Jenson Button, McLaren, Monaco, 2017

Button on F1 return: “I haven’t missed it”

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Jenson Button admits he hasn’t missed Formula One during his absence from the sport.

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Have Perez’s performance justified another shot for him at a top team?

Quietly impressed by Perez: I mean not just in this practice session but across this season so far.

He seems to be extracting the absolute maximum out of that car on every race. If he was ever to make a strong case for another ‘top’ drive this season’s been good for him so far – if Raikkonen retires/leaves Ferrari he’d probably be a really good bet to jump in his place.
Adam (@Rocketpanda)

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  • 79 comments on “Button on F1 return: “I haven’t missed it””

    1. I can sympathise with Stroll having played it on the Xbox many times. It is always that corner. Verstappen will also tell you a few stories about that one, as will many others. This said, I think simulator training would’ve helped to prepared Lance better than the PlayStation.

      I noticed a while ago from images that they had resurfaced a lot of Monaco again. Is it just me or do they seem to be doing it a lot more in recent years?

      The new regulations are having an enormous impact at this almost entirely aerodynamic-based circuit, which is pretty incredible. If anyone is the favourite for this surely it must be Vettel. Ferrari haven’t won for 16 years now so it’s definitely more than overdue!

      1. Just to clarify, by incredible, I don’t mean unexpected. It’s remarkable how much they are working for the aero circuits.

      2. Doing a few actual race weekends at Monaco would have probably prepared him better than any Codemasters game either. Max has had some poor shows here too, while Joylon Palmer’s 2015 performance rather devalues that argument.

        I think the key is that he seems unaware of how to handle the scrutiny. Max at least has results to show for his clashes and crashes, Stroll so far has none. At that, I think Max would have been an even safer pair of hands in 2015 had he been in FR3.5 or GP2 for a season.

        Stroll can spout lines about haters and playstations all he wants and try to act cool, but fact of the matter is: he’s an F3 champion who so far has impressed nobody in F1. The only driver who came back from such a step and a poor season opener is Takuma Sato, but he had an engine manufacturer back him, who probably have more wiggle room than a rich dad does. As I typed in yesterday’s round up comments, either his preparation was underwhelming, or his talent is…

      3. Mechanical grip is important not just aero

    2. I’d honestly rate Stroll as the worst driver I’ve seen in F1. Maldonado was at least quick when he was on form, his big problem was his attitude and lack of respect for other drivers. And as slow as Max Chilton was, he was at least a safe pair of hands to bring the car home in one piece. In Stroll, we have their worst qualities combined.

      Stroll seems to have no talent though, take any teenager with an ounce of racing video game experience and give them his preparation and I think you’d be hard pushed for them to do worse.

      The great irony being all the rule changes because of Verstappen and Verstappen is one of the most exciting talents we’ve ever seen. Then none of those rule changes were effective at keeping Stroll out. They fixed a problem that wasn’t broken.

      1. Stroll hardly is the worst even this decade. You can turn a fast, but crash prone driver, into a fast driver, but a guy who can’t get most out of the car will probably retain that for the rest of his career. Grosjean and Verstappen aren’t the safest set of hands but are fast. Bruno Senna got destroyed by Pastor Maldonado of all people in 2012, showing slow and steady doesn’t get you anywhere compared to fast but clumsy. We can say Lance has been poor so far, but not “qualifying 17th while your teammate inherits pole” poor.

        There’s a reason F1 doesn’t hire drivers straight out of iRacing, BOSS GP or Historic F1, just being able to drive the car isn’t enough. It seems Stroll, of all things, hasn’t got that down. But in F3 and before, he wasn’t a slouch. He’s either wholly underprepared or Williams (and earlier the Ferrari Driver Academy) rated him too high. We’ll see.

        1. @npf1, I think that the problem is that @philipgb has only been watching for a few years because, as you say, there have been far, far worse drivers than Stroll in the history of the sport.

