Have the 2009 tyre rules gifted Button the world drivers’ championship?

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No-one can rival Jenson Button's tyre management this year

F1 Fanatic guest writer Doctorvee of F1 blog Vee8 shares an opinion on how the tyre rules are affecting the championship.

In a year of big changes to the technical regulations, one of the most controversial talking points has been the decision taken jointly by Bridgestone and the FIA to widen the gap between the prime and option tyres.

Instead of taking the two best-suited compounds to each circuit, Bridgestone now takes one good set and one sub-standard set of tyres.

This was a bid to spice up the action during the races. But has it also boosted Jenson Button’s chances of winning the championship?

Contrived tyre rules

Given the present rules where every driver has to use both sets of tyres in dry conditions, the decision to widen the gap between the compounds was right. After the mandatory tyre change was introduced in 2007, the difference between the prime and option were usually too small to make any meaningful difference to the race.

People rightly argue that deliberately putting drivers on inferior tyres is an artificial way to contrive excitement. Fernando Alonso was especially scathing, saying it would be better to put drivers on wet tyres in dry conditions.

The reasons for the rule can be traced back to the end of the tyre war. Following the exit of Michelin from Formula 1, Bridgestone were worried that no-one would talk about them as the sole tyre supplier. So to keep the focus on tyres, they concocted this rule, borrowed from America’s now-defunct Champ Car World Series. (The Indy Racing League has adopted a similar rule this year).

But to keep the focus on tyres was wrong in my view. Back in 2006, I waved good riddance to the tyre war. At the time I said:

In reality, we no longer [have] a drivers’ championship or a constructors’ championship. All we had left was a glorified tyre championship in all but name. It’s not as heroic as a driver standing up on his seat to win a race. It’s not as sexy as a constructor pushing the boundaries of technology to make their car better. Formula 1 had come down to four ? literally ? black boxes. Elements that are peripheral to the cars became central to the championship.

I was perturbed that tyres should come to dominate the picture in F1 so much. I have since come to the view that the primacy of the role of these “black boxes” is inevitable. But it is a matter of striking the right balance. Bridgestone’s effort to get people talking about tyres is the exact opposite of what I want to see. Ideally, they should be as irrelevant as possible. That means taking the best sets of tyres, letting the teams decide how they should run them, and leave it be.

Instead, teams are hamstrung by Bridgestone’s selfish commercial interests. Now we have this mickey mouse situation where tyres once again appear to be playing too large a role in the championship.

Playing into Button’s hands

One of the traits that emerged very early on about the Brawn car was that is treats its tyres very well indeed. Meanwhile, Brawn’s driver Jenson Button is renowned for being one of the smoothest drivers in the world with excellent tyre management skills. I don’t wish to belittle the importance of tyre management. This is an aspect of Button’s driving which should be celebrated. But I fear that this one aspect of driving is becoming the one dominant influence on the championship.

Take the Bahrain Grand Prix. Toyota managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory because their cars simply did not have the pace on the harder tyres that the team had expected. Perhaps if Toyota had the freedom to run whatever tyres they wanted, they would have won the race. We will of course never know. But it’s difficult to escape the feeling that Brawn were handed that win not because they had the best package, but because they had a package that could cope better with deficient tyres.

The potential for the tyre rule to play this sort of role was evident from the first race of the season at Melbourne. A number of drivers who were having perfectly good races found themselves falling back simply as a result of the fact that they were forced to use suboptimal tyres.

We saw exactly the same phenomenon in Monaco. Most drivers who ran the super-soft tyres in the first stint had their race ruined. Sebastian Vettel – arguably Jenson Button’s strongest rival – struggled particularly badly, at one point losing a massive 4.5s in one lap.

Interestingly, Rubens Barrichello was another driver who struggled on the super-softs in the first stint at Monaco. The Brazilian ended the first stint 12.5s behind his team mate. This helped ease Jenson Button’s path to victory, as it meant that even those drivers who had the harder tyres – which were superior at that point of the race – lost valuable time.

That puts one nail in the coffin of the idea that the tyre rule is a particular advantage to the Brawn car. Barrichello has had more than his fair share of tyre issues this season. Not only did he lose time in Monaco, he also lost the race in Spain because he was struggling on a set of tyres.

This is where Jenson Button’s silky-smooth driving comes into play. Fair enough in one respect. You can argue that if Button’s tyre management is so great that it helps him win the championship, he has earned that right. But it does seem as though he is lucky to get this leg-up.

