WEC switch possible for Button – manager

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Jenson Button could switch to the World Endurance Championship if he loses his F1 seat.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Jenson Button of McLaren Button may swap F1 for endurance racing (BBC)

“Button’s manager Richard Goddard described the world endurance championship as a ‘formidable series that is gaining strength It is a very credible race series to compete in.'”

Mercedes: Ferrari needs new calculator (Autosport)

Toto Wolff: “If you have a development cycle in-season, and you bring a new spec in season for the end of June/end of July then the whole development process, because the most expensive bit is running parts on the dyno, is happening twice a year.”

Hamilton and Rosberg told not to change approach (F1)

Wolff: “Of course 92 points means [Ricciardo] would need to win all three remaining races and Lewis [Hamilton] not score eight points. Even though I am a pessimist, that would be a ‘black swan, black swan, black swan’ event.”

‘First-class’ Putin could run Europe or America, says Bernie: F1 tycoon praises Russian leader during newspaper interview (Daily Mail)

“He could control Europe or America; he is able to deal with it. But I think he is very busy. Let him finish what he’s doing and then we’ll see.”

F1 plans trip to Las Vegas for grand prix on The Strip (The Independent)

“‘Vegas say they are ready to go and it would be on The Strip for sure,’ said Ecclestone, referring to the famous road which runs through the centre of Las Vegas and is lined with casino resorts including the Bellagio and Caesars Palace.”

Smedley: Alonso not a disruptive character (Crash)

“I am very much surprised that [Alonso and Ferrari have] parted ways. It was obviously a mutual agreement, or disagreement, whatever you want to call it.”

Dealing with Formula One’s down side (ESPN)

“In 1977, questions were asked and lessons learned. But there was none of the, to quote [Karun] Chandhok, ‘insensitive and annoying’ need for a deep and meaningful personal reaction from anyone remotely involved because you, the viewer and reader, allegedly need to know.”


Comment of the day

Are Pirelli only getting negative PR out of Formula One?

every time I see Paul Hembery appear on TV now I rather think he’s gained the world-weary attitude of a man that knows whatever he and the company he works for do, it’s gonna get criticised. The tyres are too soft or there’s too many pitstops or there’s too many marbles or the drivers can’t push or the tyres explode or the tyres are too hard or the tyre won’t switch on or the race is boring because the tyre won’t degrade or the compounds aren’t right or the wet weather version isn’t very good or…

I just have a feeling Pirelli will pack it up soon, there’s only so much good PR that comes out of being sole supplier and I think they’ll think they’ve had most of it now.

Which would be a shame, because I think they’ve done a lot for F1, so hopefully I’m wrong.
Robert McKay

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On this day in F1

Jenson Button won the world championship five years ago today in the Brazilian Grand Prix, while Mark Webber claimed victory in the race:

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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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77 comments on “WEC switch possible for Button – manager”

  1. Oh Bernie, you massive idiot.

    1. Old farty likes Hitler (few years ago during interview he said some controversial things), now he likes Putin. If he was a president of a country, he’d be a tyron.

    2. +1 million

    3. True but he is smart enough to know to say only nice things about such a dangerous and powerful man.

      1. @6speed Ya nobody said Putin isn’t smart.

  2. I’ve made it clear before that I’m no fan of Bernie’s. But surely CVC can see that he’s utterly toxic now? The bile he spouts is… Actually I’m going to stop there. I had this grand diatribe planed, but I’m just tired of the odious little dwarf now. I’ll watch and enjoy the racing, but I can’t love my sport while villains like him are in charge.

    1. Hear hear.

    2. Plus plus plus one. Having just read that interview, the man is just an aberration. He’s a greedy, right wing, narrow minded ignoramus who cares about nothing but money (like we didn’t already know that!). Knowing that he is in charge makes it hard to love Formula One sometimes (those ‘Bernie says’ things really wind me up!!)

      1. And the worst thing being how cynical it is openly assumed.

    3. I remember two or three years ago reading a report on this site stating that some thugs had mugged Bernie on his way out his office building with his then wife and ran off with some of their jewelery and personal items.
      I want to take this time to send a belated thanks to those thugs for doing what we all wish we could do.

