, 'Yes, we're going to help my teammate win the championship' because you still think you're going to have a good chance."
Button, the 2009 F1 champion, thinks it would be "a pretty boring championship" if drivers worked only for their better-placed teammates.
McLaren is second in the constructors' championship, 53 points behind rival Red Bull.
"The last two races for us before the break were very good. I had a second in Hockenheim and obviously Lewis' win in Hungary, so we come here positive we can get a very good result," Button said. "Lewis is (47 points) behind Fernando and I think he thinks he's got a very good chance."