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Button, Barrichello & Vettel: my take on the title rivals

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Jonathan Legard | 16:53 UK time, Friday, 16 October 2009

For the last four years, the Formula 1 world title has been settled at the Brazilian Grand Prix - and a champion could well be crowned here in Sao Paulo once again on Sunday.

Brawn will almost certainly claim the constructors' title - they only need half a point - but can Jenson Button become champion on Sunday, or will he, his Brawn team-mate Rubens Barrichello and Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel still be battling it out in Abu Dhabi in two weeks' time.

This is my assessment of the three candidates:

Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button and Rubens BarrichelloVettel, Button and Barrichello have a laugh ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix

Jenson Button

The man in pole position is Button as he tops the standings, 14 points clear of Barrichello and 16 ahead of Vettel.

He has a good chance of clinching the title in Brazil, but even if Button suffers a mechanical problem or crashes out and the other two go on to collect points, then the Englishman would still lead going into the final race of the championship in Abu Dhabi; so he has that safety net.

Even so, you just sense that the 29-year-old would prefer to wrap this title up as soon as possible and if the weathermen could guarantee dry conditions on race day then I believe Button would clinch the championship this weekend.

But the forecast is so unpredictable with rain expected to disrupt some, if not all, of the sessions. And that throws far more variables into the equation.

A strong qualifying performance will be key to Button's chances. We've seen this season that when he qualifies out of position it's a bit of a scramble for him, and he certainly won't want to find himself having to overtake to get in the points here.

Button is facing criticism that he is stuttering towards the championship and instead should be trying to win the title in style, but he is not a man for the grand gesture.

The Englishman has modelled himself on four-time champion Alain Prost. He shares the Frenchman's smooth driving style and steady accumulation of points rather than charging his way to the championship.

Button has led the championship since the first race in Australia and he has maintained that advantage. He's stayed unflustered as his rival teams have caught up and the competition has intensified.

There would be a certain symmetry if Button claimed the title at Interlagos, as it was here than he won his first points in F1 for Williams nine years ago.

I was there on the day that Button was chosen to partner Ralf Schumacher in 2000 and I've watched him grow and mature since then.

In 2004, he took the fight to Michael Schumacher as BAR-Honda hit form and went on to claim his first victory two years later. He has continued to learn and mature through Honda's lean years, when it seemed that his career in F1 was petering out, and again through a winter of uncertainty when Honda pulled out of the sport last December.

If Button is crowned Britain's 10th world champion he will join a list of great and good drivers. Jim Clarke, Jackie Stewart, Lewis Hamilton are some of the greats while Button would arguably join Damon Hill and John Surtees among the very good.

That is not to say that the 29-year-old would be no less deserving of the title. His performance at the first part of the year was outstanding and he has taken the chequered flag in six races this season, which is more than Hamilton won in his championship-winning campaign.

Button is a worker and if he is crowned the 2009 world champion it would be a reward for talent, patience and determination.

Rubens Barrichello relaxes ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix Rubens Barrichello attended a photo shoot at a local football club in his native Sao Paulo ahead of the Brazilian GP

Rubens Barrichello

Barrichello is Button's closest title rival and he needs to out-score his team-mate by five points to keep his chances alive.

The Brazilian probably can't believe his luck; 12 months ago he was driving in a car that was going nowhere for a Honda team with no future, now he is in with a shout of the world championship as the oldest man on the grid. What a turnaround!

The 37-year-old grew up within earshot of Interlagos and cut his teeth on the karting track along the back straight but just as Button hasn't had great success at Silverstone so Barrichello hasn't been blessed at Interlagos.

He has finished here just five times in 16 years and his best result is third for Ferrari in 2004.

If the race is dry on Sunday then I would favour Barrichello to finish ahead of Button, but I would still pick the Briton to claim enough points to take the title. If it's wet then anything could happen.

The bottom line is Barrichello needs the race of his life at Interlagos and for luck to shine on him for once on home soil.

Brawn team principal Ross Brawn says it will be a fair and open fight between his two drivers. He wants them to race each other and if the team loses the title as a result then so be it.

Ross Brawn is a big fan of Barrichello. He knows his technical input is important to the team and that the Brazilian found himself muzzled as Michael Schumacher's team-mate at Ferrari when he had the ability to win on a number of occasions.

But I wonder how much support Barrichello will have here this weekend. He was the first Brazilian driver to come along after the late, great champion Ayrton Senna and so much was expected of him.

Despite his success in junior formulae, it just didn't happen for Barrichello. He didn't see off Eddie Irvine at Jordan, he battled away at Stewart and was seen as little more than Schumacher's lap-dog at Ferrari.

I don't think the support for him will be as passionate as it was for last year's runner-up Felipe Massa.

If Barrichello is crowned world champion he would be a popular winner - he's always cheerful and a thoughtful talker - but I don't think he would be mentioned in the same breath as Brazil's previous champions Emerson Fittipaldi, Nelson Piquet and Senna.

Sebastian Vettel ponders his chances ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix Sebastian Vettel ponders his title chances ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos

Sebastian Vettel

It is so simple for Vettel - he really has to win in Brazil.

After five non-finishes this season it looked as though the German was long gone but Singapore, where he finished fourth, was a big leg-up for him and his victory in Japan was outstanding.

He has nothing to lose and everything to gain.

In the final two races of the season, the Red Bull driver has to come first or second to have a chance of overhauling Button and he has to rely on the Brawns experiencing problems, too.

He has got to believe that he can emulate Kimi Raikkonen's achievement of two years ago, when the Finn came back from a 17-point deficit to clinch the title.

It is a major ask but if anyone can do it you would have to say it as him.

Vettel is the only man on the grid to have qualified inside the top 10 at every race this year and he was very impressive at Interlagos last year when he finished fourth in his Toro Rosso.

The German's chances in Brazil will improve markedly if it is a wet race. He has already proved what a master of the wet he is, with rainy wins in China this year and at the 2008 Italian GP.

His car also comes into its own in the wet and my information is that the Red Bulls could be a real handful for the Brawns if it does rain here.

There are one or two errors that Vettel needs to iron out but the 22-year-old is most definitely a champion in waiting. If he doesn't pull it off this year against all the odds then his time will surely come.

The German is a very confident character and is very personable and popular. He doesn't take himself too seriously but he takes his job seriously and that is a breath of fresh air in the paddock.

If Vettel was crowned world champion it would cap an extraordinary introduction to F1 and would strike a blow for the young talent on the grid.

Last season, McLaren adopted a very cautious approach to the race as all Hamilton had to do to deny Massa was to cross the line in fifth - in the end they only managed to take the title by the skin of their teeth.

Button has also talked about not needing to take any risks but Ross Brawn won't want to go down the same route.

There is no finer F1 conductor than Ross Brawn but the stakes are high and a lot will be asked of Brawn, Button, Barrichello and Vettel if the rain sweeps across Sao Paulo on Sunday.