After all, isn’t F1 supposed to be about giving the best drivers the best equipment? Jenson Button’s skill is in being a good driver with deficient equipment. If the best drivers had the best cars with the best equipment at all times, would Jenson Button have won five races out of six? I have a feeling that he wouldn’t have. Is that really what F1 should be about?

I would never wish to belittle Jenson Button’s excellent form. I have no doubt that his Championship lead is fully deserved. But I just wish he could have demonstrated it in an environment where the best drivers have the best equipment, which is what F1 should be about in my view.

47 comments on “Have the 2009 tyre rules gifted Button the world drivers’ championship?”

  1. StrFerrari4Ever
    31st May 2009, 14:58

    Very good post DoctorVee it really does make you wonder how things would be if teams and drivers where allowed to choose whatever tyres they could run and not be comrpomised by having to run a tyre in the race which will only last lets say 6 laps.
    I also have the same view point with you on if drivers had the best cars at all times would Jenson be at the front personally I don’t feel he’d be able to stay with the big guns but his driving this year has been top class.

  2. I disagree with the idea that the tires are somehow making the results a farce. Its up to the drivers to modify their driving to match the tires they are on. Last year the Honda was horrible and RB had the measure because he was able to ‘man handle’ the more much better than JB.
    All of the teams started with the same information, they all tested the tires and they all decided on which direction to go with their cars. In the end the teams and the drivers need to find the best compromise. If there was a single tire rule and the Brawn cars had a hard time getting heat into the tires (like last year) then they would be stuck in he back again.
    I like the rule, it forces drivers to adapt. Speed is not the only skill a racer should have. They need intellect, something that JB is illustrating ingrand style.

    1. yeah i agree with you, all the teams know the spec they need to design for, so design a car that’s better on the tires and learn to drive.

      button’s driving style does suit them, but who’s to say that’s wrong?

      complaining about the tires is no different to complaining about the aero or engines, there’s a spec, now design something to make the most of it.

      surely there’s a road car benefit that’s can come out of this.

      if a toyota road car gained 50% more tire life because of the way it managed its ties i’d look at buying toyota. but just letting a team chose a tire and then thrash it to bits is just a waste.

  3. They all have to race under the same rules regardless. You say you don’t want to belittle Button’s tire management skills but that is the entire point of your well written article.

    If the two tire rule goes the way of the dodo next year along with refueling, teams will theoretically still make pit stops to change tires. The driver who manages to be fast without killing his tires make fewer pit stops and wins the race on his skills.

    Instead, teams are hamstrung by Bridgestone’s selfish commercial interests.

    And what is new in that statement? Under the stewardship
    of Bernie it’s always about the money. And the teams can only survive with commercial support from sponsors.

    Certainly I agree with your theory that a mandatory tire strategy may overly complicate the process of how a team wins a race and titles. And I don’t see how Bridgestone gains any favorable marketing by forcing teams to run tires that are not durable and potentially lose races for teams like Toyota.

    But Jenson’s smooth driving will always be an asset regardless of what the tire rules are. I was one of his staunchest critics when he was struggling with his Honda/Williams contract issues and he paid the price (stuck at Honda) for what I thought was the wrong decision at the time. He has obviously learned much from his time in purgatory and is handling his new found success with aplomb and dignity. Compare the rookie season of Hamilton as well as last year for a stark contrast.

    I enjoyed the read regardless of your conclusion.

  4. I don’t think it’s Button that has the tire management skills. It’s just the car looks after its tires so well.

    1. So why does RB typically wear his out must faster than Button?

  5. There have been many elements of Formula 1 are introduced on a regular basis to create entertainment, rather than an absolute-level competition. Clearly, the decision of widening the gap between the prime and option tyre is a measure going in this direction.

    In my opinion, however, it would not be adequate to claim that this would narrow down the question of how the championship is decided to just the one factor of the tyres or, if you want to see it that way, tyre management.

    Tyre management has also been a relevant issue before the 2009 rules. Ever since 2007, both compounds had to be used under dry conditions, regardless of their performance behaviour. Even though there usually were smaller “gaps” between the two compounds in 2007 and 2008, at times, there have also been clear indications that either the prime or option tyre was the significantly better choice for a long run on a certain race track, leading to according strategies. On top of that, generally, every racing tyre can be handled badly by putting to much tyre pressure in and/or pushing to hard with it.

