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Jenson Button has forced himself through the pain barrier to bolster his chances of remaining Formula One's very own 'wizard of Oz'.
Button has earned himself a reputation for being a fitness fanatic over the past few years, notably taking part in a number of triathlons and ironman events.
But he experienced a level of physical discomfort he had rarely felt before when he competed on February 24 in a half-marathon on the south coast of France.
What kept the 33-year-old going was the thought of the season-opening grand prix in Australia at Melbourne's Albert Park, where he has triumphed three times in the last four years.
The race takes place in 10 days' time, and Button said: "I don't know if it's the same for every driver but you do put in the extra effort through the winter, and because I've been training for so many years now, it does all add up.
"The amount of hours I do now I wouldn't have been able to do four years ago. Physically it would have been too demanding on the body, but my body is used to it now so you can put more time into it.
"But then it's not just about the physical training over the winter, its about the mental training and putting yourself through all sorts.
"I did a half-marathon in Cannes recently. It was zero degrees and I did an hour and 19 minutes which I was chuffed to bits with.
"But it was one of the most painful things I've ever done. Two days after I was still hurting from it.
"In putting myself through that pain, especially the last 20 minutes, the way I got to the end was to think about the first race of the season.
"I thought about being mentally and physically prepared, not feeling the pressure, feeling comfortable within myself and within the team.
"That's what kept me going. When I got to the end the strength I'd gained through doing it, mentally and physically, will help me so much when I arrive at the first race.
"Maybe that's why the first race is normally pretty good for us."
Button, however, is realistic enough to appreciate that following a rollercoaster pre-season, improving his record to four wins in five years may be a tough ask.
The McLaren philosophy of developing a car for the long haul of the campaign, rather than simply a carry over from last season given the stability in the regulations, resulted in teething issues throughout testing.
The car was quick on occasion, challenging at others, but Button is convinced that even if he is not spraying champagne at the end of the race in Australia, there will be happy times beyond.
"When we came into this season we wanted to build a car that would be strong throughout the year, and that's why we've made so many changes to the way the car looks," added Button.
"The reason being is that it's a very long season and we want to be able to develop all the way through the year.
"Some teams might come with a car they used in Brazil (for the final race of last year) with a few tweaks to it.
"It means they will be strong at the first race, but they won't be able to develop like us through the year. That is the idea we have.
"Of course, we still want to be quick at the first race, we want to win from the word go.
"But it's possibly going to be a tough race, not just for us, but for everyone because it seems so, so close at the moment.
"But we still go to Melbourne aiming for a victory."