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Smooth Button masters F1's greatest test

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Andrew Benson | 19:23 UK time, Sunday, 2 September 2012

At the circuit widely regarded as the greatest test of a racing driver in the world, Jenson Button took a victory in the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday that was probably the most dominant this season.

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, who finished second to Button after an impressive performance of his own, had an even bigger margin of superiority in Valencia but he was unable to make it count because his car failed.

Button had no such trouble. He stamped his authority on the weekend from the start of qualifying and never looked back, as all hell broke loose behind his McLaren.

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The frightening first-corner pile-up helped him in that it took out a potential threat in world championship leader Fernando Alonso's Ferrari. The Spaniard was up to third place from fifth on the grid before being assaulted by the flying Lotus of Romain Grosjean, who had collided with the other McLaren of Lewis Hamilton.

But before the race Alonso had entertained no prospect of battling for victory, and while he would almost certainly have finished on the podium, there is no reason to believe he would have troubled Button.

The Englishman also comfortably saw off in the opening laps the challenge of Lotus's Kimi Raikkonen, hotly tipped before the weekend.

Raikkonen was left to battle entertainingly with rivals including Vettel and Mercedes driver Michael Schumacher, on whom the Finn pulled an astoundingly brave pass into the 180mph swerves of Eau Rouge which was almost a carbon copy of Red Bull driver Mark Webber's move on Alonso last year.

Button, meanwhile, was serene out front, never looking under the remotest threat.

For Button, this was a far cry from the struggles he has encountered in what has not overall been one of his better seasons.

A strong start included a dominant victory in the opening race in Australia and second place in China.

But after that he tailed off badly, struggling with this year's big Formula 1 quandary - getting the temperamental Pirelli tyres into the right operating window.

The 32-year-old had a sequence of weak races and even at other times has generally been firmly in Hamilton's shade.

Those struggles were ultimately solved by some head-scratching on set-up at McLaren, but they were undoubtedly influenced by Button's smooth, unflustered driving style.

Button's weakness - one of which he is well aware - is that he struggles when the car is not to his liking. Unlike Alonso and Hamilton, he finds it difficult to adapt his style to different circumstances.

The flip side of that is that when he gets the car's balance right, he is close to unbeatable. It is a similar situation to that of two former McLaren drivers - Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.

Senna, like Hamilton, was usually faster, but when Prost, whose style was similar to Button's, got his car in the sweet spot he was matchless.

"I obviously have a style where it's quite difficult to find a car that works for me in qualifying," Button said on Saturday, "but when it does we can get pole position."

Perhaps an elegant style that does not upset the car or over-work the tyres was exactly what was needed through the demanding corners of Spa's challenging middle sector.

That was McLaren technical director Paddy Lowe's view, certainly.

"It could well be," Lowe said, "because it's made up of these longer flowing corners rather than the short, stop-start ones. So that may well be something he can work with well, just tucking it all up and smooth lines."

Was this the secret to Button's performance in qualifying, when he was a remarkable 0.8 seconds quicker than team-mate Lewis Hamilton?

In a well-publicised series of tweets after qualifying, Hamilton blamed this on the team's collective decision - with which he agreed when it was made - to run his car on a set-up with higher downforce.

This is a perfectly valid decision at Spa -it was a route that Raikkonen also took - and in pure lap time the two differing approaches should balance themselves out. But for them to do so, the driver with the higher downforce set-up has to make up in the middle sector the time he has lost on the straights.

As the McLaren telemetry of which Hamilton so unwisely tweeted a picture on race morning proved, however, that was not the case. Hamilton was not fast enough through sector two - indeed his time through there on his final qualifying lap was 0.3secs slower than his best in the session.

The McLaren telemetry

Hamilton tweeted a photo of the McLaren telemetry, prompting a rebuke from his team.

That was the real reason why he was slower than Button in Spa qualifying - not the fact he was down on straight-line speed, which was always going to be the case once he went with the set-up he did.

It's worth pointing out in this context that Hamilton was also significantly slower than Button in final practice - a fact that led him to take the gamble on the different set-up.

How Hamilton would have fared in the race will never be known, because of the accident with Grosjean.

It was a scary moment - Grosjean's flying Lotus narrowly missed Alonso's head - and the incident underlined once again why F1 bosses are so keen to introduce some kind of more effective driver head protection in the future.

From the point of view of a disinterested observer, the only plus point of the accident, which also took out the two impressive Saubers, was that it has narrowed Alonso's lead in the championship. Vettel is now within a race victory of the Spaniard.

Despite this, to his immense credit, Alonso was a picture of measured calm after the race.

Invited to criticise Grosjean, he refused. Although, being the wise owl he is, he not only had at his fingertips the statistics of Grosjean's first-lap crashes this season, but slipped them into his answer.

"I am not angry [at Grosjean]," he said. "No-one did this on purpose, they were fighting, two aggressive drivers on the start, Lewis and Romain and this time it was us in the wrong place at the wrong time and we were hit.

"It's true also that in 12 races, Romain had seven crashes at the start, so..."

It was, Alonso pointed out, a good opportunity for governing body the FIA to make a point about driving standards this season, which Williams's Pastor Maldonado has also seemed to be waging a campaign to lower.

It was an opportunity the stewards did not decline.

Grosjean will now watch next weekend's Italian Grand Prix from the sidelines after being given a one-race suspension, the first time a driver has been banned since Michael Schumacher in 1994. Maldonado has a 10-place grid penalty for jumping the start and causing his own, independent, accident.

Earlier this year, triple world champion Jackie Stewart, who is an advisor to Lotus, offered to sit down with Grosjean and give him some advice about the way he approached his races.

Stewart is famous not only for his campaign for safety in F1 but also for his impeccable driving standards during his career. He has helped many drivers in his time, but Grosjean turned him down.

On Sunday evening, I was contacted by an old friend, the two-time winner of the Indianapolis 500 and former IndyCar champion Gil de Ferran, who was involved in F1 a few years ago as a senior figure in the Honda team.

That coaching, De Ferran said, "seems like a great idea".

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    I wish for one thing, although obviously the media will never oblige. Leave Lewis's (and any F1 drivers tweets that could be deemed as controversial) tweets alone. Yes he's probably said a few things he shouldn't have, but so have all drivers, so have all people. I love the fact that Twitter breaks down dull, supposedly PR controlled interviews.

    The crash was a bit unfortunate. Grosjean obviously to blame, and according to the stewards it broke serious rules, but a race ban I see to be a bit harsh. Especially with Maldonado's antics over the past few season or so, a 10 race grid drop for Romain would surely be more fair. There was nothing malicious in the manoeuvre.