    Naturally, this is not an element of the sport which makes life easier for the teams and their drivers. However, I personally don’t believe this compromises the validity of the sport. Tyre management has always been one circumstance the teams/drivers had to take into account, in order to try and come up with the best competitive package, compared to everyone else.
    This would appear to be no different under the current tyre rules. The teams have to try and create a car which does not go too hard on, for example, a softer compound not in the perfect performance window for a track in question – and the drivers have to either demonstrate or learn the capability to handle the tyres well, to not push too hard when the tyre is graining or otherwise degrading heavily, or, on the other side of the spectrum, pushing harder to keep up the temperature.

    Under these circumstances, Button has won five out of six races, because apparently, he and the team (or his team of engineers, if you want to take into account Barrichello’s performances) have done the best job, comparatively. Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull Racing haven’t measured up to that, because Vettel ruined his tyres in the closing stages of the Australian GP and the opening of Monaco just two weeks back. On top of that, his team underperformed on race strategy at Bahrain and Barcelona, making decisions which left them unable to capitalise on a car which, at that time, arguably seemed considerably faster than the respective end results accounted for.
    Conclusively, Vettel and Red Bull failed to make the best out of the circumstances applying, so that’s why they’re behind, or why Button and Brawn are this far ahead (already).

    In that respect, Jenson Button and Brawn GP appear to be no different than any other competitor who has ever won a championship like this. To win in Formula 1, you need to bring the best performance under the circumstances applying. Therefore, qualities like the “best car” and “best driver” never can or will be absolute, but always relative to the competitors and the conditions under which the competition took place.

    1. Brilliant Post!

      1. yeah hats off :)

  6. I completely agree but you’re talking rubbish.

    Tyres: They should be able to buy from anyone they please. Failing that they should be able to make a choice of any compound that Bridgestone produce (they should bring all the options including one that would last a race distance (for next year)).

    Jenson: Skill is Skill. He’s been given a good car and he’s getting on with the Job. He did that before when he had an almost good car. I don’t like the tyre rules, but I don’t think they unfairly (or undesirably) benefit JB.

  7. Aquatic Mammal
    31st May 2009, 16:24

    Tellingly, Ross Brawn stated before the race in Melbourne that with the new tyre rules, the outcome of the races this year would depend largely on how well the car treated the option tyre. With that in mind, Ross revealed his strategy for the year was to set the cars up primarily for the option tyre. Watching practice this year, you don’t see the Brawns topping the times so much. This is because they are dilligently working on option set up. Only when qualifying draws near do they develop much data on the prime.

    I agree that this set up strategy and Jenson’s style contribute a great deal to the overall race pace of the Brawn this season but I think it a little unfair to attribute this advantage to something inherrent in Jenson, rather than the studied race craft of Ross Brawn.

    Also, those options seem to work best for Jenson in clear air. If he was tucked up behind a Ferrari / Williams / whoever, trying to get past, I’d lay money his ‘smooth driving style’ wouldn’t count for so much.


  8. Nothing new in tyre compounds deciding wins, unfortunately.
    The tyre compounds went a long way to aid McLaren when their car was heavy on tyres. Bridgestone has to factor in safety. If they didn`t there would be countless tyre failures.
    I think the 2-step compounds is contrived purely for the “show”, giving with one hand & taking away with the other.
    I view it in the same light as banning tyre warmers. There`s no cost saving (everyone already has the technology) so it`s just designed to throw another element in the mix. I`d prefer less contrivance & for the drivers` just to be able to get on & race.

    1. just because eveyone has the technology doesn’t mean it’s free – there’s still money spent on production, shipping, and power. the ban isn’t adding a contrived element, it is re-introducing a natural element.

    2. My point was I don`t think banning them has anything to do with the cost. If tyre warmers were the make or break of a teams` finances then I`d really worry! :)
      If cost were everything then Max would not have insisted on KERS. That has cost some teams a fortune.

  9. Why not just bring the unsuitable tyre and make everyone use that ? Wouldnt that be more ‘fair’ and exciting (as the pefromance dropoff would depend on how the car handle it and the driver’s tyre management skill)

  10. Excellent piece of damning with feint praise. I wonder if you’ve ever driven a racing car of any sort, let alone F1. Button is one of several top F1 drivers who have specailist skills. And each season tends to demand a discrete difference in the skills required to win. This is Buttons year. He’s damned well earned his stripes with seriously bad cars for years. Drivers like Hamilton, Massa and Alonso, who’ve been used to the best cars on the grid are finding out what it’s like to struggle the way Button did for too many years.

