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Good move for Honda?

Formula One
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Honda have decided to retain the services of Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello - but is it a good move for all three parties?

Barrichello is probably content to stay at quite a high-profile team, but Button is no longer the seen as the great British hope of F1 having failed to score more than a point this season and having seen his status further dimished by McLaren's 'uber-driver' Lewis Hamilton.

And is it the car or the drivers? Would Hamilton have done a better job in a Honda this season?

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comment by OldBoy (U1666976)

posted Jul 20, 2007

A couple of points here. First of all Button never defaulted or acted dishonourably on a contract. Exercising a termination clause is an entirely valid option and still within the terms of the contract. It is only where someone provides neither the desired service or the agreed compensation is it deemed that a contract has not been honoured.

Button remains I highly regarded driver and Honda now owe him after this years fiasco. He will obviously stay with Honda next year - there are no driver vacancies in any front half team, nor are there any comparable drivers looking for a seat. 2009 is likely to see a lot of change (with Button, Alonso, Kimi, Kubica, Heidfeld, Rosberg all likely to move) while a group of veterans (DC, Fisi, Trulli, Ralf, Rubens) are likely to finish altogether.

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posted Jul 20, 2007


I would also disagree with your comment that Jenson is in a comfort zone and that he needs a kick up the backside. He's been driving the nuts off a poor handling Honda that's best part of two seconds a lap slower this season and for what?, 11th or 12th place. Some people look at his finishing position and see what they want to see, you see it as an apparent lack of effort. He's trying his best from where I'm standing. It's anything but "comfortable".

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posted Jul 20, 2007

Good move for Honda ? Definately.

Given the performance of the car this year, who would realistically be attracted to join them ? At best you would get a middling performaer like Fissichella or Ralf Schumacher, neither of who are an improvement.

Good for Barricello ? Yes

At this stage of his career neither Ferrari ot McLaren would be interested, Renault will keep Heikki and if they dump Fissi have Piquet to step up so no drive there. BMW will likely keep their same lineup and Red Bull have already said they will do so.

The best slot open would be at Williams (Wurz) or Toyota, neither a significant enough move for Barricello.

Good For Button ? No

At this stage of his career Button needs a lackluster Honda like a hole in the head. Maybe he has seen some major promise for next year, but if not then he is best moving onto a new team where the new combination can perhaps stir something good.

Button moving on might not even be bad for Honda, give then the chance to bring in a bright young thing with new ideas who can learn from Rubens (Davidson anyone).

The only question is where to ? Button to Toyota is doable but would he really want to swap one big budget midtable team for another, they even race in the same colours. Button to Williams would be the most intrigueing, him and Rosberg would make for a very interesting duo if you ask me, also allows Williams to play up the british team aspect for sponsors.

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posted Jul 20, 2007

Alonso started from the back and earned every opportunity he has been given. Button got a fortuitous lucky break with Williams, and in a similar way Lewis got his.

Total bullocks.

Alonso was a Briatore driver well before his 'stint' at Minardi, he may have driven for them but make no mistake he was a Bennetton/Renault driver even back then.

Button did not get a 'lucky' break, neither did Hamilton. Both displayed enough talent to be signed up bya big team while still a junior driver (just like alonso). The fact that Alonso drove one year in Minardi while Button/Hamilton drove a year in a junior class means nothing. All 3 were protigees of big teams, all 3 demonstrated class in junior categories and all 3 earned their callups.

If anything Button was unlucky not to be retained at Williams. He has made some poor career choices since but has never needed a kick up the backside to beat his teammates and consistently get the bezst out of his car. You could put Schumacher, Senna, Prost and Fangio in that Honda and they would struggle to finish in the top 12 this season.

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posted Jul 20, 2007

Button has been let down by bad cars all of his career, it is not his fault. You cannot question his workrate. In my opinion he is doing a better job in that honda then Hamilton would be. Jenson is just getting on with it and trying to get the best out of the car and has had some brilliant results with what he has (France for example). If Jenson had a decent car then he would be up the front where he should be! people just look at the postions at the moment and think hes doing rubbish, when actually he is driving as well as anyone! I just hope honda sort it out!

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comment by Galahad (U1645165)

posted Jul 20, 2007

I don't think this is entirely objective. Jenson has a proven quantity as his team-mate, and Rubens has at least matched Button so far this season (I would put him slightly ahead).

He hasn't stacked up well against previous teammates Fisichella, Trulli or Ralf - and no-one considers them world champion material.