Comments

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  • 1. At 5:39pm on 16 Oct 2009, davedpg5 wrote:

    Nice to see you writing a proper article, well done

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  • 2. At 5:43pm on 16 Oct 2009, Peter Santamaria-Woods wrote:

    Great article! Makes for good reading =)

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  • 3. At 5:50pm on 16 Oct 2009, Ferrari_V12 wrote:

    Good article overall, but...

    Classing Hamilton as a "great" alongside the likes of Clark and Stewart is a bit much surely? POTENTIAL great yes, but I would say Surtees, who you put in the category below, who won the World Championship on both two and four wheels, and helped revive a flagging Ferrari team like Lauda and Schumacher would do later, has achieved more than Hamilton has.... so far.

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  • 4. At 5:50pm on 16 Oct 2009, GFasulo wrote:

    Great Blog Jonathan, and a fair assessment of the contenders.

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  • 5. At 5:59pm on 16 Oct 2009, timmilew wrote:

    great blog.

    I think Sebastien Vettel is definitely a champion in waiting. He's easily my favourite F1 driver, he exudes confidence yet as you say does not take himself too seriously. I don't think this year will be his year, his non-finishes have done for him but I think if the conditions are right he will win this weekend.

    Button had such an excellent start to the season but he does seem to be limping over the finish line to the title but you have to say he probably deserves it.

    can't wait for the race to start.

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  • 6. At 6:35pm on 16 Oct 2009, henryj2112 wrote:

    Have to agree with Ferrari_V12 in the classing of Hamilton as 'great'. He has has some good drives this season, but a 'great' driver would be able to bring a dog of a car home in 4th/5ths as Schumacher and others did. Hamilton has not done that this season. Another couple of titles and he can join that group.

    Anyway - would love to see Vettel take it. He's a class act, but must be livid at missed chances this season, Australia being an example. I think it might be a bridge too far for him, and as such Button will win.

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  • 7. At 7:01pm on 16 Oct 2009, Forest_de_Normandie wrote:

    Ferrari_V12, I have to agree.
    I can only remember back a few British F1 Champions, and here is my assesment.
    Hamilton, longs to emulate his hero Senna, just not as ruthless (is that such a bad thing?), but has the audacity to make the unmakeable over taking move.
    Hill, smart/average driver in the best car. Made the most of what he had, no shame there.
    Mansell, crazy, mad, brilliant, dangerous. The ultimate fearless driver, has to rank alongside Senna for doing the unbelievable, but was a fair driver (Senna won at all costs).
    Button, very much like Prost. Knows it is a long season and points are what win the Championship, not just races. Deserving if not out right destined for greatness.
    Now the rest are unfortunately beyond my memory due to birth date (mine not their's), but you have to say anyone who wins the Championship on both 4 and 2 wheels has to be special and possibly the best (can you imagine Hamilton on a GP bike or Rossi in a car (a bit more likely, maybe) and Schumacher has had a go) So possibly it has to be Surtees for me.

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  • 8. At 7:59pm on 16 Oct 2009, FreddyOfGreggs wrote:

    Thanks for the blindingly obvious article.

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  • 9. At 8:08pm on 16 Oct 2009, welloiledtool wrote:

    Please present the evidence about Hamilton being "GREAT".

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  • 10. At 8:44pm on 16 Oct 2009, Ben wrote:

    @welloiledtool

    Youngest ever world champion,
    Runner up in first year in F1.
    3rd highest percentage Podium Finishes in the modern era (after Schumacher and Prost)
    3rd highest consecutive podium finishes.
    Most frequent race winner since his entry to the sport.
    Most frequent podium finisher since his entry to the sport.
    Most number of pole positions since his entry to the sport.
    Most number of points scored since his entry to the sport.

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  • 11. At 9:16pm on 16 Oct 2009, BulletMonkey wrote:

    "Runner up in first year in F1."

    To be fair, so was Jacques Villeneuve and he won the following year. He never won another race.

    I also think it's a bit unfair to say Hamilton is 'great' already when Mansell and Hill had repeated and often heartbreaking near-misses yet came back to win. Hamilton's loss in 2007 was gutting, but it was his debut season. He was still a rookie and it's usually easier for rookies to recover from that sort of setback.

    I have no doubts that Hamilton will go on to become one of, if not the most, successful driver ever produced by this country. But at the moment, I'd still rate a few others ahead of him - including Button if he manages to scrape over the line.

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  • 12. At 9:45pm on 16 Oct 2009, ZRLeigh wrote:

    I wouldn't put Hamilton down as one of the greats. He makes too many mistakes for that, maybe one day. Apart from that i enjoyed the article.

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  • 13. At 9:54pm on 16 Oct 2009, me wrote:

    The only true test of a 'great' driver is when they can consistently out-perform their car, and their other (good) team-mate.

    Hamilton MAY be a great driver, but Heiki isn't enough of a test. Nor can we really say, for that reason, just how bad the McL. was at the start of the season. Did he out-perform it, or was it not as bad as he and Heiki sometimes made it look!

    Let's see him out-perform Kimi - not great, but certainly good - over a season, and get results in a car deserving of mid-field without a magic button. Then maybe think about 'great'.

    As for Jenson; great bloke, OK driver who's better than OK when the car suits him perfectly. If it doesn't, Rubens is the better of the two and Brawn will realy suffer without him next year - Jenson hasn't a clue how to set a car up.

    And deos this mean the end on the Benson blogs? No great loss I'm afraid, neither especially well informed or intuitive.

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  • 14. At 10:39pm on 16 Oct 2009, Martin wrote:

    Button better than Hamilton? No way. Lewis immediately matched a World Champion, while Jenson struggled to match Ralf. Lewis has done a far better job in an uncompetitive car than Jenson ever did at Brawn, or 2001 at Benetton. Jenson has made the most of his opportunity this year, but it's been a much easier title to win than Lewis had in the last 2 years.

    Ross Brawn deserves this year's title, for keeping the faith when it looked like the car wouldn't be out there at all, and getting the funding and support together. He spotted the loophole on the double-diffuser and exploited it, and has managed the team solidly. Jenson's in a great car when Lewis/Kimi/Fernando/Felipe/Kubica aren't, and he's had all the lucky breaks when Rubens has had none. Vettel isn't ready to win the title, he's simply made far too many mistakes.

    I think Jenson will clinch the title this weekend if it's dry. Harder to predict if it's wet, but I'd see Vettel and Hamilton at the front, meaning that Jenson would need 4th to wrap it up.

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  • 15. At 11:29pm on 16 Oct 2009, me wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 16. At 00:04am on 17 Oct 2009, getridofJL wrote:

    Article lacks depth and insight. Most of the info can be easily obtained by wikipedia. Ted K knows the drivers better and can offer better insight.

