The reinvention of Jenson


Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Valued Member
Ok, it pains me to say it, but I was wrong. For many years if you had stood next to me in my local drinking establishment and engaged me in a conversation about Jenson Button, I would have argued until the cows came home that he wasn’t any good and that he’d made more bad decisions than you could shake a wheel gun at in his F1 career to date. Let’s face it, he even managed to win the world title in a strange way that forever left a few people (myself included) thinking that while his name is forever on the trophy and you can’t take that away from him, was it a great championship? Then came the fateful day when he chose to leave Mercedes (and we know now that he was offered a substantial contract to stay) and he chose to join Mclaren and take on the man whose championship title he took over. You could have heard me laughing all the way down in Monaco when JB made that call. Half the motorsport world shook their heads in bafflement at the decision. “He’ll get eaten alive” they cried, “Lewis will have him for breakfast” etc etc etc. Well weren’t we all wrong. Has there ever been another precedent for a Formula One driver to have been such a late bloomer? I admit I haven’t yet seen the race (curse you bbc and sky!!) but from what I’ve read, Button took the lead on lap one and that as they say, was that. So, after two years of careful development of his position within the team, a car that is quite clearly a good ‘un from the moment the garage door rolled up (makes a change for Mclaren) and an extremely happy and confident driver who seems to have all his ducks in a row, do we think we are looking at the 2012 world champion? Yes I know it’s only been one race, and that there is an entire season ahead but what are the early thoughts?
Well old chum, I think you have selected an interesting title for the thread. I think that you are reinventing your opinion, Jenson has always been the quality driver that you now see, you're not in isolation in that though.
It's gratifying to see him continue to win races, whether this is a portent of the season to come I'm not so sure; his race was won in the space between the lights going out and turn two and in the pit strategy which may have favoured him over Lewis but it's cut the other way in the past. Had Lewis got to turn two in P1 then it would have probably been his race. I have a slight bias towards Button but I have a really strong belief in Hamilton too, so please don't think this is a dig at him. Dare I suggest that McLaren have the focus on qualifying right and that's where Red Bull will put their efforts for developments? McLaren got this one but I think it's close enough across them, RB, Ferrari and Lotus to make at least the fly aways an exciting bunch of weekends.
Sky HD? Money well spent.
I had a close look at Jenson's stats and result the other day when writing my Dark Horse article and it made me wonder why every (including myself) is so surprised at the results he's been getting. Go back at look at his results between 2003 and 2006. He scored points consistantly in a car that was not always up to it. He mixed it up with front runners he had no right to and always delievered on a decent quali position.

He trounced Villeneurve.

He outscored Fisichella at Renault(people forget that) in 2002.

He outscored Sato 37 points to 1 in 2005.

Why people are shocked Jenson has the speed he does I don't know but the Honda Earth Car has a lot to answer for!
:thumbsup:Credit for eating humble pie and Button has earned your respect. I am sure if we were still on 606 the conspiracy theories will run still

The key stats since 2000 only 3 times has the driver not been world champion after winning first race

and the second one 9 out of 13 previous winners of Aus GP went on to become world champion and the last person who did not was Jenson Button in 2010 when the race was not the first race of the season

The car suits Button and I always thought he may win if he is within Hamilton's pace and more importantly he mastered the tyres better than Hamilton again which was a crucial factor

the current regulations really suit Button's skills..

this is the first race he's won for Mclaren with the union jack helmet in the dry.

I think Red Bull will be relieved that Hamilton did not win and run away with this race liked quali had suggested
It really is strange to see a driver come from nowhere and start beating one of the best drivers on the grid consistently in equal cars. I'd say Lewis is quicker but the Pirelli's have equalized things

JB's ability to eek out as much pace from the Pirelli's for the longest time is clearly paying dividends, Lewis just doesnt seem to have the same abilty which is costing him dear

If bridgestone were still in F1 as a tyre manufacturer it might have been a different story but it is what it is.
Great result for Button. But I don't doubt that Hamilton could have achieved the same had he got away first, that was all that spearated them for me. After that the less beneficial pit stop strategy and getting caught in traffic because of it was what stopped Hamilton.
.. but Button was much faster than Hamilton in the first part of the race - even before the pitstops!
Button was faster for 38 of the 58 laps.

They're great Bro, but you're right to limit the number of drivers, too many lines limits the ability to read the graph properly especially when the colours are diffcult to define.
So Lewis would have had to have had the measure of Jenson for nine more laps than he did to equalise that metric, not that it would have won him the race. So little between these guys sometimes.

Jenson was the fastest man in race trim this weekend. It will go the other way at different tracks. The intra-team battle this year will come down to who makes the most of the days when they are not the fastest. Lewis is the one who as something to prove in this area. Today, Lewis should be happy with his third place - or at least satisfied. There was nothng he could have done about losing second to Vettel and, with a faultless race from Jenson, there was nothing he could do about first either.
The plain and simple truth is that Jenson is no a mature grown up.

He may be a 'late bloomer' but that just gives credence to the idea that he has learnt from his experiences in F1 and used them to his own advantage.

Or, of course, he could be a lucky sod whose patience has paid off!
Top Bottom