          Go back to the 1990’s, and you had some spectacularly bad drivers in the shape of Deletraz or Rosset, let alone later drivers like Yoong (although, if you include test drivers, then Chanoch Nissany – a man who, in the one practise session he took part in, was nearly 13 seconds off the pace before spinning into a gravel trap – probably takes the prize of the worst driver ever to participate in an F1 event). As you say, you can then point to the likes of Bruno Senna, Karthikeyan or Yamamoto in recent years as well – Stroll isn’t doing that well at the moment, but by historical standards he isn’t that bad.

          1. At least Stroll hasn’t been hit by the safety/medical car!

          2. Lets not forget Nissany was craned off the circuit while still in the car as he did not know how to remove the steering wheel!

            1. Stroll’s ok, obviously no Verstappen or even the now retired Alguersuari. Lance has just been rushed into F1 one or two years too early. Worst recent driver? Luca Badoer’s 2009 two race disaster is probably the best example of a woefully-off-the-pace driver in a decent car. Drivers like Yamamoto / Stevens / Chandhok etc were all bad, but since they were always in the worst car(s) its harder to measure.

            2. Nissanys excuse was the minardi had too much grip! Best day of his life..

            3. Michael Brown (@)
              26th May 2017, 14:04

              Can we even call Nissany a racing driver?

          3. Anon, probably my favorite thing about Chanoch Nissany was that he complained about having too much grip!

        2. Someone did mention Karthikeyan who I’d not really thought of, I think Stroll’s higher profile does make him seem worse it’s up for debate on who actually is though so fair point.

          As for Bruno Senna, he had some fair results in 2012. He was only 6 points behind Maldonado and Maldonado got 25 for his win. I’m not suggesting Senna was the next Senna, but he wasn’t as poor as Stroll.

          1. That’s the thing though, Senna got some fair results while Maldonado won and often got through to Q3. Had Maldonado been prone to listen to feedback, he could have been in F1 still. Senna would have never gotten more natural speed and even his season with Williams in 2012 was rather odd considering his poor 2010 campaign and the few races he did in 2011. Bruno is by no means a bad driver overall, but he wasn’t a good F1 driver.

            1. Good points Nick. How many times did Maldonado throw away good points scoring positions in that seasons? Such as Melbourne where he stuffed it in the wall on the penultimate lap trying to catch Alonso. B Senna was nowhere near him on raw speed.

            2. Agreed.

      2. take any teenager with an ounce of racing video game experience and give them his preparation and I think you’d be hard pushed for them to do worse.

        That’s exactly the story the media are trying to push. You’d be nuts to think especially at the moment that these aren’t some of the toughest cars in the world to drive. Any teenager with an ounce of video game experience wouldn’t be able to finish a lap.

        He might be making some mistakes and it will probably affect his career prospects, but there’s no need for such disrespect.

        1. That video game experience + the volume of preparation he had

      3. @philipgb I don’t get the ‘no talent’ or ‘worst driver’ comments or the comments suggesting that Lance is an erratic crasher because none are true.

        His junior career shows that he has talent as you don’t score as many poles, podiums, win as many races or championships as he has unless you have a good level of talent. Go watch some of his F3 races last year, He had some simply brilliant drives both from the front or where he had to do some work & race his way to the front having started a bit further back.

        He’s also not really been off track or crashed all that often. In F3 last year he was very clean, Made virtually no mistakes & was not one to spin off or crash all that often. Yes he’s made mistakes in F1 but not that many, Certainly nowhere near enough to warrent the accident probe or crasher monker that some have given him.
        He’s not even had as many off track excursions, accidents or contact with other cars as many as other’s have before him. Romain Grosjean was far worse in that regard for his 1st years in F1 & even GP2 before that. Sergio Perez likewise made a lot of errors early in F1 that saw him go off track or have contact with other cars…. Are these drivers awful & unworthy of F1 as well?

        Lance Stroll may have jumped to F1 too soon & he may well have benefited from a season in F2, But he more than likely would have got to F1 eventually based purely on talent because his career up until now shows talent & a fair amount of it (Just go watch him in F3 & try to dispute that).

        1. Well said @gt-racer, I really hope Stroll finds his footing. Stroll currently reminds me of 2016 Kvyat a bit, and look where Kvyat was yesterday.