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  • 17. At 00:12am on 17 Oct 2009, YouNightHead wrote:

    @telnolies
    "Jenson hasn't a clue how to set a car up"
    Shocking comment, considering Jenson is leading the championship, has lead all season and has finished every race in the points apart from the one DNF which wasn't his fault.
    I'm sorry, but that consistency doesn't come without the in depth, extremely technical knowledge of how to set up an F1 car.
    OK, so he has had a few moments where it hasn't clicked in qualifying, and he hasn't won a race since June, but remember the Brawn team has a lower budget than the more established teams such as McLaren, Red Bull, Ferrari. So while Brawn had the car for the first half of the season, other teams have updated (and copied Brawn with the double diffuser) their cars to match and then surpass them. Hamilton and McLaren are a key example.
    As for the driving 'greats', Hamilton will become a great if he can maintain his self belief and has the car to support him as he definately has a massive talent. A world championship in your second year doesn't happen unless your gifted. But he isn't a 'great' just yet. Would a great throw away a podium on the last lap in Italy trying to chase an almost impossible 2nd? No.
    Button has been brilliant this year. When he and the car are working in harmony no one has come close. He is not a great and never will be, as he can't deliver regularly when the car isn't quite perfect, but he will win the title this season and will deserve it. Vettel and Hamilton are the future of F1 and will many titles I'm sure.

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  • 18. At 01:12am on 17 Oct 2009, physical_graffiti wrote:

    Ferrari_V12

    Hamilton destroying the opposition in the wet Fuji 2007 & Silverstone 2008; and winning in a car that shouldn't does not rank among Senna, Schumacher, Stewart, Fangio, Clark, et al?

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  • 19. At 01:22am on 17 Oct 2009, Ben wrote:

    @BulletMonkey

    Jacques Villeneuve was did not have the highest number of wins during his first three seasons in F1, the highest number of points in his first three seasons of F1 or the highest number of podium finishes during his first three years in F1. Whatever happens in the last two races of the season Hamilton will have accomplished that come the end of Abu Dhabi (at worst, Raikkonen can equal wins/points if he wins both races and Hamilton does not score)

    Jacques Villeneuve did not win a race following his championship year. Hamilton has already won 2. JV scored only 4 podium finishes ever following his championship year - Hamilton has finished on the podium four times already this season alone.

    JV, with considerably more racing experience than Hamilton, barely matched Hill in his first year whereas Hamilton was the equal of Alonso.



    But this is not the point was was making; I was merely responding to the point raised by welloiledtool - questioning Legard's ranking of Hamilton in relation to the other previous British WDCs.

    Legard discusses whether Button would join the 'great' or the 'good' - the problem with that statement is that it implies there are a 'mediocre'/'bad' categories below that. The fact is there is no such thing as a mediocre or bad world champion. A poor driver can't win a world championship; a mediocre driver like Heikki couldn't even contend for a Championship in the WDC's car.

    This categorisation is complicated by the fact it is only including British drivers; whilst it would certainly be wrong to include Hamilton is the top tier of all WDCs at this stage of his career - to include him in the top 50% of British WDCs given what he has accomplished so quickly in his career is not at all unjustified.


    The success of his debut season has set new standards for emerging rookies of which only Vettel has been able to get anywhere close to. Since Hamilton started in the sport he has been the benchmark, not just for rookies but all drivers given that he has the most wins, podiums, points and poles over the past three seasons.

    Whilst yes, I agree entirely that it is ridiculous when people already elevate him to the Senna/Schumacher status - but it is equally ridiculous when people say or imply that he is nothing special. He is a great driver - whether he is one of the legendary greats will only be determined later in his career.

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  • 20. At 02:54am on 17 Oct 2009, nibs wrote:


    Blimey, this nation does not produce champions too often in sport, but when it does they aren't exactly very good are they? In fact they are as poor as they come.

    First Hunt who we all know how and why he became champion and still by a hair's breadth - when both him and his main rival were taking part he was being thrashed in all honesty.

    Then Hill who was virtually beaten by Villeneuve -the definition of average driver- in his debut race with the latter not having raced an F1 car before, and took him till the last race of the year to come on top. Incidentally in BBC's Classic F1 when Senna was still alive he LAPPED Hill on the same car on pure pace - it's the 'made the most' and 'no shame there' someone wrote earlier. Dear dear...

    Last year Hamilton, who was outdriven by Massa for the better part of the season making a long catalogue of amateur-looking errors in the process, with the icing on the cake being outpaced and overtaken BY VETTEL IN THE TORO ROSSO of all people, with the same tyres fuel etc, in the conditions he's declared himself to be the best at, and in the situation when he needed by all means to stay ahead of him to become champion.

    And now Button probably the top of the pops, who is being outdriven by a 38-year-old Barichello -not exactly the best driver in the world either- for the last 8 gp's in a row and counting (as well as by Vettel who is driving with half an engine). We've had Senna's name put alongside the special one for a couple of years, now Jonathan Leggard achieves probably a world first by introducing Button and Prost in the same sentence. God save us all.



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  • 21. At 03:54am on 17 Oct 2009, tiggerspp wrote:

    @BulletMonkey post 11

    Buttom better than Hamilton????? You must be watching a different Button to me then or are you in fact Jenson Button or his Dad maybe.

    Hamilton is twice the driver Button is.

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  • 22. At 03:56am on 17 Oct 2009, tiggerspp wrote:

    Ah now my above comment is being pre-moderated ???? Funny as this 'new member' was posting quite happily on the blogs last week!!!!

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  • 23. At 05:19am on 17 Oct 2009, kimiraikkonenisalegend wrote:

    "steady accumulation of points rather than charging his way to the championship"
    By that you mean winning the first 6 out of 7 races and only 1 podium in the next eight. Mmmmmm for the fear of this being removed by moderators I will leave the commenting to other people.

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  • 24. At 06:25am on 17 Oct 2009, legendaryKeane4Spurs wrote:

    As unlikely as it sounds, I genuinely believe Vettel will take the championship at Abu Dhabi.

    Button has been too cautious to protect his points lead, rather than extend it, and I feel he is two races away from being punished soundly for such tactics. The Brawn cars have looked sluggish and Jenson no longer seems to be aiming for victories.

    If Button is crowned champion, it will be with a sense of steadiness, uniformity and an unimpressive final stumble over the line, in contrast to his ambitious and lively start to the season.

    By comparison, Vettel has hit a rich vein of form and more than deserves to be challenging Button in a strongly competitive Red Bull. The German has demonstrated his astonishing pace combined with driving flair and has highlighted his talents with top finishes in the 2nd half of the season whilst Button has looked mid-field and mediocre.

    As baffling as I find it backing the German lad to beat the Brit, I can't deny the energy Vettel has injected into a season that had long been written off, and I sincerely hope that come the conclusion of the 2009 Formula One season, the whole of Abu Dhabi will be singing along to 'Das Lied der Deutschen'

    Exciting times!

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  • 25. At 06:49am on 17 Oct 2009, scotjack wrote:

    While Hamilton certainly has shown potential, it is surely far too early in his career to group him with the "great" British drivers.

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  • 26. At 07:57am on 17 Oct 2009, Senna_is_Legend wrote:

    @ nibs

    This country doesn't produce good champions? Jim Clarke, Jackie Stewart, Nigel Mansell, Lewis Hamilton, Lennox Lewis, Ricki Hatton, Joe Calzaghe, Carl Fogarty to name a few, i know they're not all F1 drivers but they are all GREAT champions. To be a champion means being better than all the rest at that given time, weather it's through a full season of racing or 12 rounds of boxing, the champion is the better sportsman.