    The only conclusion you come to that I agree with is that single tyre suppliers distort the realities of car and driver performance. We need tyre competition back.

  11. And I don’t see how Bridgestone gains any favorable marketing by forcing teams to run tires that are not durable and potentially lose races for teams like Toyota.

    Never thought of it that way. Good point. “I’m gonna buy Bridgestone tires because they wear out after 1,000 miles!!”

    1. how is it bridgestones fault for toyota being very bad at using tires, when other teams – with the same tires are doing wonders with them.

      toyota had the same options as everyone else, their demise in monaco was their own fault.

  12. Robert McKay
    31st May 2009, 17:51

    Ironically enough Monaco is the one race this season where Bridgestone aren’t doing their “lets have a gap between the compounds” problem, so in theory they could have looked even dafter.

    I certainly agree that tyre wars are not good for F1. I think it unbalances things in all but a very narrow range of circumstances. But in the same breath Bridgestone should not be sole tender and then resort to gimmicks in order to justify their presence. If being sole supplier to the worlds top racing series in itself is not enough good PR then don’t do it and someone else will.

    Playing devils advocate, however, arguably the only really interesting part of the entire Monaco GP was in the first stint when the Brawns and Vettels supersofts went off in a big way. It does generate overtaking, albeit very artificially, and I think that, from a tactical point of view at least, having the two-compound rule and then adding to its effect has added an extra dimension to the races – one that perhaps is replacing refuelling as the main team strategic variable.

    And arguably I see driver management of the tyres as something that should be easily observed anyway. But certainly the “purity” of the spectacle is compromised by such a concept, that I can definitely agree with.

    After all, isn’t F1 supposed to be about giving the best drivers the best equipment?

    The thing is, however, if you ask one hundred people who post here to finish the sentence “F1 should be about…” you will get a huge range of answers. The above statement isn’t really sufficient to properly convey the nuances of the sport so I’d only say in reply “well, not necessarily”. Maybe there are some points where technical “purity” can be or should be superceded by “the show”.

    I’m not saying that the current situation is brilliant, far from it. What I am saying is that I think there’s a fine line that needs to be treaded here. Melbourne saw a race where clearly one tyre was absolutely hopeless in race conditions, which is no use and makes the sport look silly – and puts Alonso’s comment about putting wets on in the dry into context. The real problem is that with only 4 compounds in total Bridgestone are not fine tuning the tyre compounds suitably. Now creating 2 separate compounds for each race track to produce a good balance between having an option and prime is not cost effective and isn’t going to happen, unfortunately. But assuming nothing fundamental will change and Bridgestone will continue the “2 compounds with a gap” rule, then they maybe need to fine tune their stock compounds – maybe with 6 or 7 initial “grades” as opposed to the standard 4, and allow them the opportunity of a bit more freedom to maintain the core of the concept without basically having to choose the wrong tyres, in essence.

    An extremely interesting article.

    P.S. Vee good to see you over on the Digital Spy F1 Broadcasting thread.

  13. I’m not sure I agree with this article.

    Tyre management has always been an issue and from next season will become more of an issue. With refuelling banned, whoever can make their tyres last longer is in with an advantage. Tyre management is a core skill, along with overall pace, concentration, stamina etc etc, if you’ve ever been in a racing simulator, you’ll know how hard it is to actually develop a style that doesn’t destroy the tyres after one or two laps.

    The tyres have not “gifted” the championship to Button at all. Button’s overall ability has “gifted” him the championship.

  14. I completely agree with the opinions of this article. I’ve felt since the first two or three races of the season that the artificial nature of having to use a tyre which’ll go off terribly after a short stint is bad for the show. Yes it mixes the field up but as our man says, the teams don’t have a choice. F1 isn’t about just tyre management.

  15. Yes, tyre management has always been part of the expertise of a good driver.
    There are occasions, though, when compounds take it beyond the control of the driver because the actual package of the car either can`t generate enough grip for that particular compound or, conversely, makes degredation a big issue.
    That can happen with any driver no matter how good.
    Different driving styles will add to or reduce the problem. A smooth driver in a car which is kind to tyres can go further than a brake happy guy in a car that`s hard on the tyres. The reverse can also be true if the compound is harder to get up to heat. Then the more aggressive style of driver (or harder on tyre car) can benefit.
    So I don`t think it`s as straight forward as just being about the driver skill. A lot of factors including temperature come into play.