        2. GtisBetter (@)
          26th May 2017, 11:37

          I think the amount of good drivers in f1 make him stand out more and a lot of people seem to want him to fail. For some reason we expect rookies to preform right away. Not too long ago they were given time to get experience in minor f1 teams before moving on. Now the talented ones jump in and if they don’t everybody seems to get upset, like with Stoffel. Just have some patience people.

          1. Not too long ago they were given time to get experience in minor f1 teams before moving on

            @passingisoverrated Which highlights the importance of having such teams.

            For all the complaining from many about how far off the pace teams like Minardi, Manor, HRT, Caterham & even Jordan in latter years often were they served a purpose. They allowed young drivers to come in & gain experience with very little pressure & with less of a spotlight on them.

            Without such teams were seeing drivers come in with teams that are going for points so there’s more pressure, More of a spotlight on them so when we see a driver come in & have some struggles getting upto speed as Lance is everyone is there to heap condemnation onto them because he’s very much in the spotlight.

        3. @gt-racer While I also disagree with the no-talent comments, I do have to say the likes of Perez and Grosjean showed more speed and were (often) closer to their team mates. It’s still too early to compare, but Grosjean finished 3rd to Raikkonen’s 2nd at his 4th race, while Perez is somewhat harder to compare, as Kobayashi was also relatively new. Still finished in front of Koba by race 5. Stroll has not shown to be able to do the same yet. I think that’s what makes him more prone to commentary and in my case, scrutiny.

          @passingisoverrated Drivers have jumped from F3 to (sub) top teams for ages, but usually they tried their hand at current material. I’d say the 2014 Williams is a far cry from the 2017 one. If anything, his preparation has been poorer than the likes of Max Verstappen or Takuma Sato. I think people can be patient with Stroll, but social media and commentators liked to ride hard on drivers like Maldonado and got plenty of clicks, so obviously there’s a market for throwing drivers under buses.

          1. @npf1 Remember that Grosjean did 7 races in F1 in 2009 at Renault replacing Piquet Jr. alongside Alonso. His 4th F1 race was therefore actually Singapore in 2009 where he crashed in practice, Qualified 19th to Alonso’s 7th & had to retire on lap 3 due to brake problems while Alonso finished on the podium in 3rd.

            Over those 7 races he gained a bit of a reputation for making mistakes, Didn’t really impress anyone & was left without an F1 drive for 2010. In 2010 he went GT racing in a Ford GT, He went back to GP2 in 2011 where he won the championship & got a 2nd shot at F1 in 2012 where he showed speed but again had a reputation for making silly errors that culminated in the Turn 1/Lap 1 crash at Spa & 1 race ban for Monza which saw him change his philosophy & come back as a more consistent, less error prone driver.

            1. @stefmeister I remember he was grabbed from a pretty decent GP2 campaign (finishing 4th in the standings despite missing nearly half the season) and put in a dog of a car. 2009 was a season of changes and apart from Alguersuari none of the drivers who changed mid season that year came close to their team mates. Briatore had a good go at his career, but much like Fisichella isn’t remembered for his poor races with Ferrari in 2009 (which effectively ended his F1 career too), I prefer to think of Grosjean as fresh in 2012.

              He did make a lot of mistakes and rightfully earned the first lap nutcase title, but by late 2013 he was overshadowing Kimi at Lotus. If Stroll starts doing that, people will forget all about his poor performances now.

        4. +1. I think he has just been promoted to F1 a bit early. He definitely deserves a chance and no doubt Williams will evaluate the situation towards the end of the season. It is going to be difficult for them to replace him though in view of his father’s sponsorship. They should have thought of this before.

      4. you have to stop reading the telegraph

        1. Yuju Ide, A driver that wasn’t necessarily bad (He did well elsewhere after-all), But who was totally unprepared for F1.

          He’d never driven an F1 car at speed until FP1 in Bahrain, Didn’t speak any English so couldn’t communicate with his engineer’s or mechanics without an interpreter (Sato initially as I recall) & who was thrown into a 4 year old car that was way off the pace, According to Sato was even flexing at speed & was never really given any opportunity to learn or improve.

          With better preparation he wouldn’t have been anywhere near been as bad, But as it was he was totally out of his depth.

