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Button relaxed in Brazil as Alonso eyes third F1 title

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Sarah Holt | 11:53 UK time, Saturday, 6 November 2010

For the last five years, the world champion has been crowned at Brazil's rollercoaster Interlagos circuit - and in 2009 it was Jenson Button's turn.

Last year in Sao Paulo, Button serenaded his team and the world television audience by spontaneously belting out 'We Are The Champions' over his Brawn team radio as he followed Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso into the history books.

"You can't plan to sing that badly, can you?" Button recalled in an exclusive BBC Sport interview. "In my defence, it is quite difficult singing with a crash helmet on."

Button's outburst of raw emotion may well have turned into cringing regret one year on but the 30-year-old has also been reflecting on a life-changing 12 months.

On Wednesday evening, the McLaren driver invited the British media for a steak dinner and sat dressed in plaid shirt and jeans, chatting amiably about life away from the pit lane.

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Jenson Button reflects on his year since winning the F1 title

Those members of the press pack who have observed him since he arrived in the sport 11 years ago with Williams have seen him shed his erratic, playboy image and mature into a well-liked and responsible world champion.

"You become a lot more confident [as champion]," said Button, who underlined his new priorities by taking part in a Half Ironman triathlon in Miami just a week before the Brazilian Grand Prix.

"I wasn't so confident at making decisions before," he says. "This year I have had more of an opinion and that's important.

"My life has been a lot busier but I'm more relaxed. I'm still hungry but I'm in a position where I have already won the world championship, which is what I set out to do 23 years ago."

Button also led the standings earlier this season, after wins in Australia and China, but since then his title defence has gone backwards.

The Somerset-born driver now faces the prospect of falling out of the running unless he finishes first or second in Brazil and other results also go his way.

I spoke to his father John Button about his son's fading chances at the last race in South Korea, and he answered with a glint in his eye: "At least we've won it."

It is an opinion Button shares with his 'old man', revealing: "Someone said to me in Brazil 'So how does it feel that you possibly could lose the championship here?'"

"I said: 'That is not entirely true. It's possible that I won't be the reigning world champion next year but I'll always be world champion.' I like that.

"All the way through my career I said that I wanted to win the world championship. I never said I want to win it 10 times.

"You don't plan for whatever happens. Of course I want to win it again. Now it is very difficult for me to continue fighting for it but I'm going to come back stronger."

Until a few years ago, the Brazilian race had historically been run in the early part of the season, so Alonso was the first driver to capture the title in Brazil, when he was with Renault in 2005.

The Spaniard is the only driver who can lay claim to the 2010 crown on Sunday.

The double world champion has been in serene mood in the confined chaos of the Interlagos paddock.

When I asked him why he was so relaxed, he looked up and said: "All the cards are on the table.

"We will win the championship or we will lose the championship not because of the effort we put in the car or our abilities. It will be more a fact of destiny or luck."

Alonso is known as a man who makes his own luck, but if he is also looking for the stars to align then Brazil is an apt place to settle a title race.

Comments

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  • 1. At 12:58pm on 06 Nov 2010, VettelDRFC90 wrote:

    I hope the title goes down to Abu Dhabi. Button has been a polite and assurred champion, but I feel Vettel would be able to become a more likeable champion. Even though Button won last year, most Britons still favour Hamilton over him.

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  • 2. At 1:03pm on 06 Nov 2010, BuffonIdol wrote:

    VettelManUtd90 I would strongly dispute that. I hear far more negative comments about Hamilton than Button. Hamilton really irks people, polarises opinion, whereas it is more difficult to find someone who dislikes Button.

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  • 3. At 1:21pm on 06 Nov 2010, Mikeh651995 wrote:

    Vettel does not have a likeable character at all and despite his undoubted ability he still looks unlikely to win the Championship in what has been the best car by far!! He cannot take any criticism, even when he pulls stupid moves and takes out other drivers. Jenson has been the best reigning world champion in the way he has conducted himself. No arrogance and just gone about his business very professionally. The McLaren has just not been good enough! The Brawn was the best car and Jenson made it count!!!

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  • 4. At 1:31pm on 06 Nov 2010, Phil Stavri wrote:

    @VettelManUtd90 no idea where you heard the 'most Britons prefer Hamilton' line but I can confidently say I wouldn't agree with that at all. True people got swept up in Lewis's story 2 years ago (even the year before when he was pipped by Kimi). But I think if you asked people who they prefer as a champion (or personality) between the two Button will could out on top the majority of the time.