    The thing that is really getting up my nose lately is the fact that everybody is so quick to put Jenson down, at the start of the season he was untouchable, granted, his form has dipped a bit through the mid season, but he has never lost the lead in the championship, does that not say anything to you? He is consistant in the form of scoring points, apart from his DNF that wasn't his fault, and he rarely makes mistakes, very rarely. He does what he needs to, when he needs to, like Schumacher always did. Let's not forget Keke Rosberg wont the championship in '82 and won only 1 race. Does that make him an 'undeserving champion'? No, he was the most consistant driver, came out on top, therefore the best driver that season.

    As for those other comments about Lewis not being a great driver, i sort of agree, he is not a great driver, YET. It would be rather silly to say that this is one of the greatest drivers in history, when the guy is only in his third season. Greatness WILL come, 2 years from now.


    Great Blog by the way Jonathan

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  • 27. At 08:08am on 17 Oct 2009, Nick Wall wrote:

    Great article. I also agree with Ferrari_V12 that Lewis cannot yet be classed as Great - however I have no doubt that in the next few years he along with Alonso will be. He is the real deal.

    henryj2112 I would say is slightly harsh on him - Schumacher NEVER drove a car as big a dog as the McLaren was earlier this season. Yes Lewis clearly had some difficulty dealing with the situation, but that car was appalling. Even Schumi at his greatest would have struggled to do much with it.

    Personally I can't believe there are Brits criticising Jenson - he deserves the title for the way he drove in the first half of the season, beating his team mate out of sight. Very harsh to give him a hard time when he's still 14 points clear.

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  • 28. At 08:57am on 17 Oct 2009, thepebble247 wrote:

    Schumacher never had a dog of a car? The 1996 ferrari was pretty awful, and it was up against a far superior williams. Yet Schumacher won 3 races with it including SPA.
    Button deserves the title. Rubens has not actually been faster than Button in many races at all, just better in quali mainly which is whats hurting button.
    Vettel has made too many mistakes this year when button has actually driven consistantly and pulled out very quick laps when required.

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  • 29. At 09:19am on 17 Oct 2009, Matt Bennett wrote:

    I don't believe that Hamilton can be classed as a 'Great' just yet, even though what he achieved in 2007, 2008 was incredible for a rookie!

    However, this year he has had a terrible car and is still pulling out results, when Button was at Honda in their equally doggish car, he was finishing way down the grid! So from that, if you had hamilton and button in the same car, Hamilton would make him look very foolish!

    The only reason that Button is still winning this title is because his main rivals have not made the most of his 'dip' in form! I agree that he fully deserved his first 6 of 7 wins, I won't take that away from him, but since then he's been very much on the fringe of results!

    If Vettel hadn't had so many problems with his car, I would say that Vettel would be leading this championship, it is pure luck that when button was driving poorly, his rivals either had poor races or car problems (Vettel)

    However, I want Button to win this championship as much as any other English persno should, but hopefully Maclaren will give Lewis a better car next year and he can take his rightful place as the best driver on the grid........no disrespect to Massa, Kimi, Alonso etc

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  • 30. At 09:44am on 17 Oct 2009, pete_in_halstead wrote:

    The one British driver not mentioned so far is Hill Senior. Won 2 World Championships, but tends to get overlooked. One thing is for certain, he was certainly better than his son.

    As for Hamilton, he is a great-in-waiting. If he continues to drive then he is surely destined to be classed in the top tier, not only of British drivers, but of World ones too.

    Button is clearly not as good a driver, but if he wins the title he will deserve it at least as much as 50% of previous winners. But of the 3 in contention, only Vettel has the ability to be a "great".

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  • 31. At 10:11am on 17 Oct 2009, Jonathan wrote:

    Lewis Hamilton "one of the greats"? Is he also next in line for the Nobel Peace Prize?

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  • 32. At 10:41am on 17 Oct 2009, This_Is_Not_A_Drill wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 33. At 11:05am on 17 Oct 2009, nibs wrote:


    Back to the subject of Button. First the media were telling us that Button had a sort of mental dip for a couple of races, with all sorts of body language analyses, and at Monza he was a happy chappy again. Yes guys, when the car is poor the driver will put a long face on, when it's strong and beating the rival car he is going to be bubbly again. Congratulations! The correlation of grumpiness and speed is yet to be proven. Other claimed that the pressure of leading the WDC is suddenly getting to him. So when it's equal or you're behind there is presumably less pressure than when 20 points in the lead and cruising. Nice. Then we had the theory that Button is struggling in qualifying because of tyre issues or whatever but he's producing the goods in the races. Now we have the new scenario: Button is taking it easy. He's having a cautious approach. That he's not performing because he's not trying 100% - as a matter of personal choice. Like from Silverstone onwards Button suddenly decided "hang on that'll do me let's take it steady now"

    No guys, he is not taking anything easy. HE IS SIMPLY NOT VERY GOOD (compared to his peers not you and me). Taking it easy means avoiding a crazy manoeuver or not going all out in the start. Or saving the engine when in doubt. And that when the end is near and you can't recover from a dnf. When Alonso was taking it steady and was criticized for it it was only in the last couple of races and he was still beating Fisichella then. Against Coulthard in his last year (who is similar standard to Rubens a bit worse for me but not too much in it), Webber was wiping the floor. I can tell you on top of my head 10 out of the 18 remaining drivers on the grid who would consistently be beating for pace a 38-year-old Barichello in the same car. And putting a damn good bet on it. In Brazil if Button is beaten again they'll say "oh well Rubens would always be immense in Brazil, that was the best Jenson could do, job done". As if Rubens didn't beat Jenson hands down at his home gp as well but was looking for the excuses. That's of course if Rubens's car doesn't slow down all of a sudden, as is usually the case with drivers leaving a team the following year for obvious reasons.

    Get your facts right: Button has been slower than Rubens in each of the last eight gp's in a row, with no exception bar Hungary when the spring fell off and he got knocked out. The only two times he finished ahead of Rubens is when the latter hit problems, namely fuel rig & pitstop swap in Germany and gearbox grid drop & stall in Singapore. In the rest he is being shown the way. He's also been outqualified by 4 or 7 or 10 places in particular gp's. No 2 ways about it. When you say this the 10 year olds and housewives of the blogging community come out and respond "how can he be slower he's 14 points ahead!!". Yeah guys, 4 stalls, 2 gearboxes, oil leak, rig failure, whole spring coming off and 2 of Ross's 'special' strategies, how many points are those altogether, 15 20 or 25? Plus those brake disks that is well-documented that weren't exactly tailor made for him up to Silverstone.

    So the whole of BBC's f1 team in unison, Martin Brundle, David Coulthard, Eddie Jordan, David Croft, Anthony Davidson, Maurice Hamilton, Andrew Benson, now Jonathan Leggard, presumably Ted Kravitz, oh silly me I forgot Jake Humphrey, plus Tony Dodgins from Autosport (whoever that is) have come out and said Button would be a deserving champion. I'm stunned they've just done that. I thought they might bash him a bit in public like they do with other drivers when they perform like this. Not! Are these guys more clever or do they see more or different things to you and me I wonder or are their skills more applicable in making a veredict? NO. They are just promoting their product. So don't eat whatever they tell you to sell - go and make your own mind up. Rant over.




