F1 “every bit as good as ever” – Button

2014 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Jenson Button said the Bahrain Grand Prix showed Formula One is just as good as it’s always been under the new regulations.

The new rules have come under fire from several major figures in the sport in past weeks. But the closely-fought Bahrain race saw battles for position throughout the field.

Button was in the thick of the action. “I can’t even remember how many cars I overtook but it was quite a lot,” he said, “and I think it was the same for almost everyone out there”.

“I really enjoyed it, in fact,” he added. “Formula One may have new power units and technical regs this year, but it’s clearly every bit as good as it ever was in terms of on-track spectacle.”

Button retired before the end of his 250th race due to clutch problems – a similar glitch ended team mate Kevin Magnussen’s race. But Button believes the team could have fought for a podium finish.

“In terms of pace, we took a step forward this weekend,” he said. “Our degradation was positive and I think we did a very good job understanding our tyres.”

“Only one team were demonstrably quicker than us today – Mercedes – but sadly they were a lot quicker than us.

“Having said that, our long-run pace was very good, especially over the last few laps, so I reckon we could have raced very hard to the finish on the [mediums]. But unfortunately I didn’t get that opportunity.

“It’s tough for all the team, because they all worked really well and really hard. We were set for fifth place at worst and a podium finish at best, and that would have been a very positive outcome for all of us.

2014 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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57 comments on “F1 “every bit as good as ever” – Button”

  1. Strangely the team that was talking about team orders before the start of the season has let his drivers race today, the thing is all the box Mercedes were very nervous like it was the first time they have let Nico and Lewis racing each other to the point that Paddy Lowe himself was reading the same instructions from a paper(i don’t know who wrote it) to Lewis & Nico, and now Button is talking about spectacle and i’m pretty confident that Perez,Hulk and Massa will say the same thing
    The question is if the whole spectacle debate to change the rules didn’t took place would Mercedes have let their drivers race fair and square ?

    1. Are you enjoying it at the moment.

    2. The question is if the whole spectacle debate to change the rules didn’t took place would Mercedes have let their drivers race fair and square ?

      The rules won’t be changed. So yes.

      1. No doubt, the racing today was first class – it was brilliant to watch.

        Still sounds crap though! lol

    3. But IS that really THE question @tifoso1989? I think Mercedes already mentioned before the season that they would want their drivers to race for it, and so far they have. Lets just enjoy that, because it certainly offers better spectacle than a red bull multi 21 or a “Fernando is faster than you”.

      Why would you mind these drivers talking about having had a blast of a race? Even Alonso seemed to be cheering getting home in 9th, no doubt not the result he had hoped for, but his race certainly did not seem boring, uneventful or promising of more.

  2. Luca got a slap from F1 today

    1. And Bernie too.

    2. A slap from 22 taxi drivers ;-)

      1. A slap from 22 “silent” taxi drivers. ;)

  3. Now that’s a huge link

  4. If i was driving a car with a mercedes engine i would probably say the same.
    When teams like force india(who last year were mediocre) and williams (who scored zero) sudenly have the chance for a podium why whould the wana change anything?
    Mclaren in 2013 was nowhere, this year they have a great oportunity with the superior merc engine but they dont seem to take this advatage. They should be closer to the mercs.

    1. And yet Ron Dennis is making more sense than Bernie on the current state of F1. He said to quit down talking the sport and essentially, if you don’t like it to get out. While McLaren is better than last season, his team is not leading the standings at the moment and I don’t hear him crying to change the rules. I’m not a big Ron Dennis fan, but give credit where it is due.

      1. you can imagine then how lower they would be with a renault engine…
        A change in the engine department would be bad news for all mercedes engined teams because they could lose the power advantage over renault and ferrari engined cars they have now.

        1. McLaren is really in a year of transition even more so than other teams, with them going to Honda power next season. Hard to say how that will play out. They could come to regret moving from Mercedes.

          1. Not really, because they will once again be a works team with the design and integration positives that brings.

            I’m pretty sure a lot of data & ideas re: Mercedes’ engine design is flowing to Honda, no matter what they say or try to limit.

          2. I agree with you @bullmello that transition from the so far dominant MB PU to Honda’s, may be regreted. Remembering Honda’s later history in F1, I can’t see how this change will help McLaren to become again a dominant force. Reviving past partnerships, doesn’t bring success automatically.

          3. @optimaximal

            I’m pretty sure a lot of data & ideas re: Mercedes’ engine design is flowing to Honda

            I’m sure that you’re right but I’m also sure that for that exact reason that Mercedes are holding back certain sensitive information from McLaren which might otherwise help McLaren get the most out of the Merc power unit. As you say they will not be at this disadvantage next year with Honda when both will be working together to get the best out of the whole package.

          4. @JerseyF1 I’m not sure they could, lest Mercedes AMG open themselves up to anti-competition claims.
            McLaren will be getting all the data they need to run the engine and integrate it into the car, as will the other customers. They’ll also just have to look at the engine to see what Mercedes have done.