    Otherwise, Jenson incredibly impressive. Vettel a bit lucky to get a second really, and I really feel for Sauber. Good job by Toro Rosso as well.

    Only five days till Monza, yessss.

  • Comment number 2.

    Does mark, heikki or michael get any penalities? I hope now but have seen no news on it.
    I will never be a fan of Grosjean after this. I have always had a bad feeling about him this year and him nearly killing Alsonso confirms I was right to have this feeling.

    Well done Jenson :D

  • Comment number 3.

    By the way, I am far from a Maldonado fan either..

  • Comment number 4.

    The fact that the BBC commentators were more interested in the championship standings than the fact that Alonso wasn't getting out of the car was pretty disgusting.

    Still after the first lap is was a relatively boring race, I was hoping for some rain to spice it up a bit.

    Hopefully monza will be a good race. Doubt there will be rain, hoping Ferrari and Alonso can come back with a good result. And I hope Grosjean takes the time to reflect and takes Jackies advice.

  • Comment number 5.

    Jenwig123

    I believe statements have been released to say Mark and Michael have not been penalised, but Heikki gets a 10,000 euro fine or there abouts. Saying Grosjean nearly killed Alonso is a bit harsh, after he cut across Lewis he had no control over where his car was going. It was his fault to begin with, but still.

  • Comment number 6.

    Maybe I was harsh but that was a scary incident. If it was his first incident I would not have said what I did. He has managed to crash into people 7 times this year on the first lap... When is he going to learn??

  • Comment number 7.

    Jenson's drive from lights to flag was just about the most dominant win we've seen in years but what was wrong with Lewis this weekend? He's returned from the summer break surly and uncommunicative and seemingly back to sulking then shooting his mouth off. I was genuinely surprised when he declined to talk on camera during the race, I was fully expecting an ill-considered rant at Grosjean. Other than that his conduct as a team player this weekend has been highly questionable.

  • Comment number 8.

    @7 not sure if his Aunties death had anything to do with it, hopefully it was that and not him being back to 2011 ways. But also all of Friday was washed out, so a lot of it was luck regarding set up. I'm picking Lewis to win at Monza

  • Comment number 9.

    Driver coaching does not work in f1 , otherwise Alex wurz would have stopped maldonado from making all these mistakes by now.
    And with all due respect to Sir Jackie Stewart ,what does he know about the demands of a modern f1 driver ?
    Oh and one more thing ,button does not drive like prost.Just because prost was a smoother driver than senna doesn'r mean he didn't prefer a car with oversteer unlike button who prefers understeer. The writer of this blog probably has no clue about f1.

  • Comment number 10.

    There may not have been any malice in Grosjean's manoeuvre, but it *was* reckless and negligent. Let's not take this incident out of context: it's his 6th or 7th first-lap crash this season - many of which seemed due to his inability to anticipate the position of other cars around him. He drives dangerously and needs to change his attitude to the start of the race. I think a one-race ban is wholly appropriate as both a punishment and a deterrent to other drivers (I'm looking at you, Maldonado). After all, if he'd come over Alonso's cockpit a foot to the left he could have torn his hand or head off.

  • Comment number 11.

    Dear Mr Benson, good analysis for a race weekend report, but just wish you said a bit more about the f1 safety features, which enabled everyone to walk away (with a bit of luck) and not focus on tweets from F1 drivers. There was enough excitement this weekend without adding to it.yes Hamilton's tweets were unwise, but gives great insight into the behind scenes of F1. Personally I wasn't interested at all in Hamilton's tweets, but more which car had improve the most. Also great F1 coverage over the weekend for BBCF1, Gary Anderson maybe slightly old fashioned but always provides great insight and generally spot on with his predictions. less of the gossip more of racing please! p.s where was the interview with the toro rosso's?

  • Comment number 12.

    Motorsport is dangerous it says so on the ticket stop moaning about it all the drivers earn more money then most to do a dream job which they love. How often is there a crash as bad as today's? Hardly ever

  • Comment number 13.

    also that vettel pulled some good overtakes off today no?

  • Comment number 14.

    urm well done button

  • Comment number 15.

    I don’t normally comment underneath these blogs but the BBC's coverage really shouldn’t go uncivilized. People who don’t follow F1 closely may actually fall for some of the incorrect facts they mention. For instance DC lept to Di resta's defence after another poor race claiming the hulk beat him due to a kers failure on the Scots car, didn’t nico have a kers failure in valencia from lap 11 and still finish 5th. They talk up di resta for a mercedes seat but in reality he isnt good enough. Compare his and the hulk's debeut seasons, di resta starts strongly but trails off whilst nico is the opposite he got stronger and got that eventual pole in brazil. I think hulkenberg finished 5th in monza in 2010, so i think hulkenburg could increase his lead. Its not just talking up some drivers though, the hatred of schumi and hamilton is always present, even today they appear to congratulate schumi but then even when horner said he thought schumi shouldn’t have a penalty all three of them where basically saying he should, or when EJ said schumi was a great ambassidor and Jake replied ‘a great ambassador?’ sarcastically. They have toned it down a bit mined, it wasn’t like in Monaco when they started the show with schumi parking the car in 2006, I mean seriously how was that relevant to 2012. Benson cant write one artcle about schumi without mentioning china or quotes from his inside sources. Today they went on about the gap between Hamilton and button in quli, at the end of the day that was once apart from that Hamilton has agin destroyed button in quli the only drivers who have a bigger gap are the HRT team mates. When Hamilton had a poor year last year he was constantly attacked by the BBC, wheras button seems to be able to get away with a lot of poor performances. As I said the moment Lewis or Michael are remotely off the pace it is pounced upon often with them recommending retirement for Michael.Sorry about all of that but shouldn’t there be someone to watch over how the BBC present sport, because it only today when I watched f1 with people who had never watched it did I realise how much people actually listen to DC EJ and Jake

  • Comment number 16.

    @9 By all means hold a different point of view to the blog writer, or anyone who comments here. But let's not resort to digs at Andrew's credibility, it just undermines your point. Anything that promotes discussion should be applauded, whether we agree with it or not.

    For instance I would challenge two points Andrew makes at the top of the article, the first being his claim of Spa being "the greatest test of a racing driver in the world". While it obviously is demanding, I'm not sure it's comparable to the concentration required for Monaco, the precision for Suzuka or the enduring stamina required for the heat of Malaysia or Singapore. However this will never be concluded as it's a subjective opinion and not a measurable factor.

