Button: This could be my last F1 race

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In the round-up: Jenson Button acknowledges he may not start another Formula One race after Sunday if he fails to keep his place at McLaren.

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Jenson Button Q&A: I know this could be my final Grand Prix (F1)

“I’ve had some good chats with people about racing in WEC. Who knows! It looks very interesting and you obviously give it a bit of a thought.”

Button won’t try new McLaren wing (Autosport)

“The problem is you have to bolt the parts onto the car and that takes hours to do so for me to do that tomorrow is impossible.”

‘Slow zone’ idea abandoned after Abu Dhabi experiment (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“An experiment with a Le Mans-style ‘slow zone’ in FP1 and FP2 today did not work, so the FIA is switching its focus back to a virtual safety car as it addresses the yellow flag issue for next year.”

Caterham administrator to probe ex-management (Reuters)

Finbarr O’Connell: “I’m clearly trying to sell the business, but another thing I have to do is investigate how the business was run, and anybody who has run it improperly or who owes it money, I have a duty to investigate them.”

O’Connell races to save Caterham (The Telegraph)

“Finbarr O’Connell has run gold mines, Ukrainian wheat farms and been on standby to take over a nuclear power plant, but running a beleaguered Formula One team still ranks among the Irishman’s more bizarre and demanding challenges.”

Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix 2014: I don’t have to win, but I always drive that way, says Lewis Hamilton (The Independent)

“Win or lose Hamilton represents the best of Britain, an ethnic beacon and raving good news story at the end of a week in which a gormless football club chairman reminded us that the fight against prejudice and casual racism in sport is far from won.”

This sport will become a joke if Hamilton is not crowned world champion in Abu Dhabi (Daily Mail)

“If Hamilton finishes top two — as he has done in the last six races — order will reign and the integrity of the event will be maintained. If Hamilton finishes lower — or worst-case scenario, not at all — a sport already beleaguered by courtroom battles and economic crisis will plunge towards its greatest controversy yet.”


Comment of the day

Romain Grosjean’s tough 20-place grid penalty drew some criticism but could Lotus have handled this better?

My first thought was why don’t Lotus replace everything and then get a pit lane start. Then I realised that maybe they have too many of some of their sixth parts (or even third or fourth) still unused (e.g. Energy Store and control electronics). In this case it seems like:

1. The penalty system isn’t quite right yet because his penalty seems to be worse than if he was on a sixth of all parts (i.e. complete sixth power unit).

2. Have Lotus shot themselves in the foot by not using components at least once sooner to make sure they could do a complete sixth power unit in this circumstance. Surely it’s possible to run all of the five available pieces by the last third of the season, even if just for a single practice session, so that the option of a complete sixth power unit is available should it be preferable in terms of the penalty.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Clare Msj, Dane, Rachel and Richard!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Five years ago today the US F1 team – which was doomed never to start a race – announced Jose Maria Lopez as one of their drivers for their planned assault on the 2010 championship.

Lopez, formerly a member of Renault’s F1 driver development programme, went on to become a multiple champion in Argentina’s TC2000 touring car series. Following a switch to the World Touring Car Championship title with Citroen this year he took the title at Suzuka last month.

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59 comments on “Button: This could be my last F1 race”

  1. While I’ve never been a fan of him, I’m going to miss Jenson if he leaves next year. A very solid and all-around driver overall. Decent in qualifying, usually very good in the races, excellent in the wet and changing conditions, and a clean wheel-to-wheel racer. His 2009 title is severely underrated by most people because of the double diffuser saga. He took advantage of his car superiority early on (6 out of 7 races), and once Red Bull overtook Brawn in the development race, he kept his cool and continued to consistently score points. His 2004 and 2006 campaigns are also very underrated.

    Speaking of which, I rewatched the 2006 Hungarian GP yesterday evening. An absolutely brilliant race from him, 14th to 1st in an inferior Honda. People keep on harping about Canada 2011 (no idea why, probably because it’s more recent), his drive at Hungary 2006 was way better than Canada 2011.