            The only thing Mercedes could do would be to limit the information about next years engine that goes out – something that McLaren don’t care about.

            At the end of the day, if Honda build basically the same engine as Mercedes, at least we’ll have two certainly competitive engines next year! :)

          5. @optimaximal Doing so might be anti-competitive but McLaren using information on the engine to help Honda would certainly be illegal. In both cases it would always be difficult to stop it happening to some extent and certainly difficult to prove. I doubt there will be anything as blatant as you suggest, McLaren engineers won’t have any opportunity to really look inside or understand fully the Mercedes engine since the engines are sealed after each race and the engineers working on the internals are presumably Mercedes engineers rather than McLaren ones.

          6. @jerseyf1, @optimaximal, @leongtv6, @bullmello
            this conversation made me realise why Renaults engine is so bad this year……..
            Apparently Torro Rosso learned in 2013 the ferrari engine secrets and “know how” and brought them to renault for developing theire new engine :)

  5. The new formula is working. Just 3 races in we experienced one of the best races in a long while. The powers that be need to let this develop without changing things early on.

    The most undesirable noises in F1 emanate from Bernie, complaining about everything, talking down his own sport whilst making evil plots to get around the FIA and seize more control than what he already has. A race like today’s was probably his worst nightmare. It makes nearly all of his complaints appear unfounded and somewhat ignorant.

    3 races in, teams racing teams for the podium, team mates openly racing each other for points positions, tires that decent, DRS is less of a factor partly due to the new power units with power throughout the power curve, what’s not to like? It is clear that one team is ahead of the rest at this point, but no less than 4 teams are fighting moment by moment for best of the rest.

    One of Bernie’s arguments is that it is too difficult for the fans to understand the complexities of the new regs. That is a bit insulting really. As our lives are surrounded more and more by technology and enhanced in many ways because of it, it only makes sense that sports built on technology keep pace with the times. Average, everyday people are doing things with their smartphones, tablets and computers that seemed impossible not even 10 years ago. Hybrid cars on the road and in racing make a lot of sense in a world that thrives on advancing technologies. This formula makes sense in many ways. Give it a chance to grow and keep developing.

    1. Now that’s well spoken!

    2. And we should be satisfied to see who is the best of the rest?
      I am not against the new type formula, i am against of not giving engine manufactures the chance to freely develope theire power units and equal the field.

      1. @cosmas, In an ideal world I would (do) agree with you, but any competition between engine/PU manufacturers is better than the old equalised engines.

      2. @cosmas – Agree with your point that more development would be good. One step at a time, I suppose.

        With what the teams can do through the rest of the season, they all need to figure out how to get closer to Mercedes and try to surpass them. FI, McLaren and Williams all have Mercedes power. They need to discover what Mercedes is doing different or what they can do better. Look at what Red Bull is doing with less power, it is amazing really, although not all that surprising. I think one of these teams may break through to challenge Mercedes, but can they do it before it’s too late?

        1. The Mercedes superiority was explained on Sky. They’ve had over 2 yrs to develope their engine with their chassis.They have a different turbo system to everyone else so that they are able to position the gearbox differently and also have smaller sidepods giving better aero package. The likes of Mclaren etc only got the units last yr giving them less time to develope the cars

      3. We shouldn’t, nor should the other teams @cosmas. But just look how close Ricciardo got from starting 13th, and Vettel with a car that was not working perfectly from 10th. As soon as they get more out of that Renault, so I doubt this is an advantage Mercedes can maintain for too long.
        But the point is, that we still have great racing despite one team being clearly ahead AND we have the potential for others to improve the software and reliability of their engines and catch up really soon.

    3. +1, the pity is that it needed to be said.

    4. @bullmello COTD in my mind, especially with the bit about Bernie underestimating the intellect of the audience. I would wager it’s that same belief of our stupidity that had Bernie convinced he would get away with the double points finale.

    5. @bullmello I have no idea why they would think that the casual fan couldn’t follow it. Ok they’d need to have DRS explained but there’s on less thing to explain now driver controlled kers has gone. Surely any viewer casual or otherwise can appreciate that if you use too much fuel, you’re in trouble, nobody is required to know the technical ins and outs of the fuel flow meter, so in the end the only thing I find hard to understand is why BE & LdM think we wouldn’t be able to understand F1 2014 when we understood F1 2009-2013

    6. Agree with @bforth …. Should be COTD Well said.

  6. You forgot to close the link tag, Keith. Great news from Button though!

  7. it’s clearly every bit as good as it ever was in terms of on-track spectacle

    Well, no one has been complaining about that. The things people have been complaining about -mainly the lack of sound thrill- is still present, and will always be present, regardless of how good the racing is.