    However I think more people would also agree that Lewis is an out and out better driver than Jenson. Yet Jenson is such a humble and down to earth chap, just look at him after most races laughing and joking with his rivals and their support staff, it's difficult not to like the lad. As for Lewis, dropping the petulant child routine would help his reputation no end.

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  • 5. At 1:36pm on 06 Nov 2010, camaan wrote:

    I think in this last season we have seen Hamilton mature a lot more. He gets a lot of stick but really he hasn't done much wrong. Still prefer Button though :) As for Vettel, I agree with @ Mikeh651995 his blatant disregard for Webber this season for me makes him not likeable - certainly not as likeable as Button anyway.

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  • 6. At 1:56pm on 06 Nov 2010, Jupiter wrote:

    Button was the worst world champion ever. He had years of mediocrity, followed by half a good season last year, which was entirely caused by the double diffuser debacle.

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  • 7. At 1:59pm on 06 Nov 2010, SupaSix-1 wrote:


    button has been a 'one-hit lucky boy'.

    This season has confirmed even more how button is nothing special. Hes been terrible and has certainly been mauled in the lion's den.

    The media need to get over their love affair with him (yes granted he may be a nice guy, but this is racing - not a popularity contest). After all, any driver can be fake and suck up to the media in order for the media to like him.

    The bottom line is Button, at best, is probably at the end of the midfield runners as most of them have many more tools in their box. Button and his excuses are getting very boring - and the media's unrealistic high view of him is also getting very ridiculas.

    Im looking forward to seeing his reign end so that the media can stop blowing his trumpet - But i dont think that will happen. He will still play the media like the pied-piper.

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  • 8. At 2:07pm on 06 Nov 2010, Tim_1985 wrote:

    I also disagree with #1. Button is like many British sportsmen; a good sport who wants to be liked by many and is genuinely happy to be competing at the top. I'd put Webber in this bracket too. As Button had to wait years for a decent chance to win the title, when it came along I doubt there were many who begrudged him that.

    Where Hamilton is different is that he will stop at nothing to win, whether it makes him popular or not. Alonso and Vettel are the same. Also, he has been (by & large) in a race winning vehicle all of his career and success has been easier to achieve than the likes of Button & Webber. I think it is very likely Hamilton will be a world champion again in the future and I can see Vettel win multiple World Championships one day.

    Whether Button will the championship again I am not sure but if he doesn't he still has won the ultimate prize in the sport and no-one can take that away from him.

    As a Brit I support both Hamilton and Button and I'm immensely proud to think that both of them have been World Champions!

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  • 9. At 2:26pm on 06 Nov 2010, Slateminer wrote:

    I've read comments from people for the last year since JB won the title, and many of them have been very negative and critical of him. I have never quite understood why. Surely, he won the Championship, so is therefore good enough and has earned his place in history. It's about winning it, not how it's won, isn't it? Has every past winner of the Championship honestly been a worthy winner or have they had luck on their side too, as well as extraordinary skill and commitment as well?

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  • 10. At 2:27pm on 06 Nov 2010, Tim_1985 wrote:

    #6&7 - Very predictable! It seems the cool thing to Button bash doesn't it? Some facts though...

    2009 Brawn had the best car overall and Button won the title.
    2010 Red Bull have the best car and neither of their guys is walking it. In F1 you have to take your chances as generally the best car wins the title. In 2009 Button had the best car for the first 7 races, he won 6 of them, and therefore won the World Championship later that year. Good on him I say.

    Hamilton has always had a decent car, Vettel has for the last 2 years, and Alonso (apart from '01,'08,'09) has too, hence why they have been so successful. Whilst I do not doubt that Schumacher would have been a multiple champion, he was still fortunate enough to have the best car by a mile from 2000-2004.

    I reckon Button is similiar to Mika Hakkinen in many ways. He obviously had talent but it took until '97 for Hakkinen to win his first race. In '98 he had the best car and won the world title (and did so the next year). Button has finally had race winning mahinery in the last 2 years. Granted, he has not been as successful as he would have liked in 2010 but he is with a new team that has been built around Hamilton. Until the last race he was only 3 points behind LH - not a disaster really.

    Bottom line: make the most of the machinery you have and see what happens! In 2009 Button did and he achieved a World Championship... Bravo!!!

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  • 11. At 2:28pm on 06 Nov 2010, John wrote:

    Well SupaSix, we can assume that you're not on the Button Christmas card list can't we?