    The second point is that it's a rather bold claim to say without the crash Alonso "would almost certainly have finished on the podium". I'm not claiming it's incorrect, but certainly bold. Alonso's having an incredible year and stellar performances are now frankly expected rather than surprising. But due to no Friday data being gathered I don't believe there are any long stint lap times available to confirm he could have kept the established quicker cars of Lotuses, Saubers (remember we're labouring under then pretense that the crash didn't occur) and Vettel's charging Red Bull behind him for 44 laps.

    I'm a Hamilton fan and I hope that this weekend is a solitary low point in a year that's seen a strong return to form. But low it was, and some actions weren't sensible at all.

    I'm sure Button will get a lot of grief from those unable to draw an objective opinion because 'it was an easy win' or ' he had the best car'. But truthfully he equipped his car to be the best and did all the hard work on Saturday. It's the most efficient way to win a race and he should be be applauded for that. It was a textbook way to dominate a weekend.

    Having said that I think Vettel was the driver of the day. I'm glad to see any nerves about his previous run in with Button at the bus stop chicane didn't prevent him attempting and completing some great moves today.

    How fantastic will a week long break feel compared to the previous 5 week hiatus - onwards to Monza!

  • Comment number 17.

    hahahaha andrews blog is back with a bang !! lollz did i hit a nerve ?
    poor attempt fella :)

  • Comment number 18.

    So,

    Thumped throughout qually by Jenson, and not able to take it like a man.

    Moaning about his 'old wing' and Jenson's 'new wing' as if it is a team issue and not just an aero setup mistake that he should have sorted HIMSELF like a supposed 'true great' driver would have.

    Tweeting like a twit about team problems instead of just racing, then telling everyone McLarens strategy before the race!

    Massively messing up his start.

    Finally, surprise surprise crashing before turn one, not moving an inch when the crazy Grosjean moved towards him, then ramming so fast into the foolish Grosjean then the innocent Alonso it was unbelieavable, and very lucky that Alonso didn't damage his head or hands.

    ...Yes, I can see a real improvement in Lewis's attitude to his racing and behaviour this year...not.

    Stop comparing Hamilton to Ayrton Senna, that is a real insult. He is so far away from Ayrton and has proved so on many occasions in a McLaren he should be winning in. Plus, stop comparing Jenson to Prost, one diffuser title does not equal 4 titles against Ayrton, Nelson and Nigel!

    Plus, Button "close to unbeatable" !! I'd wait a bit longer before I say that, seeing he has the best car and has had one good race in the last ten.

    Good race for Seb though after a bad qually, nice overtakes at the bus stop, embarrasing Webber and easy money when the nutters take out Alonso and the Saubers. Unlucky for Paul Di Resta, after outqualifying Hulk a broken KERS means you get mugged before Les Combes every time, good race from Hulk, showed how bad Massa and Webber were.

  • Comment number 19.

    haha uncivilised means uncriticised

  • Comment number 20.

    Grosjean's penalty for first corner pile up was harsh but necessary as it shows that the fia will take action against drivers being too aggressive and causing accidents. Maldonado i reckon is on a final warning before he gets a race ban if he has another avoidable incident.
    Great drive by Button, now shows he is a great driver and proves he is still capable. Also great drive by hulkenberg to get 4th for force india.
    Race was great, pleanty of overtaking and action, certainly much more than in hungary

  • Comment number 21.

    Well done Jenson Button.

    A class act all weekend.

    One in the eye for his doubters, most of whom haven't the decency to give him his due credit.

    Perhaps they dislike the taste of humble pie?

  • Comment number 22.

    @21 I was a doubter of Jensons this season after his poor run, he has shown me up. But I must say even when I doubted JB I never thought he was rubbish. I always felt that it was Lewis could drive around a more difficult to drive car. Jenson now needs to back it up in Monza, another podium I think should be on the cards, as normally if you are good at spa you are good at Monza.

  • Comment number 23.

    haha uncivilised means uncriticised
    _________________________________

    not true at all !

  • Comment number 24.

    ive never commented on this blog before but felt i had to after the shocking reporting, firstly, Hamilton WAS quicker in the second sector, it was only by a tenth, but still. secondly it wasn't the first time we've seen dominance like this, in china Rosberg had a lead of 20.3 at the end, button only had 13.6. i know that people got caught in traffic that time, so did people this week, and some of the big players didnt make it past the first corner.

  • Comment number 25.

    @18 this is button's first pole since 2009, and surely people should stop comparing jenson to prost, as well comparing hamilton to Ayrton, vettel to schumi? present f1 drivers will always be compared to past drivers! happens in all sport.....

  • Comment number 26.

    It wasn't that bad a race, how come the highlights of the race are only 5 minutes long? usually they are about 10 minutes.
    Also where are the extended highlights of last seasons races, the BBC had the rights to last years races and highlights didn't they?

  • Comment number 27.

    I'd be interested to see Hamiltons brake telemetry after he got clipped...

  • Comment number 28.

    Nothing to see here!

  • Comment number 29.

    @27 the stewards would've have had access to all of that telemetry before making any decisions. But it would've been good to see

  • Comment number 30.

    watching lewis hamilton again this weekend sums up to me the kind of driver he is... if things dont go his way he throws his dummy out the pram and sulks in the corner. not once can i remember him accepting even a portion of the blame for any racing incident, its always 'the team' his attitude stinks. and as for maldonado and grosjean i think it would inappropriate for me to post what i really think of them on this site, however i do believe that maldonado should not be allowed the privelige of an f1 seat and grosjean has already blown his SECOND chance in formula one.

    and as for ej dc and jake humphery i havent seen a worse team for presenting f1 since steve bore me to death ryder on itv. jake and ej stop trying to be funny and dc please please stop 'trying to finish what i was saying earlier' and look at the helmets of the drivers who are on the screen so as to get the names right and look at the timing screens before u open your mouth, and be edwards stop asking stupid questions. and gary anderson you are about as fun to listen to as my great grandmothers story on how she knitted my latest jumper last sunday afternoon.

    i do miss martin brundle

  • Comment number 31.

    in reply to 30. stupot, in Spain, he got sent to the back of the grid on one of the hardest tracks to overtake on and he didn't moan, he just got on with his job and beat his team mate. in Valencia, he didnt complain when maldonardo punted him off. Last year in spa he took full blame for the kobyashi crash, which when dc looked at it, said it was kobyashis

  • Comment number 32.