I'm sorry but I wonder whether nationality is making some of us a little blind in this case. He's no better nor worse than DC - good but not with that extra something that would put him in the great category.

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comment by Larry (U984015)

posted Jul 20, 2007

Got to agree, Jenson's nationality certainly does blind people's perspectives on occasion.
I don't have that problem, mainly because I think that race-winners should have the flag and national anthem of the country in which they pay taxes, unless there is a genuine reason for them living in another country eg: the team are based in Italy.

Whereas Jenson, David and probably from next year Lewis will be tax exiles in Monaco. Yes I know most races would end with the same anthem time after time, but when you give nothing back to Great Britain why should I give you support and respect solely because you happened to be born here? I respect pure talent, ability and gentlemanly conduct far more.

Ask any F1 fans from abroad how highly they rate Jenson and they will be not be as complimentary or blinding optimistic as a fellow compatriot. It is only natural to support one of our own, but really you should be jumping on Lewis' bandwagon - for it is he who has the real talent, it is he who will actually one day (possibly very soon) win the world championship.
Jenson will be a tiny footnote along with David Coulthard between the far bigger paragraphs detailing to dazzling careers of Damon Hill and Lewis Hamilton.

But that aside, Jenson has some talent I do not dispute that, it's just I don't think he has enough to ride with the big boys, to ever drive for McLaren or Ferrari.
He has only really been wanted at two teams Williams (for his debut season) and BAR/Honda. Benetton/Renault only really had him as an on-loan stop-gap as Williams had better drivers on their books, and the moment the 'we-knew-he-was-talented-but-had-no-idea-he -was-this-good' Alonso came along he was got rid pretty sharply indeed. Then came the drive for BAR (eventually sold to Honda), who did so badly that decided to leave before Honda completed their take-over, revealed their ambitious plans and Jenson realised he may have been a little too hasty in signing a binding contract to rejoin his first team quite as quickly as he did.

And Sir Frank probably wouldn't take Jenson back after what he did last time. There was no exit clause, Jenson just saw that Williams were going to be using Cosworths and from a racing perspective probably rightly explored any other options that might be on the table. It was a binding contract that Jenson (with Honda's help) had to pay handsomely to remove themselves from, and also effecively sealed the fact that Jenson Button will never drive for Williams ever again.

Had he not done so, Williams could have either a) forced him to drive for them or b) forced him to not drive in F1 for a couple of years if he declined to do so.

Supposing Sir Frank forgave him, and he did sign for Williams for the year after next and a better offer came along again as it did with Honda last time, how can we be sure he wouldn't do exactly the same thing again if another team came calling.

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posted Jul 20, 2007

I must say it does surprise me how many people do defend Button 'because he's in a bad car'. Even the likes of Nick Heidfeld, Trulli and Fisi who had to drive dogs of cars during their careers (Jordons, Toyotas and the wide angle-engined Bennettons spring to mind) have shown that they've 'dug deep' and persevered. Indeed, when Fisi and Button were driving the same tail end Bennettons it was Fisi and not Button who showed greater character and aptitude and just got on with the job. Button in comparison has generally found wanting when his equipment has not been up to scratch and is not exactly one to hide his displeasure.. The other drivers I've mentioned don't tend to moan or grumble as much and have shown flashes of brilliance in uncompetitive machinery...and they're not even regarded as the creme de la creme of F1 drivers! I'm sorry but Button was beaten by Ralf, Fisi and Rubens is giving him a run for his money...these are top midfield runners at best and that is about where I'd place Button in the grand scheme of things.

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posted Jul 22, 2007

I think its 99.9 per cent the Honda package which is the problem this year. What a terrible car - it says it all when it is overtaken by the Super Aguri which is last years Honda. The simple difference between Hamilton and Button is that the former is in a great car and the latter has to compete in something who's performance resembles Chitty Bang Bang on a bad day!!

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posted Aug 10, 2007

No one can deny that most of the problems at Honda this year are technical. Despite his press facing honesty and humility this has perhaps had a knock on effect to some aspects of his driving. If I were Honda I would give Ross Braun a huge contract and a blank cheque. They need to act quickly because after another winter of other teams progressing if Honda are still where they are now, they may find themselves behind the likes of Spyker.

I like Jenson and I would love to see him in a competitive car. Honda have let him down big time this season and probably have signed them up for next year early as a matter of goodwill.

His outward humbleness and team spirit will go down very well with the Japanese.

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