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  • 34. At 11:32am on 17 Oct 2009, MrCanham wrote:

    Button - Very good consistent driver, obviously focused and willing to make a decisive mood if his race depends on it. I would love to see him as champ because he deserves it for the clean driving he has put in all year, and having kept his nose clean in previous years at the back of the grid
    A great driver? After just one good season no, but if the Brawn remains competitive for the next few years with Jenson in it, then he certainly has the skill.

    Barrichello - Great driver, and what a nice guy. He has been around long enough for everyone to know he has skill, and to be at this stage in his career in such good form, I would not be happy to see the title go to him.

    Vettel - Obviously a good driver, and when the track suits him he shows great skill. A champion some time soon, again too soon to call him great.

    Quite a debate, but you have to look at the bigger picture. All the old school drivers are just as deserving, winning a championship is a bewildering combination of factors. The difference between great and good? Its a matter of opinion, and who made the races more exciting for you personally.

    I’m too young to have seen many of the old school drivers, but I still hold Mansell in the highest regard, I always found him fantastic to watch. and I also have a soft spot for Mika, but he has no mention here. Kimi, although I think he is dull, can certainly pull off a trick or two. But Alonso as much as I hate him, is a fantastic all round driver, who can take an average car past its capability.

    henryj2112 (comment 6), Schui never had a real dog of a car to bing home, he skipped from Jordan to Benetton and in first full season at Benetton 1992 he did not out pase Brundle (towards end of his career) to much of a degree, 1993 with Patrese both retired nearly as many races as they finished, 1994 he did not have a constant team mate to compare the season to and from 1995 Johnny Herbert was never stiff competition. After that Ferrari was a winning car each year.

    Lewis for me breaks my idea of great vs too early to tell, and there are many reasons including , Alienturnedhuman's (comment 10) list of statistical achievements.

    1) he has a combination of confidence and charm, without any form of the smug attitude you find in drivers like Alonso or Massa.
    2) he overcomes adversity, with various political and technical issues he remains strong and dedicated
    3) he has fantastic skill, which is obvious from the way he slips an F1 car around a track without traction control, and pulls off some great moves.
    4) purely by out driving him, he managed to break Alonso and show him up as a self satisfied spoiled child.

    He is a truly great driver, but will need a couple more seasons to convince some people.

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  • 35. At 11:41am on 17 Oct 2009, mitsf1 wrote:

    @nibs post 33
    "Get your facts right: Button has been slower than Rubens in each of the last eight gp's"

    That isn't a fact in the slightest - Button was unbelieveably quick in Japan, an all-round amazing drive. He would have wiped the floor with Barrichello if the grid penalties had been applied equally. Not to mention Singapore and the others.

    Jenson has proved time and time again he is the best race driver on the grid this season, to the extent that he doesn't even have to pressure himself in qualifying anymore. Also, lets be honest, what we should all want to see is the championship being decided on race pace and not one lap qualifying pace.

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  • 36. At 11:59am on 17 Oct 2009, me wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 37. At 12:09pm on 17 Oct 2009, me wrote:

    mitsf1 - 'Jenson has proved time and time again he is the best race driver on the grid this season'.

    Welcome to our universe, traveller from other dimension. Please tell us more about your world, as it sounds so different from ours ;-)

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  • 38. At 12:24pm on 17 Oct 2009, Lennonisagod wrote:

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, for those people who seem to have only been watching F1 since Lewis Hamilton began, which seems to be most of the people on here, Button has never had a good car. Now he has had a good car this year for 40% of the championship and he has pretty much won, barring a disaster. How is that not the sign of a great driver? If Button had been in a McClaren or Ferrari, I'm sure he would have won a title, post Schumacher, who is IMHO untouchable as the greatest ever.
    Hamilton was spoon fed 2 amazing cars in his 1st 2 years and I'm sorry to say won the title because Timo Glock broke down on the last lap.
    Button has won in car which has a tenth of the budget of teams like McClaren, Ferrari and Red Bull. He's finished in the points in all but one of the GPs. The best and most consistent car this season has been the Red Bull but Vettel couldn't step it up when it mattered which is why he doesn't deserve to be champion yet.

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  • 39. At 12:35pm on 17 Oct 2009, YouNightHead wrote:

    @nibs
    "No guys, he is not taking anything easy. HE IS SIMPLY NOT VERY GOOD"
    What a load of rubbish! How can you even come on here with the belief of being a F1 fan and come out with that tripe?!

    Button has had some poor moment this season, but who hasn't?

    When Button and Barrichello had the same car at the start of the season, who got a pasting? Rubens. Since Button has struggled and Rubens has kept some form, who has got a pasting? Jenson.

    Whatever the reason for lack of podiums since June, Jenson has still only finished out of the points (DNF @ Spa) and if you can find me one other driver with a better record of consistency this season, you let me know.

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  • 40. At 12:36pm on 17 Oct 2009, YouNightHead wrote:

    @lennonisagod

    At least someone can talk some sense on here!

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  • 41. At 12:42pm on 17 Oct 2009, me wrote:

    Lennonisagod 38 - 'Now he has had a good car this year for 40% of the championship and he has pretty much won, barring a disaster. How is that not the sign of a great driver?'

    Because a GREAT driver, rather than a good one, is somebody who can win races in a car that isn't that good! Step up Schumacher, Alonso, maybe Hamilton, he did after all outperform the reigning champion in his first year.

    But put Jenson in a so-so car and Rubens out-drives him, probably because he's better at setting the car up. Jenson is no better or worse than many former champions and deserves it for making the mnost of what he's got and his luck this year, but 'the best driver on the grid'? 'A great driver'? Sorry, but I don't think even he would claim that.

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  • 42. At 12:45pm on 17 Oct 2009, Gassy wrote:

    Wow, so many f1 experts on here im surprised the teams havent snapped you all up to work for them.

    Jenson is not an average joe, anyone with any real knowledge of f1 should know you dont go a whole season at the top of the f1 standings if you dont have that something special.

    An average/poor driver doesnt go practically a whole season with 1 dnf to his name,and as has already been pointed out it wasnt exactly his fault then. The only negative that can be aimed at JB is his performances in qualifying in the 2nd part of the season.

    I for one will be wishing him all the best and cheering him on from my living room 2mora.


    Good article by the way.

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  • 43. At 1:01pm on 17 Oct 2009, theleanwibbler wrote:

    Porr Nigel Mansell forgotten so soon...