    If someone points a microphone in your face and asks you why you didn't perform as well as you possibly thought you could you would give what you believe to be the answer. Find me one driver on the grid who doesn't do that.

    Being World Champion isn't about being the best driver. It's about the partnership between car and driver and how the two mould together. Just so happens that the best combination in 2009 was Button in a Brawn.

    There has always been an element of luck in F1. Some get it more than others (Alonso maybe?), some never get it at all (think Barichello). Everything fell into place for Button last year and he won the Championship in the same way as everyone else has done for years, by scoring more points.

    As far as I can tell Button has been a half-decent champion and been really quite humble about it all so good on him.

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  • 12. At 2:28pm on 06 Nov 2010, JS4119 wrote:

    I can't see how this season has shown Button to be anything other than a worthy champion. But for a little more luck he'd be right at the pointy end of things. His two retirements weren't his fault and Korea was the first race he's finished outside of the points. I feel Button has the most forgiving racecraft on the grid, an excellent ability that has scored him points time and again. While Hamilton is a better overtaker, 'Nando is historically the most reliable, dependable racer and Vettel is just the outright fastest on the grid, it's these things that have made the championship open until now. I'm not sure how Webber is in contention, he's a brutal racer who makes few mistakes but he didn't look this good last year. All in all he's raced out of his skin this season and I'd rather see him win it than Vettel or Alonso (although I'd struggle to explain why, they all deserve to be where they are).

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  • 13. At 2:39pm on 06 Nov 2010, JamesHuntRules wrote:

    SupaSix-1 Please wind your neck in. You're permently bleating about something (normally about JB). You are obviously a Lewis fan, and I hope you have many happy years together, but Jenson has not been mauled by Lewis all season. Lewis, an acceptional driver, is 21 points ahead, less than one race win. Hardly a mauling. Love to you both xxx

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  • 14. At 3:08pm on 06 Nov 2010, zatknight wrote:

    @SupaSix-1

    Well said this is F1 racing not a popularity contest. Can you imgaine if the roles were reversed. LH would have been crucified until a court injunction forces it to stop. JB must be the worst champion ever. Granted you cannot take that away from him but he just always makes excuses and just does not have the talent of LH to push a car to it's limits. His deluded fans and to a larger extent his BBC fan boys need to realise that we do not live in a perfect world. Nothing can ever be 100% so you have to manage and thrive with what you have this is where drivers like LH, FA, MW, SB are more superior to JB. Let us be honest he has never been in the title hunt, only the mass hysterics of the BBC F1 staff and some British fans alike has this madness continued. His constant excuses race after race is so annoying. Almost 4-5 races ago we kept on hearing him say he will be move aggressive, I was wondering if he meant more aggressive on the simulators or real life.

    Even today I read he is going with the setup that he failed so miserably with in South Korea and I was so happpy that the FALSE MYTH about JB being a good tyre management expert and strategist was exposed as the joke of the century. With 2 races to go I can say with 100% confidence that for a reigning world champion JB has been put in his place by a much better and skilled driver LH. It is even more embarassing for JB with 10 years experience that his team mate with 4 dfns and a gearbox failure JB was still always trailing him on points. It just shows the gulf in class. Yet you find bufoons making statements like he is a smooth driver well his so called smoothness has got him no where. McLaren will do well to get rid of JB. Also it does not matter if a driver has a good car he still has to go out there and perform. A student can have the best teacher, be in the best school and extra lessons but come exam day they have to perform.

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  • 15. At 3:35pm on 06 Nov 2010, physical_graffiti wrote:

    Goes to show how JB is to an extent over-rated. Only won WDC because he had the best car. Throw in greater competition ie. right drivers more or less in the right cars as in this year and it shows he's not quite up there with Alonso & Hamilton who were born to be champions.

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  • 16. At 3:35pm on 06 Nov 2010, John wrote:

    @ Galaxy-man

    You're absolutely right! It doesn't matter if a driver has a good car, he still has to perform. Exactly like Button did 12 months ago!

    I don't think you'll find many people that disagree with the theory that Hamilton is a "better" out and out racer than JB. But none of this makes him an unworthy champion does it?

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  • 17. At 3:40pm on 06 Nov 2010, ElisaDay wrote:

    I agree with Tim_1985 @#10

    Button joined a McLaren team built around Hamilton, and maybe Mansell was a bit harsh by saying that Lewis is a 'manufactured' driver, we have to take into account that he will always be favoured by McLaren.

