Button reveals he nearly signed for Ferrari eight years ago

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In the round-up: Jenson Button reveals he was close to signing for Ferrari around the time his McLaren team mate Lewis Hamilton left the team.

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Which of the seven drivers who raced in F1 last year but don’t have a seat this season deserve to be on the grid again? One driver stands out for @Shadow13:

It baffles me that Hulkenburg is written off by lots of people for not getting a podium. For the majority of seats in F1 solid consistency is more important than the odd spectacular race.

Take Kvyat as an example – he’s a driver that on his day excels – and that’s been shown by the odd podium here and there. For most teams though a driver solidly coming fifth to eighth every race is much better than Kvyat getting a podium once a season but routinely coming 13-14th.

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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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23 comments on “Button reveals he nearly signed for Ferrari eight years ago”

  1. Its not a surprising that Button was considered for a Ferrari seat 8 years ago. I believe at the time, Kubica was in the running to replace Massa, but for his accident. Webber was also in the running at one stage. Both drivers were “ok-ed” by Alonso, as they were all mates (poker buddies I believe).

  2. So, another former F1 driver who was close to a Ferrari move at one point or another. Kubica, Maldonado, Button, etc.

    Snow in Texas, LOL. One of the warmer states, so I never really expected to see an image like that. I wonder what’s next, a snowy image of the Yas Marina or Bahrain circuit? Jokes aside, I’ve seen snowy images of Spa, Nurburgring, Hungaroring, and Monza, which are still understandable (even the last despite being in the Mediterranean climate zone, but because of the mountains quite close-by). Also, Circuit Paul Ricard, which isn’t as easy to understand anymore.

    Re COTD: I share the same view. Consistency is key.

    1. Snow in Texas, LOL.

      It’s not that uncommon, @jerejj.
      I’m also living in a subtropical climate area. The mountains in the back are covered in snow (above 1000m) and I’m just about to have an outdoor swim.

    2. Its called winter here in Europe, the sun goes away for longer and is much lower in the sky, this reduces temperatures and that big massive thing called the sea then ensures we get a good soaking, in winter this is sometimes called ‘snow’

      1. @tonymansell But snow doesn’t tend to stay on the ground in Southern Europe, nor even in somewhere like London, for example.

    3. Disagree on your concurrence of the COTD – I feel that Hulkenburg has had more than enough chances to podium in cars that made it under different drivers – Sergio Perez comes to mind here. Over the 3 seasons as teammates, Perez outscored Hulkenburg by 18 points AND scored 4 podiums (all 3rd place). On the handful of occasions Nico looked like he was in contention, more often than not he crashed out.

      Perez hasn’t really had a top tier car (the 2013 McLaren was a terrible car by McLaren’s previous standards, obviously they got far worse until 2019 but compared to the 2010-12 cars the 13 model wasn’t a front runner)

      As for the weather, keep in mind that Texas is centrally located east-west (and most US weather patterns travel east>west) and there can be a massive drop-off and swing in temperature, despite it being close to the Gulf. So far as I can find the track is 500ft above sea level – even assuming that’s the max altitude (total elevation change is 133ft so being generous the lowest point is 366) – it’s still more than high enough for snow to fall in the right circumstances.

      It’s easy to forget the elevation changes generally in the US – I always thought of Arizona as desert, especially based on the races in Phoenix being 40+ in July. Having been there and driven to/from Flagstaff, it’s a 2 hour drive but the elevation change is over 5500ft to Flagstaff. Snow isn’t something I’d associate with Arizona but it’s definitely possible when you’re that high up.

  3. Re COTD: Sure consistency is important, but come on.. Hulkenberg in his 9 years in F1 blew many podium opportunities (off the top of my head in can recall Azerbaijan 17 & Germany 19 during the last years). Plus he was driving in 2014-16 a Force India, a car which we all know it was podium worthy sometimes as Perez showed.
    At some point one odd result, could worth more to PR exposure for a team or a driver, than consistently finishing in 7th-8th place. In 2012 Perez finished with 66pts and Kobayashi with 60pts, just 6 less. Guess who got ‘promoted’ to McLaren in 2013 and still drives in F1 in 2021 and who drove just one more season with Caterham in 2014… And that’s not the only example…

    Hulkenberg was decent. If a team at the back needed a safe pair of hands right now to bring points consistently (like Haas for example), he would be a good candidate. But other than that, any other team in the midfield and in the front could easily find better candidates than Hulk.