    1. The reason I watch sport almost every day, rather than TV shows or films, is because of its unpredictability. In a season that had started with Sebastian Vettel taking six out of seven poles and five out of six victories, and in a race that looked like it might be called off because of the atrocious weather, nobody could have predicted that Jenson Button would go from last place on lap 37, having been involved in two collisions, to winning the race with an overtake on Vettel on the final lap.

      I remember being very bored during the rain delay and feeling resigned to another dominant Vettel victory after the restart, but I literally shouted with delight when Button made that pass. Maybe Button drove better in Hungary in 2006, but for the sheer range of emotions I went through during the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix, it is and will remain one of my all-time favourite races. That’s why I might harp on about it every once in a while :)

      I hope Button gets to stay at McLaren. I have long thought that the team would prefer to keep Magnussen and are hoping that Button will take the decision out of their hands so they don’t look like they’ve ditched their most successful driver over the last five years. Perhaps Button doesn’t want to give them the satisfaction! He’s earned the right to have another year.

      1. Canada 2011 was the race that ignited my sustained interest in F1. I watched it in its entirety, throughout all the rain and the delays where commentators force out things to say. When he passed Vettel on that last lap I shook the house down to its foundations. A real fairytale story, last to first. I understand he was helped by a few factors but you can’t deny his drive that day was phenomenal.

        I must watch Hungary 2006, I have warm, yet vague, memories of it, being only 11 or 12 years old at the time. Had to be a special one for Button’s first win.

        I’ve changed my opinion about Button’s future at McLaren. At one point I was resigned to the fate of the uncontroversial, controlled, reliable Button being dropped at McLaren for an emerging danish rookie, but now I’m wholly behind Button’s plight for a place. His qualifying pace isn’t anything to shout about, but he gets the job done in the races for sure. A reliable, intelligent, fair pair of hands that would be great paired with the solid, quick machine that is Alonso. Give Magnussen a TD role for a year, drop Button next year unless he really sets the world alight, then promote Kevin.

        If that Honda turns out to be a beast and the aero package gets wrapped up by Peter and the lads, I’d wouldn’t choose any other 2 drivers for going for that WCC

      2. Canada 2011 was the best sporting event I have ever watched. It was a joy to watch it live on TV, through the wicked hours of the morning.

        If Jenson leaves, he’ll be sorely missed.

        To be honest though, I’ve missed him for a couple of years now. And I’ve missed McLaren as well…

      3. @estesark
        Button made his way from the back of the field to win the race in both Hungary 2006 and Canada 2011, but his drive at Hungary was way better for several reasons.

        1. In Hungary 2006, he was faultless. At Canada 2011, he had several collisions with both Hamilton and Alonso.
        2. The McLaren was the best car in the wet in 2011. In contrast, by no stretch of the imagination did Honda have the best car in 2006.
        3. Hungary without DRS is way, way more difficult to overtake than Canada with DRS.

        I can understand why people remember Canada 2011 so much, because it was such an intense race; but by every objective measure, Jenson’s drive at Hungary 2006 was far more impressive (to me, anyway).

        1. @kingshark

          Like I said in my first comment:

          Maybe Button drove better in Hungary in 2006

          In other words, I’m not disagreeing with you :) I almost mentioned your points 2 and 3 myself but decided they weren’t really relevant to what I was saying.

        2. Oeiiiiiiiiiiii! (another davidnotcoulthard account) (@)
          22nd November 2014, 3:39

          @kingshark @estesark I guess we can say Jenson perhaps drove better in Hungary 2006 but it was his mistakes in Canada 2011 that made the race, for the audience, better, and more memorable.

        3. hungary 2006 was a good race by Jenson, all right… but it should have been a stunning win for Alonso, one of the best victories of all time, after arguably the best first lap ever. Unfortunately a mech’s mistake at the last pitstop ruined his race and Jenson got lucky.

    2. This could be the last time
      This could be the last time
      Baby the last time, I don’t know-oh
      Oh no.

    3. I desperately want him to go to WEC (Nissan is looking for drivers, and there is 1 spot has opened at Audi). I think that his careful and calculated driving style would be of great use in 24 hour race. Also next year’s Le Mans is going to be better than F1.

      1. I’d love this too! Might be the catalyst that finally gets the Dirge family off to Le Mans next year, something I’ve been meaning to do for years.