      5. No offence, but you can’t have been watching for long!!!

        There’s been many, many, many worse drivers. Jean-Denis Deletraz (despite being a good GT driver) was horrible in F1. Yuji Ide just 10 or so years ago was also absolutely terrible.

        1. Again not saying Stroll is the worst in history, but I’d rank him as the worst I recall seeing.

      6. I offer no defence for Stroll. He has been poor. So was Grosjean early on, but he improved. Ericcson has also improved. Stroll may do the same. What I find the most amazing this year is that Palmer isn’t being slated as badly as Stroll. He has been just as bad if not worse than Stroll. The difference here is that palmer has a full year racing under his belt and prior to that, he had a full year of Friday testing.

        Stroll may improve. (probably won’t). But Palmer has had time to prove his worth, so he leaves me in no doubt that he is the worst driver I have seen in ages. Yet everyone slates Stroll and says “If Palmer had no luck, he would have no luck at all”. Are you freaking serious! Palmer is way worse.The three worst drivers in F1 in order of crapness are Palmer, Magnussen, Stroll. And those 3 are well below the next best worst.

        1. I wouldn’t question Palmer lacking talent and this year against a truly talented driver he is being embarrassed. He has the benefit of way more experience leading to F1 vs Stroll and obviously more experience in F1 than Stroll.

          When you look at the Renault vs the Williams the Williams in fairly conclusively the better car. I think we’re seeing Hulkenberg drive around the car’s problems in a similar manner to how Alonso embarrassed Raikonnen and Massa during his time at Ferrari.

          So I’m far from singing Palmer’s praise, and I don’t believe he deserves an F1 seat, but I’d say the gulf between Palmer and Hulkenberg doesn’t reflect as badly on him as the gulf between Stroll and Massa.

    3. 2017 – McLaren partners with Andretti, Alonso races in the Indy 500. Everybody happy.

      2018 – McLaren wants to have a full time entry in IndyCar. Andretti wants to lure Alonso away from McLaren F1. Hmmmm….

      1. I think it’s an excellent option for Fernando, if he aims for the Triple Crown and doesn’t win Indianapolis 500 this year.

        1. I don’t think he’s done with F1 yet.

    4. I don’t think Stroll’s comments are infuriating. You’d be surprised at the amount of racing drivers that use videogames for practice or just learning tracks. Max Verstappen plays iRacing, and one of the earlies examples I remember is Juan Pablo Montoya stating that he loved Geoff Crammond’s Grand Prix 2 and used it to learn the tracks.
      However, that does not excuse Lance from the fact that he continues to show very little not-money reasons for him to be in F1. I’d have loved if Williams had given Felipe Nasr a chance, he is a pay driver, yes, but miles ahead of Stroll in the skill department.

      1. I haven’t seen Max blame iRacing competitors for giving him a false idea how to handle traffic or Juan Pablo saying he thought the traction control in GP2 was better than the Williams’. I’d hardly describe Stroll’s comments as infuriating, rather as awfully negligent coming from a driver underperforming by such a degree. Palmer at least seems to be aware of his poor season and despite seemingly blaming the team, is very much looking at improvement, rather than being blasé.

        1. he just made a comparison between the playstation and his accident, he didn’t blame the race sim for the crash he just pointed out the coincidence between it and the real world. Again, it’s the telegraph

          You guys are making me defend Stroll, jeez

          1. I stand by my comment that it is negligent to say ‘oh it happens to me on playstation too’ in any context. I’d rather get the boring ‘we’ll have to look at the data and see what went wrong’ than ‘oh yeah, crashing an F1 car happens to me sometimes’.

      2. The most famous driver I’ve ever seen on iRacing is Rubens Barrichello. Me and him have had a few major battles driving the Skip Barber car in the game. The guy has some amazing racecraft but then again he is a former Ferrari F1 driver so that is to be expected

    5. Oh, I thought that Stroll comment was something from a satirical website.

      I can’t believe he actually said that.

      1. You do understand that the headline is not a quote, @bamboo?
        I cannot see anything wrong in either of the quoted comments he made :p

    6. I think the headline for the Stroll article in the telegraph is a bit mis-leading as he’s not blaming the Playstation game at all. He simply said that he’s having issues in the same areas as he does on the games/sims which is something I’ve actually heard other drivers say before.

