Button relaxed in Brazil as Alonso eyes third F1 title
For the last five years, the world champion has been crowned at Brazil's rollercoaster Interlagos circuit - and in 2009 it was Jenson Button's turn.
Last year in Sao Paulo, Button serenaded his team and the world television audience by spontaneously belting out 'We Are The Champions' over his Brawn team radio as he followed Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso into the history books.
"You can't plan to sing that badly, can you?" Button recalled in an exclusive BBC Sport interview. "In my defence, it is quite difficult singing with a crash helmet on."
Button's outburst of raw emotion may well have turned into cringing regret one year on but the 30-year-old has also been reflecting on a life-changing 12 months.
On Wednesday evening, the McLaren driver invited the British media for a steak dinner and sat dressed in plaid shirt and jeans, chatting amiably about life away from the pit lane.
Those members of the press pack who have observed him since he arrived in the sport 11 years ago with Williams have seen him shed his erratic, playboy image and mature into a well-liked and responsible world champion.
"You become a lot more confident [as champion]," said Button, who underlined his new priorities by taking part in a Half Ironman triathlon in Miami just a week before the Brazilian Grand Prix.
"I wasn't so confident at making decisions before," he says. "This year I have had more of an opinion and that's important.
"My life has been a lot busier but I'm more relaxed. I'm still hungry but I'm in a position where I have already won the world championship, which is what I set out to do 23 years ago."
The Somerset-born driver now faces the prospect of falling out of the running unless he finishes first or second in Brazil and other results also go his way.
I spoke to his father John Button about his son's fading chances at the last race in South Korea, and he answered with a glint in his eye: "At least we've won it."
It is an opinion Button shares with his 'old man', revealing: "Someone said to me in Brazil 'So how does it feel that you possibly could lose the championship here?'"
"I said: 'That is not entirely true. It's possible that I won't be the reigning world champion next year but I'll always be world champion.' I like that.
"All the way through my career I said that I wanted to win the world championship. I never said I want to win it 10 times.
"You don't plan for whatever happens. Of course I want to win it again. Now it is very difficult for me to continue fighting for it but I'm going to come back stronger."
Until a few years ago, the Brazilian race had historically been run in the early part of the season, so Alonso was the first driver to capture the title in Brazil, when he was with Renault in 2005.
The Spaniard is the only driver who can lay claim to the 2010 crown on Sunday.
The double world champion has been in serene mood in the confined chaos of the Interlagos paddock.
When I asked him why he was so relaxed, he looked up and said: "All the cards are on the table.
"We will win the championship or we will lose the championship not because of the effort we put in the car or our abilities. It will be more a fact of destiny or luck."
Alonso is known as a man who makes his own luck, but if he is also looking for the stars to align then Brazil is an apt place to settle a title race.