      2. Button + Webber….

          1. Almost too good to be true. We shall wait and see…

    4. How did you watch the race again? Do you have a personal copy or is it online?

  2. Sadly it seems more and more obvious he will leave. All promo stuff for McLaren now uses solely Kmag and his lack of new wing they’re testing for next year, points to only one outcome.

  3. Regarding the COTD, @jerseyf1 himself said later on that the notion he put forward in 2. was invalid as Lotus did use all five units from all six components before switching to a sixth in some of those cases.

    On the other hand, the post still is a surefire COTD for me as well, purely because of 1.

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      22nd November 2014, 4:18

      @atticus-2, agree.
      On 1) (penalty system not quite right): No PU related penalty should be worse than starting from the pit lane.
      Thus in this case Lotus should be offered the opportunity to start Grosjean from the pit lane as an alternative (total) penalty. I am quite sure they would take that.

  4. If Mclaren is not retaining Jenson for 2015, I will be one of those people who won’t be supporting Mclaren anymore!

    1. Dare I say it, me too. I’ve really took a shine to Williams’ this season. Claire seems like a great lass

      1. Yeah, me too, specially with Alonso in there… Who gives a damn about the team anyway? F1 is a drivers sport, no matter where they finish.

    2. Me too. Can’t believe that his F1 career is ending like this. He gets a crap car for two years and then they dump him way to late for him to get another drive. And has anyone noticed that Jenson’s team t-shirt has been discounted in the McLaren store but Magnussen’s hasn’t? So sad.

  5. it’s such a shame that Pechito López didn’t get a F1 seat. He’s a trully gifted driver, but getting some big sponsors like much brazilians do, is something impossible in this country -we all live by football. He not only is a multiple TC2000 champion, he came close to win the triple crown of Argentinian touring cars in the same season (TRV6, TC2000 and TC – this is: prototypes with 3.0 V6 engines and RWD in TRV6, 2.0 Inline 4 FWD in TC2000, and (this is amazing) 3.0 inline 6 from cars builted in the 60’s-70’s with 400bhp and RWD) the man clearly can adapt to any car you can throw at him, it would be great to see him on F1…

    1. Sounds like you have great local racing.

      1. @hohum we HAD, nowadays they are all boring shows, changing formats all the time.

        @matiascasali TC’s hardly get over 300 hp :P and BTW, I don’tthink touring cars is a good parameter. Matias Rossi can beat the guy any day in cars with a roof, really. But Lopez failed to impress in GP2 and that was very much it… It was part sponsors, part own performances.

        1. hardly 300bhp? A Torino had 200bhp from stock! (mine at least :D), and with the new engines for next year, they’ll reach the 450bhp.
          So, having big sponsors get you in a fast car, so what? Does Alonso is less of a driver because his career was bankrolled by Telefónica, Santander or Mutua Madrileña? Pechito beated fair and square big names like Yvan Muller and Sebastien Loeb!
          and, about the touring cars.. well, it kind of work for Fangio, Reutemann or Di Resta :P
          Our local racing, @hohum , by far the must fun to watch is the TN, they’re almost stock car, no aero dependence and a lot of driver skills
          @fer-no65 es re loco hablar de TC y TN en inglés, no? :D

  6. Re-COTD
    Very good point, but maybe it’s for financial reasons, as in the basic deal is 5 of everything, any extras you must pay for, so with no much hope of a decent result that would alter the constructors position (giving better prize money), I would imagine it’s the solution that involves the least currency units exchanging hands just to get them racing.

  7. The Vettel commercial is funny, but not new. Idea taken from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7jmhxuIh3Y

    1. Its really funny, enjoyed a lot; even though the source of idea is not important, really enjoyed that video, so funny Vettel :)

  8. He’s been in the sport for 15 years now and is a world champion. He should be able to at least celebrate his last race like one, and especially this year given the loss of his father I would hate to see him lose his F1 seat like this. It’s embarrassing how McLaren have handled this so far, this is no way to treat someone like JB.

    1. I don’t really agree with this. It is not the team’s responsibility to pander to what one of their drivers would like to do. If Jenson was that bothered about bowing out in style then he would jump before he was pushed and announce his retirement.