    Congratulations to Jenson on a fantastic, controlled drive today to take a well-deserved win, to cap off a perfect weekend. Held the lead throughout, even coming out from his pit stop still in the lead.

    Congratulations also to the much-maligned McLaren pit crew again for a fantastic 2.6 second stop.

    Excellent drive from Vettel (like kettle!) as well, to come through in second, with some excellent overtaking moves at the Bus stop, silencing his critics who say he can't overtake!.

    Lewis in no way to blame for the first lap crash when Grosjean squeezed him out & left him with nowhere to go. But, what was he thinking of, tweeting his team telemetry for all the world, and rival teams, to see. Not the wisest move from a driver out of contract at the end of the season and wanting to maximise his stock with potential employers.

    Grosjean, a severe penalty, but deserved because of his previous this season.

    Maldonado is also surely on the brink of a ban as well, due to his antics following his maiden victory.

    Finally, very prophetic of Martin Brundle to don a hard hat during his grid walk whilst passing the cars of Hamilton, Maldonado, Grosjean and Perez!

    That is all.

  • Comment number 33.

    wow the amount of hate Hamilton gets on here is crazy.is it not smart that he doesnt go straight to media and speak after incident like that when he would clearly be very angry and frustrated and maybe say something that would get him in trouble.Also whenever Hamilton has a bad race or is forced to retire like today he always makes point of congratulating Button.When situation is reversed Button hardly ever does and just moans and blames the car set up or some other lame excuse for under performing. Button is great driver but Hamilton is a lot better and by far more entertaining to watch. Even the best driver in formula 1 at the moment Alonso says Hamilton is always his greatest threat to title and one of few drivers who can perform even with poor car just as alonso himself has been doing all this year.

  • Comment number 34.

    "Perhaps an elegant style that does not upset the car or over-work the tyres was exactly what was needed through the demanding corners of Spa's challenging middle sector"


    No Andrew, what was needed more was a car that is half a second a lap faster than the rest of the pack. As it has been for three gp's now. It helps a tad more than being "smooth" you know.

    But no doubt when Lewis wins by half a lap in Monza and sweeps most if not all poles & wins with that beast of a machine you'll be telling us how he in turn is "one of the best" has a new "headspace" & "answers his critics".

    A few weeks back you'd been telling us how McLaren aren't big enough for their drivers' boots. That's after you told us how Red Bull had the best car after winter testing (which you laughably maintained before Spa). And how Webber has now finally turned the tables on Vettel.

    PS Andrew never heard before that different wings might give different lift to drag's? And that's the whole point of a "new" wing? Or that there are factors other than downforce that affect corner speed such as "balance"? Red top is what you do best so please stay clear of the techical bit, cheers.


    .

  • Comment number 35.

    @33

    I think, if you actually bothered to watch and listen, that you will find that JB also congratulates Lewis when the situation is reversed, and comments on the positive for the team as a whole, of which he is part.

    How smart would you say it is to tweet confidential team telemetry on Twitter, the 21st Century equivalent of the toilet wall?

  • Comment number 36.

    Yes it's the predictable over the top Jenson love-in from Benson and sly digs at Hamilton we all expect and while Benson gets carried away mentioning Jenson in the same sentence as Senna & Prost (LOL that did make me chuckle) lets just get it into perspective.

    Jenson had a great weekend and well done to him for that but he has not suddenly turned into Prost, he has gambled on setup following a wet practice and won. Hamilton did exactly the same thing and lost.

    The idea Benson is pushing that Jenson has suddenly had an injection of talent and Lewis has lost his is clearly rubbish.

    Button needs the next 3 weekends to be like today before I'll buy that.

  • Comment number 37.

    33. At 22:36 2nd Sep 2012, speakasifind wrote:
    wow the amount of hate Hamilton gets on here is crazy.
    ----------------------------------------------
    It's a predictable pattern we see all the time now.

    Hamilton puts as much as a foot out of line and it's immediately met with a damming article from Benson and a comments section followed by the hamilton haters crawling from under their rocks to proclaim he has committed the most heinous crime and should be condemned.

    It's a completely different story if Jenson is having a bad day like last time out in Hungary where he was publicly slagging the team off after the race and that got completely swept under the carpet.

    But of-course this didn't happen at all because we are just "paranoid" and imagining it ;)

  • Comment number 38.

    Boring race after the crash unfortunately. It needed Alonso, Lewis and Sergio in it.
    Not liking the interviewing of the top 3 drivers by the famous racing driver after the race either.

  • Comment number 39.

    Since Button joined Maclaren 50 races ago he has amassed 585 points to Hamilton's 584. Enough said!

  • Comment number 40.

    Enjoyable race, spoiled by the crash, but nonetheless fun to watch as a whole. Glad no one was seriously hurt at the start. Vettel was driver of the day, excellent drive with some lovely, decisive overtakes... from a guy that, apparently, can't do that. Looking forward to the next grand prix.

  • Comment number 41.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 42.

    @27 @29 sorry but the fact your trying to insinuate that Lewis wouldn't brake to try and ram the likes of Alonso is ridiculous. How is he meant to brake anyway with his front nose and tyres rammed up Grosjean's rear wing.

    Good race by Jenson was never really troubled, but as usual the most is made out of Lewis's mistakes off the circuit, even though throughout this year he has proved to be more consistant and has had a change in his attitude (@18 not really sure what your on about?)

  • Comment number 43.

    As I saw it Maldonado jumped because he didn't want to get stuck behind the smoking Kobyashi. That caused Grosjean to not unreasonably overreact and the rest is history. Gr8 to c Jenson in imperious form - it so winds Hamilton!

  • Comment number 44.

    Alonso is not right (was that deliberate?). As far as I can see Romain has 5 DNFs - of which one was alternator failure. Unless Romain crashed and still participated in the race (I don't remember), he has only 4 crashes in the beginning (not 7).

  • Comment number 45.

    @42 no I just meant it would've been good to see all the telemetry from the accident as we don't have access to it. Like how much did Grosjean turn, did lewis lift how did he try and avoid the accident. I know 100% it was Grosjeans fault, and I also know that Lewis would never be stupid enough to put a persons life in danger. Just thought the telemetry would be good to see, don't read so much into my posts

  • Comment number 46.

    Great drive by my boy Jenson keep up the good work, not sure why Hamilton is getting all the stick on nhere when didnt cause the crash and was coping with losing his close aunt to cnacer a few day ago. I am starting to think there are a few racist people on here, reminds me of the stick Mo Farah got on forums after winning 2 golds. Shameful bunch of trolls we have on here

  • Comment number 47.