    I don't think anyone really deserves the title this year, the Red Bulls have the best cars but they keep messing up and are handing the title to Alonso on a plate.

    And let's not forget, if Vettel hadn't taken Button out in Belgium, Jenson would be in a much better position right now. He will always be #1 for me even if he doesn't retain the title this year.

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  • 18. At 3:48pm on 06 Nov 2010, Tim wrote:

    The only difference between Jenson and supposedly worthier World Champions is that the others hadn't endured a decade of inferior eqipment before becoming World Champion. I also find it interesting that "JamesHuntRules" is a Jenson fan, while "VettelManUtd90" dislikes him. It says it all really.

    To those saying Button had been humiliated this year, I seriously wonder if you've ever watched a single GP, this year or any other? Or is it the new points system that's addled your tiny brains, as dividing by 2.5 is too tricky for you?

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  • 19. At 4:26pm on 06 Nov 2010, IL_LEONE wrote:

    The only people that are detracting Jenson are envious Lewis Hamilton fans

    the same people who said he could not win a race he could not be world champion and he could never drive for a top team

    The only thing left to brag about is he will never beat LEwis Hamilton..has anyone managed to do that in the same team as Lewis for a start in F1

    Lewis had the competitive cars in 2007 & 2008 and nearly fluffed it twice. This season Lewis could well be punished again for throwing the opportunities because that mistake at Monza may come back and haunt him..this time the inexperience excuse cannot be used

    If anything Jenson has proven this year is that in a car not to his liking always he has managed to stay in touch with the main contenders throughout the season using his experience

    If the car was always to his liking then he might have be leading the championship

    The people who will beat him this season 2 are in the best car and the other two are the best two drivers on the grid and 3 of them are with the same team they drove last year

    Which shows your continuity in a team is important

    The other thing he has shown he does not need the best car to win races

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  • 20. At 4:41pm on 06 Nov 2010, RantingMrP wrote:

    @ElisaDay: Many drivers got taken out by others this season - it seems to have become part of the sport. Wasn't Button alone.
    @Tim: Button and Lewis, I would imagine, have the same quality of equipment and manpower around them. The respective positions of Lewis and Jenson in the driver's standings speak for themselves.

    That said, Button is far and way the most humble driver in F1. But I dont watch F1 for lessons in humility.

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  • 21. At 5:34pm on 06 Nov 2010, zatknight wrote:

    @Il_Leone

    LH has wone more races, more podiums and humiliated JB in the 3rd best car
    so you last statement is somewhat bewildering.

    @Tim

    Not sure what your attempt at giving us a lecture in elementary arithmethic
    has got to do with JB being thoroughly beaten not only by his tema mate LH the other 3 top drivers.

    Today's Brazil's qualifying he beat JB yet again. LH pushes the car, takes risks and is ready suffer the consequences hence it is a no brainer why with is 4 dnfs 2 mechanical, one mistake and a blantant take out by MW he is still in contention.

    Jenson was again boasting pre-qualifying and was gain found wanting. The man should retire while he still has his dignity. He has a WDC and can rest in peace.

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  • 22. At 5:45pm on 06 Nov 2010, MGUK82 wrote:

    As a Lewis and Jenson fan I said pre-season that I was worried for Jenson as I've always felt that if you put Lewis and Jenson in the same car, Lewis will beat Jenson. For better or worse I've been proven right over the course of this season.

    However I always felt that Jenson was a quality driver in his own right. It's not his fault that he spent a large chunk of his career in dodgy cars. There were certainly glimpses of what he was capable of prior to '09 - his rookie season in '00 was pretty solid and in '04 he had the best season it's possible to have without winning a Grand Prix.

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  • 23. At 6:15pm on 06 Nov 2010, deejaybee wrote:

    why do JB fans always post comments defending him like they're his mother or something?

    you cant argue anymore that he's the best driver in F1 or even that he's better than LH. its a bit like listening to a Man U fan saying Man U are better than Chelsea. stop it!! you are trying to argue black is white

    JB is a good driver who made the most of his outrageous fortune with the double diffuser farce, but he's no world beater. he is, however, better at making the most of his opportunity than Vettel who is frankly useless. how such a fast driver in easily the fastest car can make such a hash of it is beyond me

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  • 24. At 6:16pm on 06 Nov 2010, northernsuperspur wrote:

    If you are in any doubt why Hamilton isnt beloved by the public, you might find the answer somewhere in interview comments along the lines of "I feel like a prisoner" while being paid millions of pounds to drive a car.