      1. I really don’t see how there’s anything here for you to agree or disagree with. He would probably bow out in style if the team let him know they didn’t need his services anymore. He obviously still loves racing in F1 and thinks he has more to give so why the hell would he quit? It’s McLarens job to sort out their own issues and make a decision already.

  9. Button’s legacy as an F1 champion, and as one of the steadiest and most popular drivers out there during his 15 years in the sport is pretty secure, I should think. While it would be very cool to see a Button/Alonso match-up at McLaren next year, I won’t be shedding any tears if it doesn’t pan out. He’s still young(ish), healthy, fit, financially secure, and apparently a very content and happy guy. Also, I’d be surprised if he hasn’t already gotten some serious offers for a seat with one of the top WEC teams for next year. The only sad part of this story (for me) is that a long and excellent career in F1 might come quietly to an inglorious end on someone else’s terms. Not that it hasn’t happened before, of course.

  10. what an irony when some one says Fernando has years ahead of him and Button is at the twilight of his career when both of them are more or less the same age !!!!!

    Like some one else said, while I was not a fan of him, F1 will surely miss him.

  11. Shame on McLaren if it turns out to be Button’s last race – he deserves better and a proper send off.

  12. Probefahrt… wait, is this something to do with the finger?

  13. Why don’t we go back to V12s? That would make all the money spent since 1995 magically reappear.
    Senile old crook with his performing monkeys reporting for him.

  14. I’m so annoyed with Mclaren for not making a decision sooner. They have all the data necessary to make a decision, and for someone like JB not to know if this could be his final race is an atrocity.

    If this turns out to be the case, and he isn’t given a proper send off, then I hope that Mclaren continue to fail, because they would deserve it. You just don’t treat any team member like that, especially one whom has been so dedicated since being there.

    Utterly disgraceful.

    1. I could not say it better myself. McLaren will lose a lot of support over this if JB goes. I’m expecting boos at the British GP next year. Not that Dennis and co, will care about that.

  15. Jenson is quietly amazing this seson. And yet i struggle to understand why he’s out next year. I don’t want Alonso back to McLaren because my memories always bring me to 2007. He’s fantastic driver, but attitude is also crucial.

  16. Why is it so hard to use the FCY? It has proved to be super efficient in WEC. F1 implement the most ridiculous rules mid season but the only sensible one takes several test races and then gets dropped anyway…?

    1. “It has proved to be super efficient in WEC”

      Not really as not even the WEC have used it since Le Mans & as Anthont Davidson was saying during commentary yesterday the WEC found that while it worked well on a big track like Le Mans, It proved problematic on shorter circuits & many teams/drivers disliked how much time could be lost if they went through the slow zone but the zone was pulled in before a car behind got there.

  17. Honestly I don’t understand the need to see Button for a 16th season. I also didn’t understand the need to see Schumacher – a 7 times WDC – racing around 3 years in a Mercedes trying to see if he could get another podium. I’d much rather see Hamilton trying to be WDC in that Mercedes. Move over Schumacher.

    I don’t want to see Webber – I want to see Ricciardo.
    I don’t want to see Barrichello – I want to see Bottas.
    And I don’t want to see Button, if I can see Magnussen instead.
    Very soon I’d rather see Vandoorne, Saints and ??? instead of Raikkonen and Massa.

    Move over Button. I want to see guys who can win in the future – not guys who won some years ago.

    1. Ageist…..

  18. Quite irrespective of whether Jenson should quietly crawl away and die at the grand old age of 34 (with life expectancy increasing all the time, he’s still young), I am now convinced he will get his marching orders. Why? I am absolutely NOT a conspiracy theorist but he’s having a ‘bad’ weekend, and worse, he will not be using the new wing being run by Magnussen. It sounds as if someone wants Jenson to bow out quietly with the ‘favoured’ driver finishing ahead. We shall see, but it would fit with RD’s devious machinations. I am pretty sure JB’s crew though, would have nothing to do with anything that brought an artificial result on his ‘last’ race. I am therefore not predicting a great final performance and to add insult to injury, JB being overtaken in the final standings . I hope I am wrong.