      1. While I wouldn’t condone a criminal act, mugging F1 has been Bernie’s game for over a decade now ;p

      2. Where they caught eventually? I can’t remember…

        1. I don’t recall. Why? You think they should make another run at him? Lol he probably hired them so he could claim the insurance.

          1. Laughing at someone being mugged is not on.

    4. Whenever I see Putin I can remember Gandhi, he is too good.

    5. Agreed. Also, the comment “He could control Europe or America; he is able to deal with it. But I think he is very busy. Let him finish what he’s doing and then we’ll see”… does Bernie know something we don’t about the extent of Russia’s military ambitions, because I’m not sure Putin could win elections throughout the US and Europe… or does Bernie think Putin can just declare he’s running the show? No wait, silly question, sorry.

      1. The operative word here being ‘control’. Not ‘run’, not ‘operate’, not ‘lead’…’control’.

    6. Right on the money. Ecclestone may have virtually created the F1 we know today but he is now so totally out of touch with the reality of civilised public opinion and sentiment that he has become a one-man wrecking ball. The western world knows quite well the scale of threat to civilisation that Putin poses. It has seen his kind before. To paraphrase Auden ‘ he lifts his finger and children die in the street’.
      And the damage Ecclestone is doing to F1 now is so catastrophic it will take a miracle and many, many painful years to overcome.
      Even now I watch F1 folk fawning over this evil little man with barely contained bitterness and anger. And the sight of Ecclestone himself treating
      people like Putin as a decent human being is nauseating.

      1. Ecclestone praising Putin is absolutely disgraceful especially to the families and the folks in the countries where the MH17 victims came from. Ecclestone has no respect and/or consideration for what has happened in world politics as long as the F1 show and his money tree continues on irrespective of what he does or stands for. It’s disgraceful to see a man like Ecclestone idolise Putin and in such obvious circumstances as he did at Sochi.

    7. He may be toxic for many of the fans but he’s exactly the type of guy CVC want as most of the people who want to host GP’s these days are tyrants/dictators and you couldn’t do the sort of deals Bernie does without being entirely free of morals and ethics.
      Regardless of what most fans think about Putin the fact is that he has personally signed up for a contract that earns £millions for CVC, why then would they want Bernie say anything but good things about him ?
      We can moan about Bernie as much as we want but few of us are going to boycott the sport because of him so it’s not costing CVC anything and is therefore irrelevant, he’ll keep his job as long as he keeps making them money.

  3. Keith – have you at any point in the past done any sort of diagram as to the financial structure of F1 (as best as it is known).

    Specifically, how profits are shared between teams, what (if anything) tracks/hosts make. Basically how the money filters down to the people at the bottom. There must be some data out there.

    All I ever read is that Bernie takes most of it, one or two teams get a lot, and the rest get hardly anything. So it would be nice to see some sort of simplified guide to where it all goes.

    If you have done this before please excuse my ignorance.

    1. As most details are only in confidential contracts its mostly guesswork to find out @mach1

  4. I soo agree with Chandhok!!!!! It seems like everyone and their little sister who has ever heard the words F1 is tweeting how deeply they care about the fate of someone they probably never even heard of the day before! Seeing what fellow drivers and people directly involved feel about this might be (emphasis on might) interesting and give us some insight in how these people deal with what is inherently a dangerous business, but all those others….we really, really , REALLY don’t need to know. I feel glad someone “within” the world of F1 has said so.

    As for Bernie’s comments on one mr. Vladimir Putin … I think we put Bernie in a retirement home now for sure (to use the F1 worlds favorite 2 words) Because a comment like that , to anyone even remotely informed about the subject, would have to come from a senile person….

    1. It’s billionaire syndrome… you don’t need to be informed about anything, if you think it, it must be right (and yes, I know not all billionaires are like this, but a disturbing proportion seem to be).