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  • 44. At 1:43pm on 17 Oct 2009, nibs wrote:


    35. At 11:41am on 17 Oct 2009, mitsf1 wrote:

    "That isn't a fact in the slightest"

    33. At 11:05am on 17 Oct 2009, nibs wrote:

    "The only two times Button finished ahead of Rubens [since Turkey minus Hungary] is when the latter hit problems, namely fuel rig & pitstop swap in Germany and gearbox grid drop & stall in Singapore"

    - - - - -

    38. At 12:24pm on 17 Oct 2009, Lennonisagod wrote:

    "The best and most consistent car this season has been the Red Bull but Vettel couldn't step it up when it mattered"

    40. At 12:36pm on 17 Oct 2009, YouNightHead wrote:

    "At least someone can talk some sense on here!"

    Yeah great sense. So you oh wise one, who haven't "only been watching F1 since Lewis Hamilton began", can you explain to us the logic behind that veredict of yours. The Red Bull has been faster than the Brawn in China, GB, Germany, Hungary, Singapore and Japan (6 gp's). The Brawn faster than the Red Bull in Astralia, Malaysia, Spain, Monaco, Valencia and Monza (6 gp's). In Bahrain, Turkey and Spa it was about even-stevens (even though a Brawn won 2 of those). Reliability-wise Red Bulls retired in Turkey and Singapore but I remember them pulling aside in plenty of practices hence no engines left. Brawns round about the same (2 gearboxes a spring coming off and a few stalls), they just seem to be hitting only the one car - it's the equal opportunities we're hearing about.

    Therefore it's not exactly sense, more like non-sense.

    - - - - -

    41. At 12:42pm on 17 Oct 2009, telnolies wrote:

    "Hamilton, he did after all outperform the reigning champion"

    Hamilton never outperformed any reigning champion, except if Kovalainen is a champion of some sort and I haven't heard of it. Alonso was given a donkey for the last 3 races, it was as if he was driving for a different team. In Brazil his FL was slower than Nakajima's ffs. Plus that joke of a penalty in Hungary that was a handful of points. And despite all that it ended up all square.


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  • 45. At 1:54pm on 17 Oct 2009, jeremiah wrote:

    For me Hamilton is firmly on the path to greatness but to elevate him to that exalted level already is a little premature. He needs multiple championships for that and at 24 with his raw talent, increasing maturity and one under his belt already I'm sure he will get there.

    Maybe this blog tells us all we need to know about Button. Overshadowed by the Lewis even during his own coronation. Yes he will deserve the crown as he will be the highest point scorer but it will not live long in the memory and for many his desperate struggle as his superior car performance has been eroded just confirm his 2nd tier status.

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  • 46. At 2:01pm on 17 Oct 2009, CNW0429 wrote:

    Re: all posts by nibs.

    When "Martin Brundle, David Coulthard, Eddie Jordan, David Croft, Anthony Davidson, Maurice Hamilton, Andrew Benson, now Jonathan Leggard, presumably Ted Kravitz, Jake Humphrey, plus Tony Dodgins from Autosport," all with excellent or good reputations in covering formula 1, say Jenson would be a worthy champion, does it not make you realise you might be the one that's wrong here? If you had the faintest idea about what you waffle on about, you would also no who Tony Dodgins is. And you would know that Mark Hughes and Bradley Lord from the same magazine can be added to the names above.

    As for our nation not producing many champions, and when we do they're rubbish: Funny how you conveniently forget to mention Mike Hawthorn, Graham Hill, Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, and Nigel Mansell. Not to mention Stirling Moss, who never won a title,but is regarded as 1 of the greatest (some sportsmanly behaviour on his part gave the title to Hawthorn in 1958). British Drivers have won more titles that any other nation's drivers, so we clearly do produce a few champions, and I would argue each and every one is a worthy champion.

    I know you only post this rubbish to wind people up, so grow up, post sensible stuff which actually has some substance, and then I might acknowledge you as an F1 fan.

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  • 47. At 2:12pm on 17 Oct 2009, Gassy wrote:

    I have to say that nibs's posts are utter tripe. I get the feeling your not a brit,and if you are your not a very loyal or proud one at that. Try making a comment with real facts and not ones you have come up with on a whim. I laughed my head off after your comments about all the experts, remind me, how many grand prixs have you taken part in? I think its a bit rich for you to be spouting off like you are but i guess your just trying to wind ppl up.

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  • 48. At 2:16pm on 17 Oct 2009, Carlonso wrote:

    Jonathan,
    Barrichello is wearing ....a Corinthians top!
    I can't believe my list of presenters and drivers supporting which teams was moderated!!

    You're doing Jim Clarke and Jackie Stewart's racing history a huge disservice by ranking Hamilton amongst them, and Surtees amongst just the very good.

    There's been a lot of talk about Rubens outperforming Jenson in over half the races, but so what?
    If all thing being equal, then why did Jenson win 6 out of the 7 races in the beginning with Rubens not being able to capitalize on any, when both cars were well ahead of the double diffuser pack?
    It is no surprise either that when the other teams caught up with the interpretation of the rules the Brawns suddenly found themselves in competition and having to fight for points.

    I think Vettel is an incredible talent, but his mistakes and non finishing over the course of the season should cost him.
    Barrichello just didn't do enough to Jenson with a great car at the beginning of the season and, with only 2 wins to date, that should cost him.
    Button has been Prost-like by raking up the points since his disappointment at Silverstone, and no other driver has capitalized on his slump, yet Button just does enough by overtaking here and there where it matters to maintain his cushion of points, so he should win it...

    ...but the way Vettel is driving right now - he's a man possessed and has nothing to lose. Barrichello's emotions might get the better of him in Brazil, and Button's chess-like approach might cost him....I still think it'll be decided by Bernie (ahem)... it'll go down to the last race in Abu Dhabi...



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  • 49. At 2:19pm on 17 Oct 2009, CNW0429 wrote:

    Apologies, forgot to mention John Surtees in the champions too!

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  • 50. At 2:31pm on 17 Oct 2009, physical_graffiti wrote:

    #38. Lennonisagod

    It's not just about winning when you have the best car, you have to churn out results and even a win if you don't have the best car.

    Hamilton won 2 races in a car that shouldn't have won; Senna won 5 races in 1993 in a McLaren which shouldn't have won by that amount when that year was dominated by Williams and likewise in 1996 Schumacher won 3 races in a year dominated by Williams.

    What has Button ever achieved at BAR/Honda? Arguably a lucky win at Hungary. BAR had the second best car in 2004 and yet Kimi and Montoya won races that year.

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  • 51. At 2:36pm on 17 Oct 2009, physical_graffiti wrote:

    Pretty much agree with Stewart's assessment:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/motorsport/formulaone/jenson-button/6348429/Jenson-Button-must-remind-us-just-how-good-he-really-is.html

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  • 52. At 2:40pm on 17 Oct 2009, CNW0429 wrote:

    #50
    you can't say Button didn't do a mega job in 2004 though. Notably at Monaco where he finished right under Trulli's rear wing; any regular circuit he'd have been past. Then at Hockenheim, where he took an engine penalty and drove through from 13th to get 2nd place.

    It's fair to say Button's a driver who needs the car to be on the money to be quick. That's mainly due to his smooth style, he can't man-handle a shabby car to big points. In last year's Honda Graham Hill could have outpaced Jackie Stewart or Jim Clark, just because they drove their cars so smoothly; Hill was a bit more aggresive, and wrung the car's neck to get it to go quick.