    @44 just wanted to add that after some research, found that Romain also caused a crash in British Grand prix although he finished sixth - so that makes his first-lap incidents at 5.

  • Comment number 48.

    @41 Because his auntie dying isn't news, and putting a few silly posts is news. It's really sad because I think you could tell just from the look on Lewis's face from Thursday onwards his mind was elsewhere. But at no point do the bbc feel that is relevant. So unless you follow Lewis on twitter like you and I do, you wouldn't actually know about his auntie. I follow all the driers twitter and his and Fernandos are the most fun because they interact with their fans.

  • Comment number 49.

    @33 "Even the best driver in formula 1 at the moment Alonso says Hamilton is always his greatest threat to title"

    Agree, he is the greatest threat, Alonso will never take the title if Hamilton keeps on taking him out. He's hit more red cars than anyone in the past few years. Rams Kimi in the pits, Massa loads of times, now Alonso... ;)

    Where was the speed reduction or tyre smoke from Hamilton's emergency braking after he and Grosjean collided?
    Reminded me of when Webber spun in the wet in Korea 2010, knew it was over, then rolled back over the track taking out Rosberg, hmmmm...

  • Comment number 50.

    @47: Further additions, Spain and Germany - so that makes it 7. OK. I admit I was wrong - Alonso is right, obviously he would be as he must have gleaned through the past.

  • Comment number 51.

    Andrewn Benson sure loves Button alright..

  • Comment number 52.

    I am no slavish Lewis-lover, but I do think the level of hate towards him is extraordinary. Why? Give him a break. He's a fast, talented, homegrown racing driver. No, he's not Ayrton Senna. No, posting telemetry in a tweet is not a good idea. On the other hand, leave the guy alone, he's had a recent family bereavement, anyone who's lost someone close to them should know that can mess you up big time. Plus when interviewed I thought he showed maturity in refusing to publicly tear into Grosjean, and he at least had the grace to congratulate his team mate on winning the race.

    Also, I agree that one great weekend hasn't turned Button into Alain Prost. In fairness to Andrew Benson, I don't think he was suggesting that Hamilton and Button are Senna and Prost reincarnated, I thought he was making a general point about the difference in their driving styles. Having said that I was delighted to see Button get his 'mojo' back after a very poor run.

    I was rather surprised that Grosjean has been banned for a race when Maldonado has been equally wild this season. Glad no one got hurt though, that could have been a very nasty accident indeed.

  • Comment number 53.

    This article is so over the top in praising Button its embarrassing. It reads like a love letter from a teenage girl.

    Seriously, Andrew you need to get some perspective and possibly put a bit more thought in your articles.

  • Comment number 54.

    Congrats to Jenson. Considering there was only an hour to practice in the dry I guess McLaren had to split set ups, and no doubt Button made the correct choice. One thing that really bugs me with BBC is the massive support shown to Di resta, and Button compared to Hamilton. Button was in a race of one today, and he did what we all know he can by winning in the fastest car on the track. Lewis was taken out by a nutter again to make it 3 dnf's in his last 5 races through no fault of his own. All that said the twitter thing was foolish, but the man's had a rough time recently so give him a break.

  • Comment number 55.

    @1
    according to the stewards it broke serious rules, but a race ban I see to be a bit harsh.

    Interlocking wheels is always risky, at the start where cars are accelerating rapidly then braking dramatically for the 1st corner it is completely unacceptable, the other driver has to match his speed to yours or an accident is guaranteed, worse still if he's at the edge of the track (as hamilton was) then he doesn't have the option to get out of it by moving away. It can be non deliberate but then you should move out of it not hold in that position as Grosjean did. if anything the penalty was too light.
    (I most defintely am not a Hamilton fan either)

  • Comment number 56.

    @46 Completely agree. Their is a lot of veiled racism against Hamilton across a number of Forums. Recently on JAs forum someone called him to stop acting like a spoilt 'gangsta'. I see no reason to call Lewis a 'gangsta' other than the posters subscription to the obvious ignorant stereotype.

  • Comment number 57.

    I am utterly sick of Andrew Benson's blogs. How in the world did such a biased and arrogant man get the job of chief F1 reporter for the BBC? It's a farce is what it is. Not once can this man give a subjective view; let's not even get into what insight (if any) he offers.

    Gary Anderson would be better suited to this role for one main reason: he isn't in love with Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button. He also provides actual insight in his articles rather than using up his word limit taking jabs at certain drivers wherever he can.

    It's truly a shame that Andrew Benson has the responsibility of speaking on behalf of the BBC about most things F1.

  • Comment number 58.

    Oops, meant 'objective view' not 'subjective'. That's a little embarrassing...

  • Comment number 59.

    Jenson drove magnificently today. Lights to flag – terrific. He is also such a pleasant character unlike Hamilton who spends most of his time sulking. It is hard to imagine how the two of them get on behind the scenes. Having said that I do want to see both drivers winning races and sharing the podium for McLaren.

    I must also say how much I enjoy the BBC presentation of F1. Jake, DC, EJ and Garry A are really great entertainment. Wish I could say the same about “screamer” Ben Edwards though. Well done BBC keep it going and please get whole coverage back!!

  • Comment number 60.

    well i have just watched both whitmarsh interviews yesterday and yes the guy looks very nervous even after buttons win...

    he really looks angry at lewis for some reason its soo obvious anytime he talks about him he hardly manages to not show his hatred damn its scary. his face is completely distored ,his jaw contracted he doesnt look comfortable at all..; as a professional diplomat and mclaren official spokesperson he should do better to hide it
    cherry on the cake, he stated " he doesnt care " if lewis is happy or not...long gone is his self-confidence, somebody has clearly wiped his smug smile off his face replacing it with a constipated one
    the guy is a wreck

    plus the new found agressivity from the f1 anti lewis brigade betrays insecurity imho
    its never a good sign to be in attacking mode..

    30 year olds coulthard and button throwing immature meany little digs at lewis while giggling like teenagers

    mclaren now openly and disgracefully tricking lewis in front of the bemused whole world

    meanwhile mister benson is trying the put on a brave face with a passionate but desperate love letter to his idole...

    it looks more and more like we are witnessing the first glimpses of the end of an era...

  • Comment number 61.

    The immature ramblings of a few people in these comments is truly pathetic. They spend their time criticising Andrew Benson, the BBC and accuse this team of perpetual bias and misinformation. For heaven's sake get a hold on yourselves and post constructive comments about F1 like the majority including myself do. You lot must be wonderful to live with.