  5. Jenson would be a perfect fit for the WEC, and it would be yet another high class driver joining the series. But as improbable as it seems, I’d absolutely love to see him in IndyCar. For any driver who retires or leaves F1, joining IndyCar is something which I imagine to be a very appealing option. Aside from racing, he could easily go down the Coulthard route and become a TV analyst or presenter – something which he would be great at I’m sure (that’s if he wanted to do it of course). Overall, he’s such a charismatic guy and a brilliant driver that he should have plenty of options after he retires. I’m sure I share the same sentiments as many others when I say that he will be sorely missed when he leaves the Formula One grid. For me, I’m just trying to cherish and appreciate seeing him in these final three races as these are most likely going to be his last.

    1. I would love to see Jenson in the WEC. World Sportcar racing has been getting better and better over the last few years.

    2. Button competing in IndyCar would certainly be exciting, and a coup for the series, but I really can’t see him doing that. The WEC on the other hand, would probably suit him nicely.

      1. I agree, Indy Car is a little too rough and tumble for Button, I think. WEC would wonderfully suit his thinking style.

  6. Very logical move for Button – if it’s going to happend. In theory he should ace WEC, in theory remember.

    @ As for Ferrari; they really need a new calculator. A good horse kick from Toto Wolff and Mercedes, Ferrari deserved that! (And I am and always will be a tifosi, but I’m fed up with illusions and misery and average achievement. Typically for the Scuderia it is).

    1. You’re a tifoso, or a tifosa if you’re a female. Tifosi is plural. :)

    2. I would place an outside bet Seb moves to Honda along side his close friend… Nothing firm stated other than Seb leaving RB. Now Honda employing the drivers…hmmm

  7. Hitler, Saddam and now Putin. You choose your friends well Mr. Ecclestone

    1. Unfair allegations. Hitler and Putin? Are you sane? When you are from colonist nations. Great work. If anything European have no right to comment or even Americans because they invaded in past and still do

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        18th October 2014, 8:33

        @nin13, before replying you should (try to) understand the comment you reply to.
        It is a well publicised fact Bernie admired these three; that is what @melthom refers to. You make up your mind if you want to have those three as friends.

      2. Here is a Daily Mail story about Ecclestone’s comments on Hitler:


        Next, some dodgy comments about Jews:


        I’m not entirely sure why you’re claiming that the allegations about Ecclestone and Putin are unfair when this story includes an extract from an interview where Ecclestone (drum roll) praises Putin. Did you even read the link or did you just come here looking to be outraged?

        As for your comments about colonist nations, I have no idea what you’re talking about. Do these countries persecute colons? What is their position on semi colons and apostrophes?

        You should probably not question other people’s sanity either.

    2. I wouldn’t be surprised if Obama decides to give Bernie a “proper treatment”

  8. If F1 goes back to Vegas, that is going to be very disappointing… and this comment comes from an American. With all due respect to anyone here who lives and or likes Las Vegas, glamorous and sophisicated F1 does not belong in such a tacky, gaudy place. It’s great for events, but not for something as European as F1. No one liked it in the early 80’s, and no one will like it now. A race somewhere in Los Angeles (Long Beach or Fontana would be nice) or San Francisco would be nice…

    1. Don’t worry, a race anywhere in the Americas can’t be held at night (because then it would be Monday around 2am in Europe) and using Bernie’s logic a race in Las Vegas wouldn’t make any sense at all if it isn’t run at night, so I don’t think this is happening.

      1. I think it will most likely will be held during the daytime during sometime early in the year (March or April) to suit European television, which is even worse than it being held at night. I’ve been to Vegas a few times- The Strip looks spectacular at night with all the hotel and attraction lights- but believe me, during the day, it looks as dead and as lifeless that the desert that surrounds it. And the tackiness and gaudiness that lies under that skin of spectacular lights is, once on discovers it, very off-putting. And the race can’t be held in summer because Vegas has average temperatures of 40 C (104 F) during time.

      2. (If this event is held, of course. Hopefully not)

    2. I would love it if they bought Long Beach back. Such an iconic and brilliant race track

      1. I have read somewhere that the surface is so not suitable for an f1 car…ie way to bumpy…it could be brought back, but definitely needs resurfacing…it would be a very nice race, and well attended for sure.