    1. @baron but Button was the only one to receive the last upgrade, at Suzuka. Were McLaren favouring him then? Obviously not. They take it in turn with the upgrades, and Magnussen was the one with the upgrade here.

      1. Point taken… I’m just cross.

  19. I’ve been a McLaren fan all of my life but under no circumstances will I be supporting Fernando Alonso there next year. I think that the way that this has been handled has been rather poor, leaving themselves with the choice of axing a World Champion who is clearly delivering or axing a rookie who has shown a lot of incredible speed through the year. I’ve always liked Button, especially as his latter wins have always come with style.

    Sixteen years… I’ve seen some incredible victories and World Championships won with this team, I’ll be cheering Alonso on just as much as his first stint at the team. I can only hope that Magnussen beats him, which is not out of the realms of possibility, but I have a new favourite in Formula One, he’s Finnish, and unfortunately he’s driving a Williams.

  20. Everyone seems to be up in arms about Jenson Button and McLaren. Its silly the decision has been made already. If McLaren thought JB was the man he would have been re signed ages ago. For sure this is his last race. And that’s OK. Rubens Barrichello, one of the most well liked drivers on the grid didn’t have a send off either. JB is a good driver but I can’t say I’m going to miss him. McLaren needs to return to the top asap and JB isn’t the man to take them there.

  21. BBC has just done a JB career tribute segment! They must know something we don’t…

  22. Wow! How wrong can one be?????

  23. I am a McLaren fan since I ‘ve started watching F1, in 1998. Mika Hakkinen was my idol as a child, after him I supported Kimi, but after he left team for rivals Ferrari, I strongly believe that it doesn’t matter who drives…Drivers come and go, the team remains, so what really matters is to hire the best available drivers..In my mind Button is not something extraordinary, but is a consistent point scorer…And over all, the last 2 years the team has given him a donkey of a car…And Jenson never complained, he worked very hard and tried for the best possible. And the team wants to drop him in order to bring back the most talented driver in recent years with the most irritating character. Button is a gentleman. Although I don’t like his driving, I became a fan of his because of his loyalty to the team, his behaviour and for his clear wheel-to-wheel battles.. The way the team treats him is a disgrace…I feel sorry for the best “soldier” that McLaren found after Mika…

  24. While Button was a late bloomer and took time to get into the groove he has been a dogged performer over the years. He is obviously considered among the greats and has been exceptional in the wet.He has had a quite unassuming approach and does not believe in shooting of the mouth. We salute you Jenson and wish you well. Perhaps he has never had the perfect man machine combo suited for him as a Schumi Ferrari or Vettel Red Bull but he has punched way above his weight. Will miss his presence on the grid.

  25. From variety of sources, it seems that Ron Dennis believes the jury is still out on
    who retains his seat at McLaren next year. Whereas the new team manager ( Boullier )
    believes that JB is a spent force and should be released. Button’s results of late
    should give Msr Boullier pause for thought.
    Less than 20 years ago, it was regarded as quite normal for a successful driver,
    particularly a former world champion, to be seen and accepted as an asset to any
    team well into his forties.

    How times have changed.

    1. Schumacher, Mansell and who else makes this “quite normal”? Pedro de la Rosa maybe, but he hardly fits the description “… successful driver, particularly a former world champion …”
      Schumacher actually retired at 37, but made the mistake of returning.

      Fact is that for the last 20 years only three persons have won a WDC at an age above 30 (thirty): Hill, Hakkinen and Schumacher.

  26. Sorry but is time for Button to move on. 15 years in the sport and mediocre performance if you ask me. World Champion? Sure, cause of the car and not cause his driving skills. He has had his good moments but more the bad than good. He left his mark in the sport already, he will always be a 6th and worst position driver in my book…

    1. Well that clearly shows how little you know about F1 and the drivers. Both Alonso and Hamilton said publicly that they thought Button should be staying in F1.

      1. And Button has said that he thought Magnussen should stay in F1.

  27. Button is only 34. Many years still in his motorsport career, an interseting scenario – Tom Kristensen has just announced he will stop this year, will Button replace him at Audi ? Could be the deal everyone is looking for, imagine how popular LeMans would once again become amongst British fans.

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