  16. I do believe tyre management should be a part of the game but the current artificial rules are against the spirit of the sport.

    As the ‘pinnacle of motorsports’ Formula 1 always was a sport with technical innovation and diversity. Drivers, teams and their suppliers always worked hard to gain a technical advantage. But due to the introduction of spec and homologated parts the road to artificial rules for ‘spicing up’ the racing was opened.

    So far, the artificial rules didn’t really spice up the racing. In fact, I do believe it has a negative effect on the series, as Formula 1 has become a bad show with an unkown outcome instead of a sport.

    To make Formula 1 a sport again and to make tyre management important without artificial regulations, the FIA should reconsider the introduction of spec and homologated parts. With a tyre war, relatively free tyre regulations and rules to make it worth to go round the race distance without changing tyres (such as banning mid-race refuelling, tyre warmers and lowering the pit lane speed limit) Formula 1 will have better racing and technical innovation and variety will return to Formula 1.

    It said by some that without a control tyre, the tyres will be too important. But that not necessarily the case. Before 2007 tyres were indeed very important, but it should not be forgotten that all other areas (aerodynamics, engines, etc.) were already heavily restricted. Back in the early 1980’s the technical regulations were much less restrictive in all areas and tyres weren’t that important at all, despite the fact that no less than three tyre manufactures were active in the sport.

  17. This is the best post ever…..
    Totally right

  18. Thanks for the comments everyone.

    I didn’t mean to bring into question Jenson Button’s driving talent, or the superiority of the Brawn car. They fully deserve to be in the position they are in, and I am certain they would be leading the Championship whether or not the current tyre rules were in place.

    Nor did I intend to make out that tyre management is somehow not a skill that should be rewarded. Of course it should be, as it has done in history and will do in future. But it should be in the right way. Drivers and teams should be able to choose the tyres that suit them the best, then work to manage the situation from there.

    I appreciated -A-‘s excellent comment. There are good reasons why Brawn and Button have won and other teams and drivers have lost. And he is right that teams will always have to win under the circumstances they face. But that makes it all the more important that the rules are the correct ones (though how that should be judged is a tricky issue, I know!).

    Robert, thanks for the welcome to the DS thread. :)

  19. If the best drivers had the best cars with the best equipment at all times, would Jenson Button have won five races out of six? I have a feeling that he wouldn’t have. Is that really what F1 should be about?

    The only way to have parity among all the best drivers is to move toward a spec series. Which most F1 fans wouldn’t want to see.

    I wouldn’t say the tyre rules have gifted Button the title, only that the rules benefit smoother drivers. Of whom, Button is clearly ahead of the rest. And is there anthing wrong with this? I don’t think so. The rules were known well in advance with all teams having plenty of opportunity to adapt.

    Brawn have adapted the best, more specifically, Brawn and Button have adapted the best. Barrichello is some way off at the moment.

    I would hazard a guess that the majority of World Champions won their title not only because of their driving ability but also that they were in the best car.

  20. Great article

    Awesome read.

    And true, Button’s strength has coincided with the regulations’ “loophole” if you may call it.

  21. HounslowBusGarage
    1st June 2009, 9:05

    This article has stirred up a lot of dust, probably because of the word ‘gifted’ in the title, which many readers find perjorative.
    The inference seems to be that the FIA deliberately angled the regulations for the following year towards a particular teams and individual strengths.
    I don’t think that what you meant, DoctorVee, but that’s how it reads with ‘gifted’ in it.
    So every winner of every race and championship has been ‘gifted’ their success by the regs. Or more realistically, their teams have best designed a car that maximises performance within the regulations envelope, and then run it successfully with a skilled driver *not* crashing it too often for the whole season. Not such a snappy headline, is it?

    Even the phrase ‘the best car’ is a bit tricky.
    The best car is the car that best maximises its performance against the regulations at that moment. The Brabham fan car or that unraced MacLaren might have been the most effective cars of their times, but weren’t the ‘best car’ because they were not within the regs. The regs might be badly written, but regs is regs, and the teams work to them.