  • Comment number 62.

    Button's dominance highlights both his strength and weakness. When everything is perfect, he can beat anyone. But when things are not to his liking, he runs at the back of the field.

    By the way, Grosjean should have been banned a few races ago. That was absolutely reckless, but he has opened the door for Vettel in the championship.

  • Comment number 63.

    Sorry Andrew, I wrote my comments before reading your blog. No intention of stealing your line!

  • Comment number 64.

    I don't think Andrew was trying to compare Button/Hamilton with Prost/Senna. The comment is that it is a similar situation for McLaren. I do agree that Hamilton is vastly overated. In the top 20 drivers of all time - no way. After one World Championship that was lost by second placed driver rather than won by Lewis? Button needs to consistently do what he did this weekend to be compared to Prost.

  • Comment number 65.

    @49 Quote from Alonso on Hamilton "if i can tip one driver, i would pick him because he is the only one who can make a difference evn with a car that is not a winner" think i will listen to the best driver in formula one opinion on subject think he knows slightly more about driving abilities than you ;)

  • Comment number 66.

    My goodness all the guns are out here ain't they? Calm it a little guys!

    3 opinions: First; Hamilton was stupid to tweet team telemetry and tactics. In what world could he have not known that that was private, team info that definitely shouldn't be posted on the web for all to see? He's supposed to be intelligent! Although his keeping his mouth shut in the immediate aftermath of being taken out was a very wise move, so credit there. 

    Second: 7 crashes in 11 first laps...I don't think that it's a harsh penalty on Grosjean at all. Infact, surely it's overdue? That's a crash on the first lap of a third of the total races on the calendar! I bet his team are thrilled with that too...I'm glad everyone was ok, though slightly appalled that no-one in the beeb race commentary team saw fit to talk about the fact that Alonso was still in his car for a good while!

    Finally, I really enjoyed the race. It wasn't at all boring with passes and counter-passes all down the field, a mix on strategy, fast cars being out of position and racing through. I don't think I've ever seen so little of a race leader during coverage! JB was so far ahead and there was so much going on we only saw him during his pit-stop! Fair play to him. Vettel, Hulk, Vergne and Ricciado all with stellar performances too. Pass of the day: De La Rosa on Kovaleinen as he followed Webber (I think) through when Heikki moved over to let the faster car through...priceless! 

    Well done JB. More of the same in Italy please!

  • Comment number 67.

    Number 52! tinysteelorchestra! We have a sensible person in the house!

  • Comment number 68.

    Oh, and to all these blinkered Lewis fans. No-one with any knowledge of F1 doubts Lewis's ability; he clearly is an exciting and talented race driver who can pull it out on a Saturday and a Sunday. The only doubt about him is his temperament. Whenever his team-mate gets an upper hand on Lewis, which, let's face it, Button has done on occasion these last 3 years, Lewis seems to revert to childishness, blaming his poor(er) performance on factors beyond his control. Do you honestly think for one minute if the team decided to split strategy that they wouldn't have given Lewis, as their best shot at this year's championship, first choice? Same regarding new machinery and updates. If Lewis wanted them then he'd have them, much the same as the later updates going to Button first last year. Let's try for an ounce of objectivity yeah?

    Ok his mind may not have been totally on it with the unfortunate, and terribly upsetting death of a close member of his family, which may explain some of the issues of this weekend. But for me, that in turn begs the question: if Lewis's mind wasn't right to race then what was he doing behind the wheel of a machine that if not handled with 100% care, caution and attention could quite easily seriously injure someone? You can't have it both ways. I hope he sorts everything out and comes back with a bang next week in Italy, but this weekend was probably his worst all season. Nothing to do with the race, that was totally out of his hands, and the muppets suggesting he 'deliberately didn't break' so as to get Alonso dont bear worth listening too, but being smashed by Button in quali, for the first time this year and having a cyber-sulk about it shows that those with doubts about his temper are right too still have some lingering around, despite the fact he's improved so much this season.

  • Comment number 69.

    Alonso was nearly killed, we should be clear about this. Henry Surtees was killed when a wheel hit his exposed head a while back and Fernando could easily have been killed on Sunday in a similar way. I'm a McLaren fan but I have to say that Fernando showed great composure after that brush with death. A race ban is definitely not too strict given all this as well as RG's previous form this season. He needs to cool down.

  • Comment number 70.

    "I obviously have a style where it's quite difficult to find a car that works for me in qualifying"
    Possibly the most misguided and arrogant statement i've heard come out of Button's mouth. I'm sorry Jenson, you actually have a style where you can't drive as quickly as other drivers....but hey if that's how you justify it to yourself!!!

  • Comment number 71.

    "The flip side of that is that when he gets the car's balance right, he is close to unbeatable".
    And here is the issue i have with Button and his friend (I really do think this should be disclosed in the interests of unbiased journalism) Andrew Benson. If the car is right he is unbeatable, but when it isn't somehow it's not his fault, it's just due to his particular driving style? It's such a clever spin from Jenson - I AM the best in the word, it's just that my driving style means i can't always show it. Clever stuff indeed.

  • Comment number 72.

    @60 roomurrhamil

    Thanks for the laugh, funniest thing I have read this weekend. It was meant to be a parody, right?

    @58 Ibra

    I guess you've just ruled yourself out for the job then!

  • Comment number 73.

    @70 dwhite

    How did he post 3 qualifying times quicker than anybody else on Saturday then, & lead the race from lights to chequered flag?

  • Comment number 74.

    HM, all drivers are better drivers when they have the dominant car (ask Vettel), it's not Button's fault if, in conjunction with his team and race engineers, he gets the set up dead right. Hamilton chose a different route which didn't appear (from qualifying) to be working, name of the game.

    So it appears to be boring if Button drives the perfect race, qualify on pole and lead all the way, but I don't seem to hear those complaints if it's Hamilton, Vettel or Alonso, in those cases the comments are all about the professional way in which they won.

  • Comment number 75.

    Well done to jenson! Fair play, delivered the win! It'll be one of the easier races to take! Gutted Alonso, Hamilton got taken out, glad everyone came out ok and definatly agree with the penalty grosjean got! It ruined the race i wanted to see ( alonso, hamilton and also how the sauber team could do) Roll on Monza! Hamilton to bounce back strong!

  • Comment number 76.

    The fact that the BBC commentators were more interested in the championship standings than the fact that Alonso wasn't getting out of the car was pretty disgusting.