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  • 53. At 3:08pm on 17 Oct 2009, gibbo4stoke wrote:

    There's no way Hamilton is 'great' yet.
    He hasn't anywhere near enough hardship, or experience.
    I agree, he is certainly heading in the right direction,
    but it's quite an insult to those other british drivers classed beneath him after all of their respective achievements in long and distinguished careers.
    Everyone really needs to just calm down about Hamilton, just let him get on with it.

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  • 54. At 3:18pm on 17 Oct 2009, nibs wrote:


    46. At 2:01pm on 17 Oct 2009, CNW0429 wrote:

    "...with excellent or good reputations in covering formula 1, say Jenson would be a worthy champion, does it not make you realise you might be the one that's wrong here? If you had the faintest idea about what you waffle on about, you would also no who Tony Dodgins is. And you would know that Mark Hughes and Bradley Lord from the same magazine can be added to the names above."


    Excellent or good reputations in your book mate. I've watched more motorsport than you probably ever will. Yes I know Mark Hughes - his last piece for BBC was basically some warped theory that somehow concluded based on unfounded or irrelevant facts that the McLaren is worse than Ferrari and Toyota but Lewis is a genius of a driver. Oh and by the way he's written one of Hamilton's countless biographies too.

    The other 2 I've never heard of, what am I a halfwit or a masochist to buy or subscribe to Autosport so as to be fuming and get wound up every other day by the utter tripe aimed at teenagers? No thanks.

    If you think that all those so-called 'experts' seriosuly know more and have a better understanding, if you seriously believe that Andy Gray or Hansen or whoever can analyse better than than your average knowledgeable insider (not occasional) sports fan, then I assume (and hope) you are not old enough my friend. Other than having the priviledge of insider first-hand access (which doesn't give them any more information hence credibility whatsoever) and being more presentable, self-confident and can express themselves better, their job is just to follow the agenda stroke ears and hype up the individuals (players, managers, drivers etc) who keep the business going and are effectively paying their wages.



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  • 55. At 4:09pm on 17 Oct 2009, physical_graffiti wrote:

    #52

    Button did a great job except win. Personally I'd rather have a win and preferably on merit than finish top 3 driver or whatever it was.

    For sure, Button is far too reliant on his driving but that is far less of an excuse for a great - just look at Prost and Senna in 88/89


    #54

    "Yes I know Mark Hughes - his last piece for BBC was basically some warped theory that somehow concluded based on unfounded or irrelevant facts that the McLaren is worse than Ferrari and Toyota but Lewis is a genius of a driver."

    The McLaren doesn't generate enough downforce for high speed corners. Is it any wonder Hamilton won in Hungary and Singapore where mechanical grip is just as important as generating downforce/aero efficiency whereby the driver's skill can out drive the car and not hindered by aero?

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  • 56. At 4:36pm on 17 Oct 2009, mitsf1 wrote:

    @50 - What has Button ever achieved at BAR/Honda?

    Aside from the obvious, he consistently outdrove and outscored a former world champion who was also the team's 'no. 1 driver' for most of that time.

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  • 57. At 4:43pm on 17 Oct 2009, mitsf1 wrote:

    My comment from Andrew Benson's blog.

    "Its like being 6-0 up at half time, then complaining if you don't win 12-0. Jenson is 'playing deep', keeping the car pointing in the right direction, and doing it brilliantly."

    Ross Brawn from today's Guardian

    "Someone said to me the other day that if you're playing a football match and you go in at half-time 3–0 ahead, you don't play the second half the same way."

    Great minds... ;-)

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  • 58. At 4:51pm on 17 Oct 2009, CNW0429 wrote:

    #54 nibs
    "I've watched more motorsport than you probably ever will."
    So I'm assuming F1, BTCC, WTCC, DTM, NASCAR, IRL, Aus V8s, Grand-Am and Rallycross are all regulars on you TV recording schedule?

    Mark Hughes has the best technical knowledges of Formula 1 of you'll ever come across, so to describe his piece as full of "warped theory that somehow concluded based on unfounded or irrelevant facts that the McLaren is worse than Ferrari and Toyota but Lewis is a genius of a driver." is astonishing. The fact he's written a book about Lewis Hamilton shouldn't be held agaisnt him. To then describe Autosport as "utter tripe aimed at teenagers" shows that you don't recognise good quality journalism when you see it. I feel you need to be told that the daily press do not represent specialist motorsports coverage. They are up to their usual tricks, reporting trouble where there is none, taking the shine off a Brit's success etc.

    I agree that football pundits are say little more than an regular fan already knows, but on F1 it is a different matter. you cannot accuse Martin Brundle of saying what the sport wants him to say; he's come close to having his season pass withdrawn for his truthful comments on aspects of the sport. Nor Jordan or Coulthard both highly opinionated, or in fact Davison, despite having close ties with Brawn. Murray Walker has even said Button will be a worthy champion. He's seen every title in World Championship history, so he's really not one to argue with.

    "...then I assume (and hope) you are not old enough my friend."

    for what? how old do you think I am?

    As I've said, grow up, stop being so narrow-minded. I don't think anyone has an opinion, other than yourself, that you would actually regard as right. Accept everyone's entitled to their view, and those who have been around the sport for most of their lives are worthwhile listening to.


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  • 59. At 8:53pm on 17 Oct 2009, me wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 60. At 9:00pm on 17 Oct 2009, mitsf1 wrote:

    Ok, so that's the end of any suggestion Jenson gets advantageous strategic calls.

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  • 61. At 9:18pm on 17 Oct 2009, vanadio wrote:

    "I don't think the support for him will be as passionate as it was for last year's runner-up Felipe Massa". Rubens grabed the pole and the crowd went bananas. So, you were wrong !! You missed the point, we don't support a specific sportsman, we love/support the country !!

    "If Barrichello is crowned world champion he would be a popular winner - he's always cheerful and a thoughtful talker - but I don't think he would be mentioned in the same breath as Brazil's previous champions Emerson Fittipaldi, Nelson Piquet and Senna". Even my 4 years old son knows that. They won more titles that Rubens (if he wins this one) and they were better that Rubens. I can't believe that they pay you to write that !

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  • 62. At 9:22pm on 17 Oct 2009, Carlonso wrote:

    Vettel caught out in the rain...Button in 14th and Barrichello tops quali...rock n'roll tomorrow's race...

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  • 63. At 9:25pm on 17 Oct 2009, tailslider wrote:

    Watched F1 for over 20 years and have never been so sure that there is a very separate agenda to the one we see. Why, why, why would a talented driver and the sport's greatest tactician NOT come in for inters on a drying track but stay out and remain the slowest car on the track? Sets things up nicely for the new super-expensive Abu Dhabi GP....just like Bernie said this week he hoped would happen. Nice that.

    John Button's face said it all during quali, as did Jenson's after the session was over.

    How low can F1 sink. No wonder Piquet Jr felt aggrieved.