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  • 25. At 6:40pm on 06 Nov 2010, RED1 wrote:

    Jenson Button Has been a Class act both in the car and out as World Champion, had he not been smashed out by Vettle and for a bit of luck he would be well in the mix fighting to defend his title. as for who is the best between him and Lewis, as an Englishman I think they are both fantastic and we are very lucky as they are a formidable pair of racers! Lets hope next season they have a car closer to Red Bull becuase they would have walked it this season had they!!

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  • 26. At 6:53pm on 06 Nov 2010, housey wrote:

    hi . ive always been a j.button fan gr8 guy and a gr8 driver a lot of my m8s prefer him 2 lewis

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  • 27. At 7:07pm on 06 Nov 2010, About Glamour wrote:

    jenson button is a playboy like "the face" in the A-team, they should get together and do a movie about estate agents and finance mortgage bankers. Good riddance. The overlord might learn to do some teamwork one day instead of spending the day doing photo shoot for hugo boss smirking like he's just out of the shower.

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  • 28. At 7:18pm on 06 Nov 2010, iammatt484 wrote:

    A typical British attitude coming from a lot a people here. Someone from Britain actually becomes successful at a sport and we find ways of knocking them down. Just enjoy and respect JB and LH for what they have achieved.

    On Jenson's "excuses" - I don't think we have the knowledge or experience to criticise - we're not F1 drivers so leave them to it.

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  • 29. At 7:31pm on 06 Nov 2010, Arfa Chance wrote:

    Interesting how there are a lot of people on here moaning at how Button only won the world title was because he had the best car. The majority of world champions won the title because they had the fastest car, that's the whole point of the sport, to have the fastest car.

    Button has won races in the Mclaren and remained in the hunt for the championship right until the end even though he hasn't had the fastest car. Even last year he didn't have the quickest car apart from the first six races but he made it count and won the championship! Vettel and Webber have had the fastest car by a long way but haven't made it count.

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  • 30. At 7:44pm on 06 Nov 2010, bacaruda wrote:

    Agreed totally with #23 until the comments about Vettel! He´s excellent, but young (being German seems to be the big problem for most Brits, however). Vettel seems to learn quicker than Hamilton and has lost twice as many dominant leads in Grands prix this year through car failure than brain failure. On brain failure, I reckon the 4 remaining contenders are pretty even this year.

    JB seems a nice guy and was a good WDC if it´s an ambassadorial role, but not if it´s about being better than your peers on a level playing field. He´s never put a season together, ever, not even last year. The debate on Jenson has been live amongst enthusiasts since his F3 season, (must be over 10 years ago) and if he really was that good, surely we´d know by now?

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  • 31. At 8:42pm on 06 Nov 2010, Aaron wrote:

    comment 6 is talking garbage jenson was and is a better world champion than lewis jenson worked for his world title through hard times at honda lewis was spoon fed f1 with mclaren jb will back 2011 world champion in the waiting

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  • 32. At 8:43pm on 06 Nov 2010, SparkyJay23 wrote:

    The problem i have with button is all those years in bad cars where while hw was turning down competitive drives.

    And if i have to hear him bleating one more time about the lack of balance in his car while his team-mate places it on the front row (or as near as) of the grid i'll cry.

    Every driver has haters - Hamilton included but Jenson should just stop bleating and concentrate on overtaking a few people.

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  • 33. At 9:06pm on 06 Nov 2010, breadyr wrote:

    I agree with super prix. The problem I have with button is that when he won the title he didn't deserve the best car, if you'd of asked Ross brawn at the beginning of the season who do you want in your team button wouldn't of been top of the list. This year points aside I just don't think he's ever looked like beating Hamilton in a straight race. In monza he had gone the opposite way to the grid on set up and it paid off. Australia he pitted mainly because he needed to gamble he was going backwards and if Hamilton hadn't been pulled back in by the team he would of beaten him. That said my problem is really with the medias love of him. If Hamilton had churned some of those performances, Budapest, barcelona, valencia i could go on but there would be an outcry. He's clocked up points by damage limitation at almost every race never really getting involved just hoping the rest make mistakes. That to me is not what real champions are made of.

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  • 34. At 9:31pm on 06 Nov 2010, Wokingboy92 wrote:

    Jenson must be very disappointed today as 11th is very poor considering the conditions should have suited him. They certainly did at the beginning of the year at China and Australia. He looks unhappy with the car and perhaps his back of the grid performance at Korea really took the wind out of his sails. Hopefully he will deliver something better tomorrow.

