Jenson Button, McLaren, Hungaroring, 2012

Button not ready to act as number two yet

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Jenson Button, McLaren, Hungaroring, 2012In the round-up: Jenson Button says he won’t have to support Lewis Hamilton’s championship chances until he’s out of the running.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Button: I can still win title (Sky)

“I don’t think the team will actually ask me to [support Hamilton in the championship]. I personally feel that until I can’t win the championship there is a chance, you really do never know.”

The Inside Line – on Lotus?s Romain Grosjean (F1)

“Q: What?s been your most valuable life lesson?
RG: You always learn I guess. Recently a friend of mine had a big crash at a Le Mans test. He broke his back and the predictions were that he would never be able to walk again. After only one and a half months he was walking again. His view on life has completely changed and he?s thankful for every single step that he takes. So I think a bit of humility would suit all of us.”

McLaren Glad To Be As Good As Last Race (Speed)

Sam Michael on the last stint in Hungary: “We weren?t confident at all, but we knew that if we stopped, that was it; Lotus would come first and second. We knew that we couldn?t stop and come back and get them; they were too strong, so our only chance for a win was to stay out, and it paid off.”

How Ferrari has turned it all around (Autosport, subscription required)

“We made the conscious decision to change the exhaust concept and then try and regroup. That was the right decision, because then we managed to sort out all of the characteristic issues and the basic CL [lift coefficient] issues we had. Then we introduced the exhaust in Canada [in June].”

Williams F1 Head to Venezuela for a Series of Exciting Events (Williams)

“Williams F1 are delighted to announce that the team and race driver Pastor Maldonado are in Venezuela this week to meet our dedicated fans and partners.”

Comment of the day

@John-h on Timo Glock’s trouble:

I think it?s starting to get to Glock now. It?s sad to see, as a Glock fan, because I believe he is a genuinely great driver that has been at the wrong place at the wrong time. He did fantastic things at Toyota and for some reason has been overlooked by the top teams. Virtually no one has talked about him taking the Ferrari seat, but I think he would be a perfect candidate if they are not going to go for a young Perez type.

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  • 55 comments on “Button not ready to act as number two yet”

    1. Jenson it’s time too be a number 2 mate. You have no chance of winning the tittle, Mclaren need to focus on Lewis as they will not win any chapionship this year looking jenson’s way.

      1. Would have to agree. Jenson should be realistic about his chances/abilities, and start being a better team player. Sure, anything is possible, but Jenson winning another WDC seems to be the closest thing to impossible that I could think of.

        1. This is a non issue. Jenson is responding to a reporter’s question, not a request or order from McLaren. He has already said, on more than one occasion, that he would support Lewis if he was out of the running for the WDC. There is no better team player in Formula One than Jenson Button. If you want confirmation of that, ask anyone at McLaren, including Lewis.

          1. well i think Lewis showed in germany this year that he is a real teamplayer with his comments.

          2. I’m sorry, but this is inaccurate AT BEST. Jenson NEVER supported Lewis when he could. There are plenty of examples in 2010 and in the first half of 2011. And I do believe he’ll say anything not to support his team mate. In fact he’ll push as hard as he could if it would offer an opportuniy to mess up with Hamilton’s chances.

            1. Can you tell me of some instances when Jenson witheld support that he could have given Lewis? Or of something that Jenson said that is unsupportive of Lewis. Or of something Jenson has done to “mess up with Hanilton’s chances”?

            2. @Kenny,
              Yes I can, but I can’t bother really… If you’ve been following those seasons carefully, it was plain and simple. The signs were there to see for searching eyes. I’ll eat my hat if Button proves me wrong this season -which he won’t- judging by his comments.

            3. @shrieker

              So the answer is no, you can’t produce examples then?

            4. @Shrieker

              Hats are best with a grain or two of salt.

            5. Ehm, @shrieker, I really struggle to see why JB should have been supporting Hamilton

              and in the first half of 2011

              when he was doing better for the championship then Hamilton last year. Not to mention that in the first half of a season only a team having a clear no. 1 driver would even want something like that.

      2. It’s not like he doesn’t want to be a team player. At Interlagos 2010 he specifically said I wanted to help Hamilton when possible, even though he still had a mathematical chance on the drivers championship. We should not forget we are only barely over the half-point of the season. It indeed might be a tad early to start using team orders.