  22. have they helped? yes
    have they gifted? no

  23. Robert: I think that, from a tactical point of view at least, having the two-compound rule and then adding to its effect has added an extra dimension to the races – one that perhaps is replacing refuelling as the main team strategic variable.
    But can you call it a strategic variable when in Monaco all the super-softs went off a long way before the teams had apparently worked out they would? This could have led to a potentially dangerous situation, and it may still lead to one at any of the races to come.
    If this strange rule using one good tyre and one bad tyre compound is only there for the interests of Bridgestone and ‘The Show’, you have to question why it was allowed. I thought Safety had a higher priority than anything else these days?
    Yes, it has allowed Button and Brawn to be more competitive this year, but aerodynamics and downforce are also playing a part in this success too.
    Three Cheers for the Brits on Top, but lets bring back a sensible rule where the teams choose the tyres, not the tyres being chosen for the teams!

  24. Reminded me of something Vettel said at the Barcelona race: he was discouraged from following other cars in the race as the extra sliding wore his tyres out.

    Far from spicing up the action, this (and all the “conserve your tyres” nagging over the radio) is keeping the drivers apart on the track.

    Why can’t the teams deal with tyre wear that doesn’t match their simulations? Why not just bin the simulated races, that would save a fortune.

  25. Funny, No-one complained that Lewis Hamilton was being gifted wins last year when the tyres suited his more agressive driving style.

    Surely if teams were allowed to chose any tyre that suited their car the best it would still be a question of who managed their particular tyres best.

  26. I’m currently of the opinion that should they decide to continue with this two compound per race tyre rule, then teams should be able to choose in advance which two compounds they want at any particular race…

  27. Tyres are always a big factor, and frankly this season is about as fair as it has ever been. If you remember the tyre war years, not only were the tyres too big a factor in the championship, politics came into play inside the tyre camps, where tyre development mid-season would favor one team over others on the same rubber. This season is very straightforward – four tyres, two at each race, make them work. If teams don’t have a good idea how to do that by now that’s their problem. It’s a completely fair situation. In fact, due to having almost no winter testing, the Brawns were actually playing catch-up when it comes to slick tyre data compared to the rest. Complaining that they have been “gifted” an advantage is nonsensical.

  28. Great article mate..loved it.

    The whole tyre war thing was a farce, it was just Ferrari vs the Michelin runners, that was about it.

    I kinda enjoy the whole tyre choice vs performance thing, it shows how well the the team (driver/engineer/team principal) has strategized the race. I’m under the impression that the best racers are pretty smart chaps, I’m sure they love the challenge of getting the most out of their given equipment and making it go faster, so for me, all this including rubbish tyres from Bridgestone..is part and parcel of racing.

    Jenson is top because of two things, his superior tyre management and Ros Brawn..its as simple as that. With no re-fuelling next year, Jens might be one of the guys that come out tops, since tyre wear will be a lot more critical next year.

    1. Jay has made an excellent point here. With refuelling banned for 2010, tire wear/management will be an even bigger factor in who wins races. Of course, car setup will be an even bigger factor with regard to tire management.

      Cars will start the race substantially heavier than most current drivers are used to, and tire wear will be increased for a considerable portion of the race due to the heavier load. Taking care of one’s tires, and having a proper setup on the car, is going to be a more important part of racing successfully in 2010 than we have seen in F1 for a long time.

      So, a driver like Jensen Button may have even more of an advantage, considering his smooth and unpunishing driving style.

      And a genius at car setup-dare I say Ross Brawn?-is going to be the more successful at winning.

      Winning races is all about creating the best result with the given factors, and Brawn/Button have certainly done so this season. Hats off to them, and a word of advice to the other teams-complain less, develope more.

  29. Your overtone is that Button is “lucky” because he’s a very fast but smooth driver? So Mansell was lucky because he could drive the FW14B and Piquet was lucky because he could handle 1100hp better than anyone else? Maybe Schumacher was lucky all those years because he only developed his Ferrari and didnt help any of the other teams? The tyre rules are the same for everyone but apparrently this year only one driver is “lucky” – what is it this year that its the car for Button (or the tyres that everyone else uses???) but for Senna in ’88 it was Senna or Prost in ’93 blah blah……….

    1. I hate it when people say Jenson is lucky. He’s put his time on the test track I’m pretty sure a lot of his input has gone into developing this car, taking nothing away from Rubens as well.