      1. Exactly my thoughts @stefmeister, I didn’t read the article because of the obvious byas, it is refreshing to hear a sportsman admit that he is having trouble with a particular “move” despite being aware of it.

        To all those Verstappen fans decrying the crashalots, take a look at the career of his father who was highly rated but seemed to crash almost every race ! so much so I nicknamed him Vercrashen even though I realised the reason he was crashing was because he kept trying to drive a slow car fast enough to compete with the faster cars whilst his team mate dawdled round at the back of the field without crashing.

      2. Yeah. I read it as more of a casual comment of “even before I got here, that corner has always haunted me”

      3. Mark Zastrow
        26th May 2017, 3:24

        That headline and lead is journalistic malpractice. The corner he crashed at (Casino) wasn’t even one of the two he was referring to (Portier and Rascasse).

      4. Good point @stefmeister, he is just saying that those corners “hurt” him both in virtual racing as well as in reality and that it can be frustrating to a driver.

        Stroll has done a decent job. Crashing friday is ok-ish, afterall they ARE trying to find the limit. Crashing in FP3 would be a lot worse, just ask Alonso.

      5. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
        26th May 2017, 6:39

        Hey, it’s the Telegraph, people. The headline doesn’t match the one quote this whole story is based on.

        Anyway, I still think that there are many other drivers who I’d rather see in that Williams. Stroll isn’t the moron some (incl Telegraph) say he is, but so far this season he has done little to prove them wrong.

      6. Yeah and I’m starting to feel sorry for this kid, anything he says or does is making funny headlines that makes him look like a fool. Hope he does some proving later in the season.

    7. Thank god it’s almost June and I can go to a beach and bury my face in the sand when Lance comes to Montreal, oops, too late, I’ll be in attendance but thank god F1 is amazing again and the speed and Lewis Seb battle will be worth the money. The Montreal weekend is amazing, the whole city is Formula 1. If the Canadiens ever make the Stanley Cup finals, coupled with an F1 week, better call the army cuz it’d be a party.

    8. I’ve enjoyed watching Perez work himself back up after his time at McLaren.

      Is he a top-tier talent? I think he’s shown he’s enough of a talent to have a chance at a top team to prove he can compete there. And if he’s not the top guy, he’s at least a solid driver who can get results (which is typical for a Ferrari line-up).

      As for competition for the seat (if indeed Lewis, Vettel, and the RBR guys are to stay put): The names that come to mind are Perez, Grosjean, and Sainz (if he feels he’s not in line for a RBR seat anytime soon).
      Ferrari will probably lean towards the more experienced guys. And if I had to choose between the two, I’d say Perez would be the safer pair of hands for the team.

    9. I don’t have any problem with Stroll’s ambition to be an F1 driver. The only thing I find insulting is that he has turned Williams to his own play station.
      Were Williams to threaten his seat, it probably will be ..

      … If you don’t start scoring points consistently by 2027, we will be forced to let you go…….

    10. This round-up headline is very, very clickbait-y and quite far from acceptable headline. Yeah sure, it’s straight quote from Button but come on, in the next sentence he completely demotes the meaning of “didn’t miss F1”. That’s weak, Keith.

      1. Interestingly, I’d me more inclined to open the round-up* and the actual article had it said “Button on F1 return: ‘I enjoy the moments”‘ rather than ‘Button on F1 return: “I haven’t missed it”‘.
        Poor execution of click-bait ;)

        * of course I open the round-up every day, even if it said ‘no round-up today’

      2. I don’t have a problem with the headline. He literally said he didn’t miss driving an F1 car while he was away, which is unusual and noteworthy. The full article is linked for a reason.

    11. I’m just not getting the praise for Perez recently. He’s definitely not made any mistakes and maximised his opportunities, but he hasn’t really outperformed on a single occasion. He’s finishing as the best of the rest after the big three, but it’s not like he’s getting a lot of competition from two sub par Williams drivers. I think he’s been solid, but nothing exceptional.

      1. Certainly doing the job for FI currently, taking advantage of the place where the team finds itself with the car. But we can clearly see that Ocon is already getting close in just his second season.