    3. A race in parking lot of Caesar’s palace.

    4. Bernie mentions a race in Vegas, so …

      The only thing we can be reasonably sure of, is that he does NOT plan any race there (surely why would Vegas need to pay F1 when they have a great gig going without it?).

      So then, its likely he is finalizing a different deal that could be annouced come Austin. South Korea back on then in a new place? Or are any contracts coming up for renewal?

    5. Don’t worry, it won’t happen. Just like New Jersey.

  9. Pirelli is okay with F1 don’t worry. Pirelli is making money directly from the teams and they get publicity, some of them they pay back and the other part is the simply exposure they get when any team puts their boots on. This type of the deal, when an official supplier actually gets paid means the FOM didn’t had any other viable choice to supply the sport, obviously as soon as possible it is likely that if anyone’s interested, FOM will look at that.

  10. Jonathan Sarginson
    18th October 2014, 3:21

    …WEC is the best place for Jensen…the best place for any aspiring driver…it’s a far better series right now than an F1 run by Mr Ecclestone…really it’s time for him to go now before someone does it for him!…

  11. I hope Mercedes doesn’t agree to the unfreeze. Ferrari used politics a lot to maintain their advantage during the Schumacher era and it’s just a shame seeing them whine so much now that they are on the other side of the fence.

  12. In my oppinion Botton should do it .. Join a top team like Porsche or Nissan in WEC, and be set for another couple of years at the top of motor racing. Rather then Mclaren making him go, or only keeping him for another year, he should decide his future for himself. Somehow i expact his driving style to suit WEC rather well. I hope it happens. Beside, Magnussen should get another chance (not that it is of any concern for Button).

    1. @me4me – I’m not sure whether Jenson will race for Porsche since twelve months ago, following Webber’s departure, he said that Le Mans posed no interest to him but that DTM would be of interest because of the quality of the field. With Paffet beginning to lose his speed, surely it’s a slam-dunk for Mercedes? Also, with Porsche unwilling to field more than three cars, who would Button replace? In the #14 car they have Lieb and Jani, probably their two fastest drivers, alongside the invaluable experience of Romain Dumas, and in the #20 they have Webber, their headline driver, alongside Bernhard and Hartley, who have taken to LMP cars like ducks to water. Hartley is the only realistic candidate for Button to replace, but I think he is more likely to wind up at Nissan with Vergne, albeit I hear Audi are getting frustrated with Fassler’s lack of pace relative to his teammates.

  13. Pirelli have gone the entire year faultlessly, everybody has even been praising them, yet they make one poor decision, which is then altered without fuss, and suddenly people are talking about them, about how rubbish they are, about how they need to sort themselves out, and may quit soon, etc.

    Rubbish. Pirelli have done nothing wrong, and have earnt the right to stay (as well as the contract of course).

    In fairness, Hembrey is a completely useless when it comes to the media and PR, but otherwise where is the issue?

    1. Actually the tires in Sochi were their poor decision. But still I agree, overall, Pirelli have got things very right this year.

  14. If Button loses his seat this year it would be simmilar to when Hill lost his seat at Williams. It was just as unjust, as it would be now. The main difference is Hill got the news a lot earlier in the season, around the German GP, though all of the better seats were already taken.

    1. You can’t compare both. Williams didn’t want to pay Hill more money as a world champion. Button is being paid extremely well.
      Fact is even if Button was told last year this would be the last season, there would still be no available seat.
      Williams can’t afford him.
      Ferrari had their drivers.
      Mercedes had committed drivers.
      Redbull do their own thing.
      Lotus still owe their drivers money.
      Force India can’t afford him
      Sauber can’t afford their paying drivers.
      I left out two teams because Bernie want 3 car teams, nothing to do with their finances.

      1. Actually they are both very similar. Neither about the money and both about a works engine deal. HHF was signed because of BMW. Alonso is coming in because of Honda. But Button’s management should surely have a back up plan as McLaren have blatantly been wooing Alonso since last summer. I would also hate to see Button leave the sport after a year of Alonso doing a Kimi on him. It might be the right time for him to decide his own future.