    I was so dead agaisnt F1 on sky, but recently, incidents such as the above and Andrew bensons columns really have me thinking Sky have the upper hand. Button wins one race and thats it, "he is going to be world champion." wouldnt it have be great if the BBC had done a column on how far driver safety has come in F1!

  • Comment number 77.

    When JB has a weekend like this, I do wonder whether McLaren have considered building a car specially for JB's style and dropping Hamilton. An unlikely strategy given Hamilton is so talented and JB seems to be able to get on with him. But Hamilton does appear to be getting worse rather than better. Without JB's tyre problems this year, I think he would be beating Hamilton again.

  • Comment number 78.

    @77
    I'm sure that mclaren (and the drivers) should be able to set up a car to suit both drivers! Yes Button is good when everythin is set up perfect for him, but hamilton get the best out of the car regardless which is where button has struggled this season! In regards hamilton getting worse?? Won hungary and taken out at the start?

  • Comment number 79.

    Button saying I can win if you give me the car, erm couldn't all the drivers do just that. This is part of Buttons problem, and somehow he has turned it into a positive than a negative and thats if the car isn't perfect he can't win. Wouldve been interesting to see what Vettel or Alonso had done in that Mclaren. Also howany points would Leiws have if he hadn't been taken out or received penalties or had poor pit stops.
    So Jenson credit where it is due you raced superbly but lets see if it continues into Monza and beyond.

  • Comment number 80.

    I do wish people would stop taking pot-shots at Gary Anderson. He's not a born commentator but unlike ex-drivers, there's not a deep pool of ex-F1 designers to choose from. Gary may not be the equal of Adrian Newey but he seems to be able to analyse all the new bits on the cars and how the drivers make best use of them (or not) very well indeed. To me he is a very welcome addition to the BBC coverage.

  • Comment number 81.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 82.

    dwhite...

    Don't be a complete pillock!

    It's fairly straight forward - and there's no spin in there - straight forward - if Button can get his car into the sweet spot, then there's no beating him, but if there's any issues with the set up, then he can't drive round problems! Take off the poo-tinted glasses and you might actually read that there is both criticism and praise in that article!

  • Comment number 83.

    @79
    Well i got my wheel to wheel racing with Hamilton and Alonso just not the way i wanted! ha! I'd of liked to see what the perez could of done to impress for the ferrari seat? Also it'll be interestng to see if this is the revival of button or just a case of the perfect set up! Hope Hamilton gets back on it in monza

  • Comment number 84.

    So, like Prost, when everything is perfect with the car Button is unbeatable? I'm afraid that's yet more poor comparison for the sake of it and you go to a lot of sensationalist trouble (yet again repeating the telemetry) to point out a fact that can be said of any of the top half dozen drivers. Prost had 33 poles and in Spa, Button produced his first pole for McLaren in almost three season… hardly Prost-like.

    Yes, Button drove brilliantly all weekend but he had no competition from outside McLaren and Lewis Hamilton's actions this weekend have clearly demonstrated that he's not in a good place. How easy, it seems, to ignore or dimiss the fact that he lost a close relative only a few days ago.

    The number of anti-Hamilton trolls on this thread is, quite frankly, sickening and the poor journalism, always reporting on Button's intelligence and smooth style making the most of the current (daft) tyre regs doesn't help. This year, Button has been completely lost with set-up and making his tyres last, despite being 'so brilliant at tyre preservation' while Hamilton has largely dominated him in almost every sense, only to have the team stuff many of his races on pitstops and poor strategy.

    On the evidence throughout Button's career, I'd go so far as to say that, while he can be extremely fast and consistent when the car is perfect, there are few drivers on the grid who suffer as much as he does when the car is not… and, since being at McLaren, he usually tends to shine only in changeable conditions, or when Hamilton is clearly off-form.

  • Comment number 85.

    @83 yes if Button is just as good in Monza then I will consider him to be back in the title race, but 1 great race doesn't make a season. I think Jenson may have won this race anyway, but would've been also good to see what the Saubers could've done as they are good on tyres, maybe they could've pushed Jenson a bit harder. If Jenson can win again like this in Monza without 4 of his main challengers being taken out in 1 corner I will think he is back to 2011 form.
    Also though, what has this done to Lewis' title challenge? I mean it must've been getting pretty close to Mclaren having to throw their full backing behind but now with this win it means Jenson will have to be backed for a few more races. Couldnt have been a much worse weekend for lewis really. Knowing he is still as many points behind Alonso, 1 race down and also knowing Alonso has the full backing of his team and Vettel seems to be on fine form. Aaa Ferrari fan I'm more worried about Red Bull than Mclaren at the moment.

  • Comment number 86.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 87.

    Driver safety has once again been highlighted with Alonso's very near miss. What about a roll bar which starts beside driver's shoulders and angles forwards to meet above and forward of the helmet without obscuring the side view? It could be detachable like the steering wheel to allow for ease of access / exit

  • Comment number 88.

    I agree with most previous posts that this blog by Benson is incredibly biased and harsh against Hamilton. Saying that Hamilton blamed his slow pace on the team's collective decision is not necessarily unreasonable. Yes Hamilton had a big hand to play in that, but it is a team sport, and when asked why by the media you are slower than your teammate, you are obliged to tell them the reasons, part of the reason was the set-up, but he also gave massive congratulations to Jenson after both quali and the race, hardly throwing his toys out of the pram.

    Button was incredible the whole weekend and thoroughly deserved the victory, but i am surprised that there is no mention here of a great drive by Nico Hulkenberg, who took a career best fourth position, a racing improvement from Massa who beat Webber by overtaking him on track.

    Grosjeans crash was dangerous, and i have to agree with other comments that the commentator's championship talk baffled me, when a car had just flown over Alonso's head and he was not moving. It is all very well talking about the safety of F1 cars these days, but it has encouraged recklessness on the likes of grosjean at the start, maldonado using his car as a battering ram, and remember crash-gate in 2008... I'm not saying its not a good thing these cars are safe, i'm saying that it appears that the improved safety has masked some blatant dangers from these drivers.

  • Comment number 89.

    72 : nope !! this is absolutely my view on whats going on...

    its reminiscent of what happened last year... contract negotiations... whitmarsh is obviously upset about something his body language is telling as well as the global atmosphere

    time will tell if im right or not...

  • Comment number 90.

    MacauBlue.

    .... During Button's 3 years at McLaren, how many poles has Hamilton had?

    Remember that during the Prost/Senna years at McLaren, more often than not, Senna was ahead in qualifying, and scord many more poles as team-mates....