  8. Are you kiddin’ us Jenson? I think that the team has made two steps behind in terms of pace…The car is slower than FIs, so talking for podium finish today doesn’t make sense, and slower than the Red Bulls(who have worse PU and had lots of problems during pre-season) so even the fifth place was in doubt…

    1. Did you even watch the race? BUTTON was right with the FIs during the whole race. He was ACTUALLY in FRONT of the likes of HULK before the first pit stop. His had fresher tires at the restart too.

      1. Of course I watched the race…And it’s something completely different to catch up with someone’s pace from overtaking him. And let’s say he overtook Hulk, could he catch Perez? I ‘m afraid not…And what about Ricciardo?That man had pace…

        1. Incorrect.
          Prior to the Safety Car, Daniel was far too far behind to threaten Button, especially given the strategies they both were on, whereas Button did have a shot at the FIs.

          Whether he would have passed both FIs is another matter, and I believe he probably would have finished fourth after getting close to Perez…

          But, yes… I do believe battling for a Podium was possible for Button, had the Safety Car and Gear Box Issues not occurred.
          Button was solid throughout the entire race.

      2. So my friend, what did go wrong and after the 1st pitstop Jenson dropped behind Hulkenberg?

    2. Maybe it was not what the team would have hoped for, but certainly having a good shot at the podium (and that was realistic before the SC and before reliability got Button), is a major improvement from last year @leongtv6

      1. Yeah, I agree with you that the team has improved compared to last year’s results, but battling for a podium is not good for McLaren’s standards…With that PU and those facilities and budget(I know that money doesn’t bring success itself), McLaren should be close to Mercedes. Well, let’s hope that the team will find its way and challenge for victories with F1’s return to Europe.

  9. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    6th April 2014, 20:54

    Egg on face. Foot in mouth. Humble pie for breakfast, lunch and dinner. F1, in perhaps one of its greatest hours of need, serves up a true classic: one of the finest dry races of the past decade? Will this be the race to persuade the big wigs not to tamper with the rejuvenated formula of F1? Will this be the race to persuade fans that silver domination has not simply replaced Vettel domination? In the 900th edition of a F1 grand prix the sport delivers a true watershed moment, both in terms of this year’s championship, with Hamilton proving that he can take it to an on form Rosberg, and with Ricciardo proving to Vettel that he’s going to be far from a walkover, but more importantly in terms of the bigger picture, with the new formula emphatically proving that it can deliver great racing in 2014. Despite the fact that I am probably one of the sport’s older fans, and a trackside veteran of V12s, V10s and V8s alike, I have always been a die-hard an avid fan of the attempt to incentivise the development of fuel efficient technology through F1 competition, an am glad that it appears not to have remotely spoilt the show. Ladies and gentlemen, rejoice, because now the critics are silenced and F1 is very much saved…

    1. @william-brierty, Totally agree. The question now must be which is better; the ear-shattering howl of Marchs critics, or, the much lower grumble of April ?

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        7th April 2014, 12:40

        @hohum – The fact that I, and many other fans I’m sure, have already rewatched the race surely answers that question…

        1. I’ve just done likewise. It’s one of those that will remain in the library ready for re-watching in the future.

          1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            9th April 2014, 11:14

            @deej92 – Is that code for “I’m planning to torrent the Sky Sports coverage”?

    2. @william-brierty – Well said. Also as one of the more long time fans of the sport, since the days of Jim Clark, this race really is a breakthrough moment in the history of the sport. We have seen so many changes to F1 over the years, some beneficial, some not.

      To me, the best formula is one that allows drivers to demonstrate their skills in fierce competition with each other like we saw today. I wish for races to be as exciting as today’s no matter who wins and while realizing that all races may not be as thrilling as this one. This shows F1 is on the right track.

      1. ^^This!!!

      2. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        7th April 2014, 12:37

        @bullmello – Exactly Mr Bull, if we can present truly great racing in tandem with incentivising the development of greener technology, then frankly, F1 is a), as you say, on the right track, and b) its longevity is very much secured. The plaudits for this fabulous sporting spectacle should go to Mercedes, for letting their drivers race, and the FIA, for remaining steadfast in the rejuvenation of F1, and not compromising this winning formula in favour of a more moderate approach following criticism.

    3. I’m a veteran too having watched F1 since 1965 so i’ve seen many changes over the years. We all complain at the start but you get used to it by the middle of the season certainly nowadays with it now extended. What happened to the 9 races a season lol

  10. JB not complaining? F1 isn’t the same…

  11. Well I disagree with Button. Me and millions of lifetime fans.

    1. Well, I agree with Button. Myself and hundreds of millions of lifetime fans.

    2. Well I agree with Button. Me and millions of lifetime fans.

      See. That was easy.

      Might be an idea to tell us why you disagree with Button. Because I am one hundred percent in agreement with him – today’s race was a shining example of how things in this new formula can be. Wheel to wheel racing, between everyone, for almost every lap of the grand prix. What’s not to like.

      What exactly didn’t you like about today’s race to make such a bold statement @f12014sucks ?

    3. yes, as with the post above, I am too curious why you disagree with Button that F1 is “every bit as good as ever” @f12014sucks.

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