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  • 64. At 9:48pm on 17 Oct 2009, nibs wrote:


    55. At 4:09pm on 17 Oct 2009, physical_graffiti wrote:

    "The McLaren doesn't generate enough downforce for high speed corners. Is it any wonder Hamilton won in Hungary and Singapore where mechanical grip is just as important as generating downforce/aero efficiency whereby the driver's skill can out drive the car and not hindered by aero?"


    Mate read the article which you probably have already:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8291316.stm

    The piece is littered with arbitrary assumptions and errors intended for casual readers. For instance he starts that because at Spa the Ferrari was faster than the Toyota in the straights and the Toyota faster in the quick bits the Toyota gives better downforce. How about that Kers then? Doesn't that give you 10kph or whatever down the straight and hampers you in the corners? Then from that alone he somehow concludes that "the Toyota is intrinsically the fastest car of the three" (even though the laptimes suggest otherwise).

    Then he goes on about McLaren that because they were slow at Spa ("slow on the straights and through the high-speed bends") which is the worst track of the year for them, therefore it lags behind Toyota and Ferrari in ultimate performance overall and it's down to the genius driver putting it up there. Forgetting to tell us what happens at the slow tracks, or about that engine and 'standardised' ECU made by the Mercedes group that seems to give 5kph down the straights guaranteed to McLaren Brawn and Force India.

    And finally he writes that because Lewis was 2rd/3rd in qualifying/race at Suzuka and did only the 6th fastest lap in the race therefore he had out-performed the car in qualifying. Not a chance then that he might have under-performed it in the latter part of the race when it had rubbered in and everyone else did their best fl's (just before or just after the last pitstop), or that before he had worn his tyres, or that after he had simply settled for 3rd and cruising. Or that Webber who did a faster lap on Sunday and finished below him hadn't taken part in the session. Or that he was reasonably light in qualy AND he could use the Kers twice just before and during his lap which gave him 2 tenths.

    With all respect to Mr Hughes and his knowledge - absolute tosh.


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  • 65. At 9:54pm on 17 Oct 2009, me wrote:

    tailslider #63 - Many if not all the other drivers achieved much better times than Jenson, on WET tyres, before they switched to inters. Some didn't switch at all - I think Webber and Sutil stayed on wets? Maybe others too. He was simply awful - again.

    I for one am getting fed up with Jenson's sorry lists of excuses, and hope Rubens takes it. OR - that Jenson comes back in Abu Dhabi with a brill drive and shows himself a worthy winner. But right now, crowning this moaning loser as Champion just doesn't seem right.

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  • 66. At 10:14pm on 17 Oct 2009, nibs wrote:


    58. At 4:51pm on 17 Oct 2009, CNW0429 wrote:

    "So I'm assuming F1, BTCC, WTCC, DTM, NASCAR, IRL, Aus V8s, Grand-Am and Rallycross are all regulars on you TV recording schedule?

    Mark Hughes has the best technical knowledges of Formula 1 of you'll ever come across, so to describe his piece as full of "warped theory that somehow concluded based on unfounded or irrelevant facts that the McLaren is worse than Ferrari and Toyota but Lewis is a genius of a driver." is astonishing. The fact he's written a book about Lewis Hamilton shouldn't be held agaisnt him. To then describe Autosport as "utter tripe aimed at teenagers" shows that you don't recognise good quality journalism when you see it. I feel you need to be told that the daily press do not represent specialist motorsports coverage. They are up to their usual tricks, reporting trouble where there is none, taking the shine off a Brit's success etc.

    I agree that football pundits are say little more than an regular fan already knows, but on F1 it is a different matter. you cannot accuse Martin Brundle of saying what the sport wants him to say; he's come close to having his season pass withdrawn for his truthful comments on aspects of the sport. Nor Jordan or Coulthard both highly opinionated, or in fact Davison, despite having close ties with Brawn. Murray Walker has even said Button will be a worthy champion. He's seen every title in World Championship history, so he's really not one to argue with."


    Not into NASCAR, V8s, Grand-Am and Rallycross but GP2 F2 F3 Euro F.Master etc instead plus the rest.

    What you haven't understood is that I'm not disputing the knowledge of the specialist press WHEN THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT THEIR SUBJECT OF EXPERTISE. When Brundle or Davidson or DC drive or tell me how to drive or talk about the driving process and setup you sit back and listen. When Jordan talks about team running or business contracts or whatever you show respect. Same about the technical guys (not like the above article mind you) if they talk about stuff they know about.

    However when they talk about DRIVER ABILITY (which is a minor part of the game but what everyone is interested in) there is absolutely nothing these guys can offer me. How does Brundle's driving skill or Hughes's technical know-how (if true) or experience or first-hand access can inform me whether Button is better than Rubens? How do their opinions have any more validity? I have my own eyes and brain and I am not missing any information therefore I can judge for myself. You can as well. The proof that they are using their position to sell is that their analyses or this particular subject are more often than not plain wrong. What are you expecting them, to come out and say Button or whoever doesn't deserve? To slag off whoever is selling their product and giving them money? How likely is that? How many times has it happened in history? When he the Brit is doing well he's the genius and the best in the world, when he's not it's either the car or the team or it doesn't matter and he's enjoying it anyway (just like Lewis today). Plus England can win the world cup, the PL is the best in the world, the clubs will dominate the CL again, and Argentina, Real and Ronaldo are rubbish. That's why I said you're probably not old enough or surely you'd know by now.


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  • 67. At 10:42pm on 17 Oct 2009, GFasulo wrote:

    Hi Jonathan,

    I would just like to say that I think you and Martin did a very good job today in very difficult circumstances. I have a few questions.

    1. Can you tell Martin Brundle to please stop saying "Qually". It is incredibly irritating. It is QUALIFYING, not "Qually".

    2. No predictions this week?

    My predictions before QUALIFYING (not "Qually") were:

    1. Rubens Barrichello
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Kimi Raikkonen
    4. Fernando Alonso
    5. Jenson Button
    6. Nico Rosberg
    7. Jarno Trulli
    8. Giancarlo Fisichella.


    Enjoy the race.

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  • 68. At 11:34pm on 17 Oct 2009, getridofJL wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 69. At 00:12am on 18 Oct 2009, me wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 70. At 00:14am on 18 Oct 2009, physical_graffiti wrote:

    Nibs, I detest Mark Hughes so called knowledge as much as you do but what makes you think Hamilton isn't a genius? Winning 2 races already in a car that shouldn't is quite a feat emulating Senna and Schumacher.

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  • 71. At 00:34am on 18 Oct 2009, me wrote:

    Nibs #66 'How does Brundle's driving skill or Hughes's technical know-how (if true) or experience or first-hand access can inform me whether Button is better than Rubens? How do their opinions have any more validity?'

    Let's see now. How does the opinion of a former F1 driver of many years experience on the relative merits of two other drivers have more validity than yours? Oh now there's a toughie lol!

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  • 72. At 06:11am on 18 Oct 2009, john stolarczyk wrote:

    Why can't the BBC F1 site simply list the qualifying list in words. I do not want to see videos. Most frustrating to simply find the grids positions, having missed seeing the qualifying session.

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