      The way I look at it, there a two types of champion. One is a guy that moves to a team with the best car on the grid and win the title, which does take some doing. The other, is the guy that joins a team, grabs hold of his car, develops into a championship winning car. The likes of Schumacher, Alonso, Hakinnen fall into category two and Jens will join them if he wins this year.

      So, is it fair to say somebody who has helped develop the car over the yeara ending up as the best on the grid as lucky? I wonder if it occured to anyone that the other teams just arent as good?

  30. This is full load of horse manure.

  31. Very good post. Jackie Stewart has always praised Button for his smooth style.

    Now, will next year’s no refuelling rule favor another driver the way it did Prost back in the 80’s?

  32. Macademianut
    1st June 2009, 23:58

    Great Article! I think the rule of forcing a stint on each tyre is just silly. I agree that the drivers should be given the best possible equipment and let them race to finish line.

    On one end F1 claims to be the pinnacle of driving technology, while on the other, these kinds of rules have absolutely no reason but to simply throw some factor of action for the viewers.

  33. I know that these are the best drivers. I know that they should be able to handle to these tires. I know that the teams have to adjust their stratedgy to match the tires, tracks, weather conditions….so on…. but my biggest beef with this is that they are delibertely putting the lives of these brave men at risk by making them drive on tires that disintigrate after only a few laps. They all want to compete, they all want to win, and one day a driver will push his tires too far and get himself and likely someone else into a serious accident. Every team should be using the best available tires.
    We need to stop making rules to artificially enhance the entertainment value and realize that its the drivers that make the sport exciting. They need to be able to get in any one of those cars and be able to compete.
    Optmize the cars and let the drivers do their own thing. FIA needs to stop trying to make up rules because they think that it will enhance the racing.
    These cars could technically only have to stop once per race. Pit stops are not that exciting (unless its a Ferrari pit stop).
    I know everyone is against standarzing in F1. But its time to accept that fact that maybe we need it. The only thing that shouldn’t be standarized is the engines. If teams had a 80 mil cap but they could put most of that into their engines and everything else was simply bought from FIA, then we would see great racing because i would then come down to driver and engine. Chassis would all be the same, except for paint jobs, tires would be same, but the most important thing, the heart of the car, the engine, it would be different in every car.
    Right now, some teams have a great Areo package but they seem to have put more money into that instead of their engine and they suck because of it.
    I understand why people will think that Standarizing would suck but it seems like the only way we will ever see real racing in this leauge.
    Way to go to my fellow Canadian, Wickens, on winning the first F2 race of the year!

  34. wong chin kong
    3rd June 2009, 14:28

    It was Ross Brawn that brings F1 success to Button this year. Ross Brawn the genious has the vision to develop a race winning car tailored to the 2009 rules much earlier than other teams. The Brawn car was designed to perform well in any type of tyres, so their race pace would be consistent in every races. It is just that Button could extract out much more from his tyres compared to Rubens.

  35. there will always be an element of a rule that favours one team or driver and f1 one is completely contrived anyway. it has to be as technology improvements have made a “pure” car impossible really since they moved the engine to the back.

    interesting article though and it does explain the results but i do think.. so what, if its not the Brawns its the ferraris with their veto or williams with their fw23 techno marvel or cooper with their rear engined v12 killers. there will always be something

  36. All this talk of tyre ware does not take into account Buttons excellent qualifying record

  37. Of course the combination of best car, engine, team and driver will always come to the fore. Ross Brawn designed the car to suit his two drivers and maybe somewhat surprisingly Jenson is proving bettern than Rubens in that car, given the number of years Ross and Rubens worked together at Ferrari.

    Similarly if Jenson was an also rnn taking advtage of a good car, why did Sir Frank Williams sign him as a rookie and then lure him back only to have Jenson buy himself out of the contract? After 9 years he finally has the equipment to prove his ability in the same way that Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso have not become worse drivers.

    I would like to see those three have a test session where they all drove all three cars, Renault, Brawn & McLaren and see who is fastest overall. Sadly it will never happen.

  38. well lewis and jenson both drove the same saloon car a “star in a reasonably car” on Topgear and Lewis was 0.3 seconds quicker as i remember, certainly he was quicker. But that wasnt the bit that made it special, the special bit was Lewis’ time was in the wet !!! Think Mansell was quicker than Jenson as well. Hill was only 0.1 quicker than the fastest non driving celeb.

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