    I'm not sure how much I buy his I am a champion and winning it again has no real value. Tell that to Alonso who is really up for his third title!

    Next year could be very interesting as the dynamic within McLaren must be to back Hamilton with the design of the 2011 car, as he is the younger driver and is proving more consistent. If Button is not up for the title then why have him in the best team in F1.

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  • 35. At 9:38pm on 06 Nov 2010, ngarden wrote:

    after reading all the comments have to agree with Tim_1985 and wish jenson all the best for tomorrow

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  • 36. At 9:44pm on 06 Nov 2010, gohavesometea wrote:

    Obviously McLaren have no idea what they are doing hiring a mid-table driver like Button...

    No even the most ardent Button fan thought he would outpace Hamilton this year but to say that he has been put in his place as some people have suggested is ridiculous. Of course there's not much point trying to convince someone who has said this otherwise as clearly they enjoy their biased illogical positions.

    Button is a deserving world champion, he delivered when it mattered, this season he has out performed most impartial observers expectations.

    I'm sure McLaren do not regret hiring him and I expect him to be driving for them again next season. Of course, like I said at the start, that is only because they obviously have no idea what they're doing!

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  • 37. At 11:51pm on 06 Nov 2010, lukec_stanton wrote:

    Jenson Button is a World class driver, FACT. All this nonsense about him not being a worthy World Champion and him just being lucky makes me so cross.

    In 2009 yes Brawn had the best car and Button took that and he ran with it. What was he supposed to do? Stop and say to everyone ''Ok guys I'll wait while you catch up'' Of course not, he grabbed the initiative and went with it and that is what World Champion's do. And let us not forget he drove some stunning races and put in some great laps in Qualifying in 2009. His overtaking in 2009 was beautiful, his Pole Position lap in Monaco should be shown to any aspiring racing driver of how to do it. Also remember final Qualifying in Spain when Button crossed the line with one second to go? He was under extreme pressure and he put it on pole. How can you argue with that? Yes he struggled in the second part of 2009 but Brawn as a whole struggled in the second part of 2009 but his drive from Fourteenth to Fifth in Brazil was one of the best drives I have seen in Formula One and that race alone made him a Worthy World Champion.

    Now, in 2010 moving to Mclaren was without a doubt a gamble. Mclaren probably was Hamilton's team and no one seemed to give Button a chance. Button has proven his worth and it shows that he is brilliant that as we sit here on the Saturday night before the Brazilian Grand Prix that he is still mathematically has a chance of winning the World Championship. Button's drive in Australia was stunning as he was in China. He should have won in Italy because he was brilliant there too.

    Also what if Mclaren hadn't made the mistake before the race in Monaco, he could have got good points and more importantly, Belgium. If Vettel had not been driving as Del Boy would call a ''plonker'' then Button would have been without a doubt on the Podium and perhaps even have won.

    Yes he has struggled at times which has been frustrating but generally he has done a pretty damn good job and he has shown he is a worthy World Champion.

    Hamilton's team? No, not anymore. Mclaren is Button and Hamilton's team.

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  • 38. At 11:59pm on 06 Nov 2010, physical_graffiti wrote:

    #18

    Hamilton drove inferior McLaren and won two races. He would've even more likely won in a BAR in the mid-2000s. When the chips are down JB is more likely to moan about tyres, whereas Hamilton thrives on wringing the neck out of car and extracting much closer to the maximum.

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  • 39. At 00:01am on 07 Nov 2010, physical_graffiti wrote:

    "Hamilton drove inferior McLaren and won two races" - I was of course referring tolast year, I must add.

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  • 40. At 00:11am on 07 Nov 2010, Leroy_99 wrote:

    Just want to make a point - the argument that JB was lucky to be world champion last year (because he had the best car for the first half of the season) just won't wash. Red Bull have had the best car for most of 2010 - they should have walked this year's championship but haven't.

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  • 41. At 00:45am on 07 Nov 2010, breadyr wrote:

    I love the comment 'his drive from Fourteenth to Fifth in Brazil was one of the best drives I have seen in Formula One' obviously not as good as hamiltons 17th to 3rd in the same race then, oh and he finished ten seconds down the road. I'm sorry but how many good races has he had in his career five, six max. Furthermore, there's never been a point in team orders at mclaren because button is never in front of Hamilton. He's a solid number two but please can we stop talking about him as if he's in the league of the other front runners!!