    2. Still can win title? Well, Mathmetically, Yes. Virtually, No.

      1. Remember, this is 2012! Anything can happen

        1. That’s why I think Button would not win more than half of remaining races.

          1. It ain’t over until the fat lady sings. Don’t count anyone out until they definitely can’t win the championship.

      2. Didn’t we all say the same thing about Vettel after the Korean Grand Prix in 2010?

        Yes, Button is setting himself up to do something incredibly difficult. Even with other drivers’ results going his way and Alonso’s admission that McLaren, Lotus and Red Bull are all ahead of Ferrari on-track, Button will likely fail. But at least he’s not giving up completely after half a season because he hit a rough patch, and that’s always deserving of respect.

        1. Quite true @prisoner-monkeys, I’d like to see him try. Though I also hope that if that doesn’t work, he decides early enough to support the team/Hamilton.

          If McLaren are able to keep the pace from the last race, or Lotus F-duct like thing doesn’t beat everyone at Monza, it will be interesting to see how close Button (and HAM) can get to Alonso. Or maybe Red Bull will find something new again. Let’s see them fight for it!

        2. I think Vettel’s situation is slightly different @prisoner-monkeys because after all the Red Bull was without doubt the fastest car, so he had a slightly easier job than Button will have. But yes, anything is possible and I admire his optimism.

          1. The Mclaren is the fastest car.

            1. Debatable- seems to depend on the circuit. But even if it is correct, not by the same margin as the Red Bull.

            2. @infy – that varies from circuit to circuit; Red Bull were far and away the quickest in Valencia and were also fastest in Silverstone. And anyway nobody knows who will have the fastest car come Spa (although my money’s on Lotus). And even if they do, as @matt90 has pointed out not by the same margin as the RB6.

        3. Exactly that @prisoner-monkeys, I would love it if he can even make it a serious bid to get back in the top 3, especially now that they got the car working better again, this should be a contest of all of them trying, not giving up halfway through the season because others have been doing better.

      3. Virtually, yes; Actually, no.

      4. He is hoping so hard not to listen to these words “Button, Hamilton is faster than you”

      5. If Button somehow magically manages to completely understand and master the tyres and no-body else does he could make it look as easy for him as the 1st. half of 09 was.

        However I think it more likely that nobody will completely understand the tyres let alone master them.

    3. I just want to point out, Glock was favourite for a drive alongside Kubica at Renault for 2010 but he declined the offer as he wasn’t sure that they were staying in F1.

      1. History has proven that it is very hard for an upcoming driver to choose the right team for the following year, just ask Button and Webber.

    4. Agree with COTD

    5. “Q: What’s been your most valuable life lesson? RG: You always learn I guess. Recently a friend of mine had a big crash ……… So I think a bit of humility would suit all of us.”

      Doesn’t seem like you’ve learned that lesson quite yet Romain.

      1. Of course not, but he seems to be a good person, he is probably feeling that he has been under supported because of Kimi, he’ll also learn that feeling sorry doesn’t change anything.

      2. Erm, why? He seems one of the most grounded drivers on the grid.

      3. Why do you say this?

        1. he crashed too many times this year.

      4. Depends on when they asked him that. All the way since Valencia he has certainly been doing his best to keep everything on track, as his scrap with KR last race showed.

    6. And people wonder why Massa will stay at Ferrari

    7. The little chance that Hamilton have to win this year’s championship, at this stage, would require the teammate help, otherwise forget it. And Button will not win this championship, and he knows it. If Lewis get a shot Jenson will help him.

      1. Sacrificing each others strategy’s has worked really well this season to learn about track conditions, future pit-stops plus they can put both drivers in different strategy’s so one of them can slow the opponents, i don’t think that that has happened this season deliberately, but it will happen and Button and Massa are prime candidates. Ed do you real think that Button will comply?

        1. Good point. At this terms it will be hard.
          But I think that there will be a time when Button will have to help his teammate. But how he will do that is a good question.

    8. I don’t for a moment think that Jenson has any illusions about winning the title this year. He does believe he can still beat his team mate in the standings this year , thereby salvaging something from a disappointing season. I wonder to what extent Jenson won’t be helping Lewis yet. In Silverstone we saw that he didn’t let Lewis by at his earliest convenience (and instead ending up letting Grosjean by due to defending) when Lewis was a pit stop ahead. Jenson saying he wants to help win the Constructor’s doesn’t mean much, as that can easily mean scoring points at the expense of your team mate.