    Whenever you are looking for someone to compare Button and Hamilton to, Senna/Prost is an obvious one, since they had contrasting styles, and they were driving for McLaren... However, you seem blind to anything written by Benson....

  • Comment number 91.

    @85
    I Hope Hamilton can react positively to yesterday! He's been a lot cooler this season (not that hard from 2011) he needs to put it all behind him, the crash and buttons performance! I honestly think that mclaren and i hope Hamilton are going to still compete for the title but when your likely to have your own drivers potentially taking points off each other it makes it that little bit harder. You could say the same for red bull tho! only ferrari are in the position to get behind there number 1 Alonso? Which is why i think he might see it through now! Ferrari need a really strong 2nd driver that will challange Alonso! Ha, as a Mclaren fan!

  • Comment number 92.

    Your analysis of the telemetry doesn't make sense, Andrew. If Hamilton was down 0.3s in sector 2 - and this was the reason he was slower than Button - how do you account for the other 0.6s of his laptime? After all, he was something like 0.895s (from memory, so could be out!) off the pace, so simply putting it down to his sector 2 time doesn't cut it.

    The rear wing was obviously a benefit - that's why McLaren brought it. It's not called an upgrade because it makes you slower. The problem was that Hamilton (just like Button!) didn't get the chance to run it in P1 and P2 to get the set up right, and in the end Button gambled well and got his setup nailed, but Hamilton played the wrong hand, went back to the old wing, and paid the price.

    Issues at McLaren don't always have to boil down to Button vs Hamilton, and I don't think Hamilton's picture was supposed to suggest any kind of team bias or anti-Button agenda. He was just showing where he was losing time - and was perhaps frustrated with himself that he had the opportunity to run it, but went with the wrong option and stuck to the old rear wing.

    The good news is, Button proved it works, and so the team can hopefully benefit from it throughout the season.

  • Comment number 93.

    59.At 02:24 3rd Sep 2012, tonesalone wrote:

    "I must also say how much I enjoy the BBC presentation of F1"


    It is lamentable. Jake and Eddie are one of the few reasons to have Sky.


    .

  • Comment number 94.

    @91 Yes I hope for the championships sake Lewis can put this weekend behind him and move on. For Ferrari's sake I hope Button does well again and Alonso gets a good podium at Monza :) I really hope Alonso can hold on for this title as his skill this year and throughout his career he deserves a 3rd title next to his name. Red Bull yes I think maybe their drivers might keep taking points off each other, but I'm worrie about Vettel, who seems to be on fine form once again, maybe he and Alonso and Hamilton have all had their bad luck now and it will be a straight fight to the end of the season. I hope so.
    Regarding the number 2 Ferrari driver, if Vettel isn't signed for 2014, I would take the Hulk over PDR any day. I don't think he will be overwhelmed by Alonso and he has pure pace.

  • Comment number 95.

    80.At 09:22 3rd Sep 2012, Mike wrote:

    "I do wish people would stop taking pot-shots at Gary Anderson. He's not a born commentator but unlike ex-drivers, there's not a deep pool of ex-F1 designers to choose from. Gary may not be the equal of Adrian Newey but he seems to be able to analyse all the new bits on the cars and how the drivers make best use of them (or not) very well indeed. To me he is a very welcome addition to the BBC coverage"


    I was looking forward to him too, but quite a few times he has made remarks that are either irrelevant or unfounded or made to suit a certain agenda or just plain wrong that he has lost most credibility.

    Yesterday for instance he was analyzing fastest laps which is the most irrelevant piece of information these days, how Button & Vettel were ONLY 9th and 10th (both cruising) and what that may represent. When in fact FLs or PBs are always being posted on the last few laps by anyone pushing in that window using newish tyres on a rubbered track and light fuel load.



    .

  • Comment number 96.

    To be fair the McLaren has been the quickest car all season. A mixture of pit lane errors (earlier in the season, now that seems to be sorted and better than ever), driver errors (mainly Button after the first couple of races, he seems to be back on the evidence of the last few races) and plain bad luck has meant that they are behind Alonso, the Red Bulls and Kimi.

    Like I said, the pit crew have sorted their early season problems and are now very consistent and about 1/2 second quicker than most pit crews in the tyre changes. Both drivers are in good form (Hamilton unlucky to be on the wrong set up in Spa due to the limited Friday practice) and with luck evening itself out (hopefully) I expect Hamilton or Button to be the world champion.

  • Comment number 97.

    I can't stand the fact that whenever an incident occurs (like the pile up at turn 1 at Spa) the director cuts to the pits to show (usually) the girl out of the Pussycat Dolls. While we're looking at her and her ridiculously affected reactions we're missing the action.
    Could Sky/BBC introduce a special channel for those who care about the drivers' wives/girlfriends, so they can watch them uninterrupted for the whole two hours while we get on with watching the race.

    I know that for the vast majority of F1 fans it's nothing but a pain in the behind.

    I don't really care about Christian Horner's nervous legs either.

  • Comment number 98.

    I've never commented on a blog writer on these boards before, but I feel compelled to do so here.

    How is it, AB, that I have not read one negative word about Button in your blogs all season? I am going to assume that both of us would consider this season to be a bad one for Button so far. How have you managed to avoid writing anything negative at all? There have been negative comments made in these blogs about Button, however all of them occur in articles that you haven't written. How, further, can you possibly justify the comment that Button is "peerless" when given the right machinery? Give Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso, Raikkonen and Button the right machinery, and we all know where Button would finish. If I were being uncharitable, I might make that list a great deal longer.

    Your willingness to castigate Hamilton for any slight error, and your eagerness to attribute blame to Hamilton even with incidents like the Grosjean episode yesterday, stands in stark contrast to your unmitigated lauding of Button. Whatever your personal feelings on the individuals involved, can you please try to provide unbiased reports, or concede your position to someone who is able to.

  • Comment number 99.

    @86 so F1fan speaks the truth and that gets considered for moderation. Whilst on another post someone calls Schumacher Herman the German and that is a perfectly acceptable post. Get a grip BBC!!

  • Comment number 100.

    Nobody has made the comment that Maldonado (P6) instigated this crash by jumping the start. Grojean (P8) had a huge gap in front of him when he started. They were both on the lefthand side of the grid. He got a bit over excited, and when the cars in front braked the the corner, he was forced to go right and kept going into the almost available space until he hit Hamilton. I doubt he would have braked in time anyway as he was going too fast. Maldonado I dont think will be in F1 next year. Grojean needs some experience!

 

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