    1. Same here, consistency is key but do not all…
      Hulk is fast, but Hulk is hyped, as Hulk races for money, otherwise Hulk would be in a yellow car.

      Germany 2019 was the turning point of his career, he was in a works team, had a gifted podium and a good car. He was negotiating another contract with Renault that weekend and smashed the car into the wall a few hours after he wanted Renault to raise his salary. Both things didn’t went as the Hulk expected and he went with no drive or money.

    2. Yeh he got a decade or so, I’ve no wish to keep seeing the same ‘consistent’ drivers. In fact people like Kimi and even Alonso should be put out to grass, F1 is so conservative, the mavericks long ago stopped running teams, certainly they dont drive for them any more. Its definitely one of the things that is holding f1 back, in previous eras, death or fear of death would churn over the grid and create interest, disruption and change. This next season is almost an outlier

    3. @black whilst you bring up the comparison with Kobayashi, it appears that Sauber made the decision to let Kobayashi go before the Japanese GP, probably in the interval between the Singapore GP and Japanese GP: similarly, Perez’s deal with McLaren went through at around the same time.

      Whilst Kobayashi did finish on 60 points by the end of the season, at the time the points totals were 66 points to Perez and 35 to Kobayashi – over 40% of Kobayashi’s points were scored in the final six races of the 2012 season.

      Sauber and McLaren made their decisions about three quarters of the way into the 2012 season, and at that point in time Perez had nearly double the number of points that Kobayashi had. If you look at it in the context of his results at that point in time, then the situation looks rather different to your retrospective position and there was a much more significant difference between the two drivers.

      1. Sure it makes sense as you put it but i brought it up just as one of many similar examples over the years. Consistency matters for sure but so do big results, especially for midfield teams.

        A driver can score 20 points either by scoring 2x5th places or 1x2nd + 1x9th place, but a podium and an off-weekend sticks to you more than just 2 good consecutive points finishes. Being fast but incosistent is something that you can work and improve… being slow but consistent, there aren’t many things you can improve.

  4. Just for those who may not be aware of Spitting Image – they mock everyone from politicians through sports personalities to actors, so that parody shouldn’t be taken in that manner rather than a personal attack on him :)

    1. @ahxshades I had a look at some of the other stuff from their new series, one or two of them struck me as quite funny. I always like to see how motorsport gets treated in comedy series – I really enjoyed South Park’s take on NASCAR a few years ago.

  5. So, Button was in talks and nearly left McLaren for Ferrari 8 years ago, therefore around the same time Lewis left McLaren for Mercedes.
    At the same time, Button also said Lewis was “making a mistake” leaving McLaren, adding, “He has chosen to go his own way at the end of the year. It is his decision, although I personally don’t think it is the right decision.”
    Why did Button think Lewis leaving McLaren was the wrong decision, when Button himself was in talks to leave?


    1. Maybe he was in talks to negotiate a better salary with McLaren?

      1. Perhaps he, like many, just didn’t think LH’d be any better off at Mercedes? It was a big debate for everyone as we know. I personally thought from the first rumours of it, that it was the right thing for LH to do, but many did not. And JB himself may have entertained Ferrari but obviously thought staying at Mac would be better too (assuming he was actually in full control of the decision and actually had a seat at Ferrari for the taking that he declined, as opposed to having only had talks with them and some degree of potential for a seat amongst other drivers being considered).

        1. It was widely believed that Mercedes would have the best hybrid engine and they were the works team. Engines were effectively homologated during the V8 era.

    2. @NeverElectric –

      Why did Button think Lewis leaving McLaren was the wrong decision, when Button himself was in talks to leave?

      Button is a snake. Always has been.

  6. Beach out of Indycar because he digs Rock climbing? There must have been a signing contract list of no nos. Kinda sounds like an excuse to remove him after the performances waned. Yes you shouldn’t climb with sponsorship hanging over your head but today it’s the very reason contracts are made. It’s financial contract that he broke. He must have been warned but he climbed anyway. So with and his performance he will race again but will share the responsibility of driving with teammates. Hope the covered fenders
    help him come back on form. Hey racing is not the most important thing to do in life. Man must pursue new adventures. There is life outside of the seat.

    1. That is one (insert what you want) way to remove your driver.
      Motorsport manager games makes it too difficult to deal with drivers in comparison to this sad reality.

  7. How come he never mentioned the Ferrari move in his book 📖??

  8. I just do not believe Ferrari were ever interested in Button. No way.

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