        1. I would love to see a Button and Alonso McLaren team next year, how many ridiculed him for joining McLaren stating Lewis would embarrass him. Well I for one believe that Jenson would certainly hold his own against Alonso.

          1. petebaldwin (@)
            18th October 2014, 15:29

            @sars – If McLaren design a good car and the Honda engine is competitive, Button could hold his own. Alonso is in a class of his own though when it comes to dragging a poor car towards the front of the field.

          2. Alonso and Button would be a top, top line-up. I would love to see it as many others would.

            If Button is replaced, the only alternative in F1, and it’s a real long-shot, is Williams. I know they have Bottas and Massa tied down for next year, but if Button took a pay-cut Williams may have their heads turnt. Massa would probably make way. But it is a long-shot, especially with their Brazilian sponsors. There is no other top seat remotely available.

          3. I honestly believe Button will give Alonso hell. I would not be at all surprised to see Button beat him either.

            But regardless, I firmly believe that a Button-Alonso pairing would be the strongest on the grid and assuming the Merc doesn’t have the ridiculous advantage it has this year, they would surely bring home the WCC for McLaren Honda.

            McLaren and Honda have rocks in their head if they get rid of Button and keep magnussen! What better way to announce your re-entrance into F1 than with 2 world champions bringing home the constructors championship your first year back???

      2. Button paired with Raikkonen could be good for Ferrari. Senior experienced drivers, albeight not so fast anymore.

  15. Didn’t Button said earlier he wasn’t interested in WEC. Now he all of a sudden is losing his seat his mananger says otherwise…

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      18th October 2014, 12:02

      I would make the same u-turn if that’s the only option on the table.

  16. Pirelli’s entrance to F1 was a mistake, which did not produce benefits to anybody.

    During all these years they were just critisized, so didn’t get as good promotion as anybody expected. On the other hand, they didn’t deserve that, because in comparison to Bridgestone, their tyres were always slower and degrading more. Of course, they were asked to produce degrading tyres, but they tried too hard.

    I wish some other supplier entered F1, which is more professional.

    1. you’re getting it wrong: pirelli do as Bernie asks. Bernie wanted fast burning tyres to improve the show. If it were a couple of tyre suppliers, it will be a different story, because none of them will want to be seeing the ones who made the tyres of plasticine! they’ll surely made them more durable to outperforme the other

      1. +1

  17. “Let him finish what he’s doing and then we’ll see.”

    Wait, was that Bernie giving Putin a pass to invade Europe and America?

  18. I’ve got to agree with Karun Chandhok. I’ve become heartily sick of the F1 media pack constantly calling on drivers to emote for the cameras about Jules. To put things in perspective, three young riders have died in the past three days in horseracing events. Two were teenagers, and two were young women. Thankfully, that sport doesn’t need pit lane dollybirds with microphones asking other riders how they feel about it all.

  19. I personally disagree with Bernie Ecclestone as well. Mr. Putin could not possibly run the United States of America: he is nowhere near sufficiently morally bankrupt for that.

  20. I think a move to the WEC would be brilliant, for him its a chance to become world champion in two different types of racing, the WEC would receive another popularity boost as it did when Webber joined and the WEC is a growing championship, plus Nissan is joining next year which means six new p1 seats, so a space might just open at Porsche. Plus there are rumors that Honda is getting involved too.

  21. I think Rosberg will have some problems.

  22. Autocrats always love each other unless they’re competing for the same thing.

    I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if Ferrari were so structurally inefficient that they could take on just about anything without increasing costs.

  23. Alonso is not disruptive says Rob Smedley, and I think he has very much right. Mark Hughes in MotorsportMagazine hot it wrong about Fernando.

    1. Yeah really ask Ron Dennis. He will be able to tell.

    2. superb comments about Alonso from a long term admirer “Smedley” .. it’s a bad loss for Ferrari and we will get to know in due time how much of an effect that really has on them as a team
      Alonso will drive for McLaren and they will be among the top 2 teams next year

  24. Button is leaving McLaren isn’t he.

    Mag and Alo for 2015.

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