      2. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
        26th May 2017, 6:43

        I think he has been exceptionally solid.

      3. @todfod, to some extent, it is hard to really out-perform the car when the performance gap between Force India and the big three teams is so large – the car has really been, at best, about 5th, perhaps even just 6th, fastest on the grid, such that maximising his points haul is all he can really do in that situation.

        The thing is, what is impressing people is that he has been consistent in maximising those opportunities whenever they are presented to him – he might not have the best car to work with, but he has been using it about as well as any driver in his position could do.

      4. I’m just not getting the praise for Perez recently

        Exactly my thoughs when it comes to Sainz.

        Perez scored solid points in every race but he outperformed in China, when he was last after the crash with Stroll (neither was fully at blame or victim there) and still finished in 9th, well ahead of Ocon who didn’t have any incidents.

        He also did great in Bahrain when he started from the back of the grid, and still finished 7th. Excluding the top 5 who drove Mercedes, Ferrari and RB cars, the only car in the same league was the Williams of Massa, in 6th, but Felipe started 10 places ahead of Perez.

        1. @gechichan
          Sainz has a lot of strong weekends, but he also drops the ball fairly regularly. Actually quite similar to Perez’s early career now I think about it.

    12. How I see it

      After two days of non-stop playing, Lance says: “I’m ready, dad”
      Dad: “Ok. I call Frank”

    13. COTD, l hope Perez gets no where near a Ferrari

    14. That Telegraph article is so bad it hurts to read, so much bias.

      1. Couldn’t agree more – if that is the standard of modern journalism . . . I give up!

        Not only biased, but very poorly written too – help me – my eyes are bleeding !!!!!!!!!!!!

    15. The maths for me is pretty simple. If McLaren becomes a full-time IndyCar team, I have to become a full-time IndyCar fan.

      1. Beware: you might get neck RSI watching those oval races.
        Maybe watch half the race in a mirror to balance it ;)

    16. That Stroll headline is a disgrace (well, it is the telegraph), however bear it mind it’s not usually the reporter at the track that writes the headline (Oliver Brown), rather someone in London sticking it on the article, with the editor approving it.

    17. Neil (@neilosjames)
      26th May 2017, 8:22

      Interesting that Stroll struggles with Portier and Rascasse… I find those two relatively easy. Massenet and Tabac are my own personal PlayStation bogey corners.

      1. I’d probably be as good at it in a F1 car as in a computer game at the Swimming Pool chicane*.

        * – I think I managed to get round it with damage turned on without losing an electronic nosecone or wing once, about 15 years ago, and that was because I’d already lost both wings and the nosecone earlier in the lap. Therefore it is unlikely that I would perform worse in an actual car.

    18. He is struggling yes… I guess he will have time to improve with that kind of backing. Bad for williams. Look at SFI, and their pay driver Perez. He brings in money and results.

    19. A funny tweet by French F1 broadcaster Canal+.

      . @HulkHulkenberg and @FranckMontagny at the wheels of historical @RenaultSportF1 😃👌
      Travel in time this sunday #MonacoGP @canalplus ⌛️

    20. Fukobayashi (@)
      26th May 2017, 11:23

      Hilarious to see people defending Stroll on here. When Williams finish the year on half the points they could have scored with a Hulk or a Perez or an Ocon or even a Magnussen lets see how much that funding was worth.

      1. I can appreciate why Williams have sold out though. If they only achieve half their points potential because of him, but their points potential is more than double because of the extra finance he brought then it’s a net gain.

        It’s just sad to see Williams running a Pro-Am operation.

        1. Sundar Srinivas Harish
          26th May 2017, 17:09

          I think it was more a case of unusually high expectations. Williams seems to have believed that Stroll’s F3 form would carry over to F1 – the extra money was just the icing on the cake.

          1. I think a lot of people look at the feeder series and because they’re a spec series assume it’s a level playing field where the driver makes all the difference. But a look at F3 results shows the only team to win it was Strolls.

            Same with Palmer winning GP2, he spent years languishing in the series getting a DAMS seat and winning.

            Money still plays a big part in the spec series.

    21. Adam (@rocketpanda)
      26th May 2017, 19:36

      Woo comment of the day!

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