    9. Just a thought for the break, all this talk of helping or competing with your team-mate for the WDC has made me wonder whether Alonso or Vettel had the best team situation in 2010. Any-one care to do the research and move Webber back in the results to finish alongside Massa in every race and move Vettel and Alonso up or down accordingly ?

      1. I don’t know how much of a difference that would make, but I’d say that Webber wasn’t an ideal #2 in 2010 for Vettel, considering he fought for the title till Korea and probably Brazil as well and has taken points from Vettel as well as from the other contenders. The only points he has “stolen” from Alonso are the second spot in Japan and Brazil, where Alonso finished third. Enough to give the Finger the championship, but it wouldn’t have mattered if Fernando finished above the Renaults in Abu Dhabi.

        1. @seabass, surely Alonso would have gained an extra point in each race that Webber finished ahead of Alonso if Webber had finished in Massas’ place, of course Vettel would have gained a lot of points in those races he finished 2nd. to Webber, thats why I would like to see the pointscore re-worked to see how big a difference it would end up being.

    10. He speaks as if this is because of confidence in himself and that he knows he can win. But he sounds like an arrogant loser who doesn’t know when to give up.

    11. Well Button, I admire your optimism, but does he really think he can win the title from Alonso now? If he did it’d be a miracle!

    12. Well he has as much chances as Grosjean or Rosberg, mathematic ways,
      which means winning most remaining races, difficult really, the only not sticking part is that ALSO Redbull and Ferrari need to DNF most of the races, lotus development most fail and Hamilton should crash or have pits delays in most races.
      Jenson don’t think it’s too much to ask, he is only concern about team “orders”, in his mind the ONLY real threat to his WDC championship.

    13. Personally, I believe the championship fight is all but over for Button. Hamilton has a chance, Räikkönen has a chance, Webber has a chance but I believe it’s going to be a fight between Alonso & Vettel…who will win in the end I don’t know.

    14. you all seem to have forgotten who scored the most points in the second half of last season to finish runner up and it WASN’T Hamilton, who by the way won’t win the championship this year

      1. Oddly enough, in cases like this, the guy who does score the most points in the second half of the year are usually those out of the title hunt (as they can afford to take risks and they usually pay off). Cases in point: Alonso and Vettel in 2008, Button in 2006. I’m betting that this year, that may well be Kimi Raikkonen’s role to play.

      2. I’m sure Vettel scored the most points; he did score 5 wins and two podiums after all. I don’t believe any of the top 5 drivers are out of title contention yet, but I do think it’ll end up going down to the last races between Alonso & Vettel (provided they can emerge from the break with significant enough upgrades).

    15. Man, you cant please everyone !!
      Few races back when Massa commented that he is going to support Alonso’s championship endeavor, everyone was all over him for acting like a loser. And now that Button basically tells the opposite, he is living in a delusion ??
      Actually for Hamilton to have any chances of winning the championship, he needs to have Button finishing ahead of Alonso(and few others) which Button is capable of doing.
      In Spa, at 12th race of 20 race championship if lets say Button is in 1st place and Hamilton 2nd place and they do swap positions to help hamilton’s championship are the people here saying they are going to he happy about it ??
      It was exactly similar position in championship in 2010 when Massa moved over to help Alonso if i remember correctly..

    16. In 2010, Hamilton was leading the championship with 3 races to go, and Button wasn’t asked to help.
      Withmarsh back then was saying he expected Button to go for wins, how then do we expect now that they are both behind the leaders, for Button to help.
      Secondly, what is Button expected to do if helping?
      He hasn’t been running consistently for about 7 races now and need to first get a good understanding of the tyres before he can compete with those in front.
      It is all down to the team to give priority to the driver who is faster and in front at each race, instead of trying to get both drivers to finish with the same number of points at the end of the year.
      When ever Button happens to score some good points, Withmarsh starts believing he can with the championship and then Mclaren could get confused with their strategies and everyone loses.
      Regardless, both Mclaren drivers have a lot of ground to make up.

    17. Shame Jense as I feel you will ultimately play number 2 like you have done all season. The position your in is entirely Mclaren’s making & desire!

    18. Glock doesn’t really strike me as someone who would be on the top teams radar to be honest, he’s not a race winner and he’s been out of a race winning car for a number of years.

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