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  • 42. At 02:46am on 07 Nov 2010, Dave wrote:

    Don't know why everyone hates Button so much. His drive last year from 14th to 4th was better than hamilton's 17th to 3rd was better because he was under immense pressure, one wrong move and he would have been off. Hamilton was just going for bragging rights, and quite fairly. But he could stick his car up the inside etc, without the thought of losing a possible world title.

    Don't know why everyone says Button has been mauled in the lions den either. 2 races left and he is still technically in the runnings. I doubt he will be after this race. But being up there alongside hamilton is much better than what kovalienen managed in 2008 when McLaren had the best/second best car. Kovalienen had no excuses to be 'pipped' so badly. But no one goes on about this. Why?

    Its because everyone that heard of this young boy who just won in canada on his maiden year is beating/equalling Fernando Alonso, the 2 time world champion, are quick to defend their new found love. They all love hamilton because he was a success story. They all hate Button because of how he seemed to just stick at the back or midfield and didn't entertain them enough, so they stuck to watching football.

    Wheres this hatred for Kimi Raikonnen aswell? He started off standard, got better, got to McLaren, did very well, but still failed to win, then managed to (arguably) steal the world title in 2007. Then in 2008 he was nowhere, and 2009 even worse, so bad that Ferrari ended his contract a year early.

    I think if formula 1 was to stop right now, Button has achieved so much more than hamilton. He walked into the best team with the best car, and didn't win, albeit it he did one year later. Button started off with a standard car, and staying determined enough to stay with the team he was with that were horrificly slow. Button earned his place at BRAWN GP and seized the moment to win the world championship. You can argue that Hamilton had earnt his place at McLaren through being watched by Ron Dennis for many many years, but its against the norm for the top teams to introduce a rookie.

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  • 43. At 05:54am on 07 Nov 2010, TinCanFerry wrote:

    What one must remember when discussing character is that both Vettel and Hamilton are young and will mature.
    Whether they mature into likeable gentlemen akin to Button and the Hills, father and son or whether they follow other role models; only time will tell.
    Surely what really matters is their abilities on the track.

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  • 44. At 07:40am on 07 Nov 2010, LowndesFan888 wrote:

    If Button wins another title with McLaren, then fair enough, he'll have earned his status as a double world champion and proven he's a top class driver. As it stands, however, a lot of people who are not British and/or not biased (and this, sadly, includes the mindless haters) will see his one title won in seven races in the absolutely best car on the track as a bit flukey. Yes, he may have won six races, but it's also worth remembering that the only competition he faced was from his team-mate, who isn't really a world beater himself.

    As to the argument that Red Bull should've secured the titles by now because they have the best car - a minor correction. They have the fastest car. The best car is both fast and reliable, like Button's Brawn last year.

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  • 45. At 09:24am on 07 Nov 2010, breadyr wrote:

    Button was in a mid field car for so long because he was considered undeserved of a top seat. Dave comments on Kimi raikonnen are wide of the mark. He did one year with sauber a mid field team then jumped into a mclaren as a replacement for a double world champion. Hamilton got the mclaren drive because they saw his potential then he matched Alonso on his first season. Compare that to button he walked into a Williams far more competitive then they are today and was then dropped after one season. My point is he's just not in the top crop of drivers and that there's better out there who should be in that mclaren.

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  • 46. At 10:51am on 07 Nov 2010, Ben-Phillips wrote:

    Jenson button is a great driver and a worthy champion.
    To be fair all the drivers on the grid who have earnt there place as a formula 1 driver has to be given credit.

    If you put all the drivers in exactly the same equipment with the exact same conditions the margins would probably be .5 of a second from fastest driver to slowest driver.

    This is why Jenson won the championship last time around, Yes he was given superior equiptment, And it was down to him to make it count. So for that reason i nor anyone else can really say he is unworthy of being world champion.
    He did the best job possible with the car he was given...turns out it was the fastest car!

    I agree with some people saying other drivers are faster on pure pace, Thats obvious, Be he (button) is still a good champion.

    Most of the years in f1 its been the fastest group of cars that have won the drivers tittle, im looking forward to a real special talent taking a back of the grid car and putting it near the front!

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  • 47. At 11:19am on 07 Nov 2010, _MikKar_ wrote:

    Button's a good driver but not a great driver. Being smooth and all counts for nothing if you can't force the issue and put the car at the front even if it isn't behaving exactly like you want it to.

    Hamilton has a habit of squeezing as much as possible from his car even it isn't performing as well as he would want it to. How many times have we seen Button get out of Q2 only to see his own team-mate qualify between 3rd and 5th ? And then blame tyre temperatures or some other problem in the car ?

    McLaren's only realistic chance of winning the WDC is Lewis Hamilton, but at 21 points behind top spot, and behind both Red Bulls on the grid, the odds are that in Abu Dhabi, he will only have a mathematical chance of winning it (not taking into account DNFs due to mechanical failures).

    The question of Button being a worthy or unworthy champion is strictly pointless, you don't deserve a WDC, you win it. End of story. The people arguing over this sort of question really have quite some time to lose.

    Let's see how Nico Hulkenberg starts today, there will be a car crashing out in the first lap.

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  • 48. At 12:08pm on 07 Nov 2010, mothyproc wrote:

    some of you vettel fans are saying jenson won the championship just because of the double diffuser. If vettel wins the WDC (which doesn't look very likely) i'm guessing you won't be saying it was just because of their greatly superiour aerodynamics...

    now jenson is out of it, and hamilton is not far off being out of it i'm supporting webber for the title. I'm not sure I understand the logic of f1 fans who rave about how amazing vettel is when he is behind webber... (i know his car blew up last time but everyone has had their car blow up.)

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  • 49. At 12:56pm on 07 Nov 2010, John wrote:

    I hope either alonso or hamilton win it, because they are clearly a step above the rest.

    Vettel irritates me a lot due to his immaturity. He will smile for the cameras all weekend until he has a bad race where he starts sulking and making comments about his team/teammate. He needs to remember that the only reason he is where he is, is due to the massive car advantage he has, and be more humble. Same with webber.

    Button does seem very likeable, perhaps too much so. Of all the drivers, he seems most happy to help his teammate win, which is great teamplay but you would expect the defending world champion to show fierce determination so long as he has a mathematical chance of winning the thing. I'm sure McLaren will be very happy with his experience and teamplay however.

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  • 50. At 1:16pm on 07 Nov 2010, cwallis06 wrote:

    I think that Button has been a great champion. He hasn't gotten arrogant and he knows his limitations. And to all of you who say he only won the title because he had the best car: yes, you're right, but he still won over Barrichello in the same car, and you don't win 6/7 races without having a good amount of talent.

    Is he a better driver than the other four? No, we've seen that this year they definitely have the edge over him, except in changeable conditions where Button is as good as the rest. Button may be a one-hit wonder - but so was Mansell, so was Keke Rosberg, so was Hunt. He's been unlucky in his career, not unskilled.

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  • 51. At 7:29pm on 07 Nov 2010, Williams_F1_racer wrote:

    Before the start of the season, lots of people were saying that Jenson was going to be blown away by Lewis, but in fact they've been pretty evenly matched team-mates.

    When the McLaren has been on the pace, they've both shown they can win races, unfortunately for the second half of the season, the McLaren's have just lost the edge.

    I think Lewis prefers the car slightly edgy whereas Jenson does prefer it to be well balanced, but if Jenson hadn't been taken out by Vettel at Spa he'd still be in the mix now, in fact with Lewis's little gravel trap excursion there, Jenson might even have pinched the win.

    On the whole Jenson has been a great World Champion and a fantastic ambassador for the sport.

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  • 52. At 9:25pm on 07 Nov 2010, Tim wrote:

    It seems my "lecture" on arithmatic fell on deaf ears. If 17 races into a season, one driver is within striking distance of overtaking the other in the Driver's Championship then he clearly hasn't been "blown away". Or had Kimi been "blown away" as he lined up on the grid at the start of the 2007 Brazilian GP that ended with him as World Champion? Idiotic comments comparing points this year with points last year also prompted my rant, and I admit to some satisfaction at being proven right by the substandard intelligence of the responses that it garnered - rantingmrp being the prime example.

    No sensible fan would say Button is better than Hamilton, but he is a very good driver and a worthy world champion - better than Raikkonen, Villeneuve, or Hakkinen for example. Not being better than a once-in-a-generation driver like Hamilton is no disgrace. Having said that, Hamilton's lack of race craft was once again cruelly exposed by his team-mate today. Button's downfall is not race day, rather it comes 24 hours earlier. So I'm not blind to his faults, though Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton fans seem blind to his talents.

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