The reinvention of Jenson

Jen

Here be dragons.
Contributor
The biggest piece of luck he has had was the gift of a drive in a rebranded Honda which was an instant field beater. Everything else has been down to hard work, talent and nouse.

I am a great fan of Jenson's and was quietly excited when he joined F1. I am also extremely pleased that he has finally grown up and used all his knowledge and ability to be at the top of his game.

Taking on Brawn was a huge gamble which could have killed all his hopes and chances stone-dead - I like to think of Jenson's decision to go for it as a confident and intelligent punt. Others might say it was Brawn or nothing!
 

RickD

Pole Sitter
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, most of you anyway.. ;)

Others of us who have watched him for years always knew he had the pace and talent.. :D
 
O

OnTheLimit

Guest
Is your first sentence actually saying that Jenson Button has come from out of nowhere?
Welcome to the site.

Came out from nowhere in the sense he looked comfortably faster then LH today compared to how he's fared in the past two seasons. Its usually been pretty tight between the two in the past but Button had LH's number in this race

I for one didnt expect that and maybe its a sign of things to come
 

David Cousin

Test Driver
You asked about anyone else who has bloomed so late, it didn't take quite as long, though almost as long, but Mika Hakkinen is the main one who comes to mind. Like Jenson Mika had to wait a long time to find himself in the right car. MikeHawthorn was at the end of his career when he won his championship after having been around for a few years as well.

Of course drivers like Farina and Fangio were pretty old when they won their first world championships but they had to wait for the World championship to be initiated.

The only others I can think of are Carlos Reutemann and Wolfgang Von Trips who didn't win any championships of course but both came close.
 

Il_leone

World Champion
The biggest piece of luck he has had was the gift of a drive in a rebranded Honda which was an instant field beater. Everything else has been down to hard work, talent and nouse.

Thank you he did not rely on some big team or engine partner or sponsors backing him up..he's had his back against the wall a few times and finally proven he 's a world class driver
 

Il_leone

World Champion
You asked about anyone else who has bloomed so late, it didn't take quite as long, though almost as long, but Mika Hakkinen is the main one who comes to mind. Like Jenson Mika had to wait a long time to find himself in the right car. MikeHawthorn was at the end of his career when he won his championship after having been around for a few years as well.

Of course drivers like Farina and Fangio were pretty old when they won their first world championships but they had to wait for the World championship to be initiated.

The only others I can think of are Carlos Reutemann and Wolfgang Von Trips who didn't win any championships of course but both came close.


The most obvious example of a late bloomer was Nigel Mansell who did not win a race until he was 30 years old and after 6 seasons in F1.....the comments we're not great like he had no form and was a regular car breaker

People thought Colin Chapman had gone mad saying he was the best British driver to enter F1 in the early 80's for a while and he was going to be a future world champion winning many races

Then Frank Williams agreed with Colin in believing in his bulldog spirit and some really dogged drives in the Lotus to sign him for Williams although Ron Dennis disagreed with Frank and showed a collection of Mansell's accidents upon hearing he signed for Williams back in 1984 thats why they never got on.


Mark Webber considers himself a late developer much like Mansell at the moment. Jenson's abilities were always there but it took a succession of poor career moves and mismanagement before he finally seized the opportunity to land the right drive

Hakkinen as a late bloomer you did not see him as a potential world champion because he was accident prone in over driving the car but once he got the car thanks to Newey he took off although somewhat fortunate with two fixed race wins to start off
 

riskitall

Points Scorer
come on man,most of the time in clean air you go faster.thats why we normally see the person infront open up a massive lead.
aslo lewis just didnt have enough grip off the line,the reason why,i dont know.but it was only jensons great start which seperated them in the end tho.
in malaysia i expect lewis to get pole again,and a much better start.
i think lewis was too soft on his warm up lap and so didnt get his tyres up to temp,i doubt he'll make that same mistake again.
but he seemed to look after his tyres good enough during the race,so i dont think thats a problem.
button drove really well from start to finish and deserved to win.but i cant see lewis always being that slow off the line,and i can still see lewis outqualifying button more often than not.and at the moment that means starting from pole.
im really looking forward to the next race to see if lewis can bounce back.
 

downforce

Race Winner
I considered Jenson Button to be a lovable average midfielder.

Then 2009 happened.

I considered Lewis Hamilton to be unbeatable (over the course of a season)

then 2011 happened.


Jenson Button really does seem to be getting better and better each year and I think the comparison to a fine wine getting better with age is very appropriate.
 

Kewee

Race Winner
Jenson has two beautifully honed skills, the ability to read a race, and a driving style that enables him to get the best from his tyres. Obvious, yes I know, but not as simple as it sounds. He still needs to be able to put in a real turn of pace when required without hurting his tyres. That means having the ability to bring his tyres up to their ideal operating window before turning on a few quick laps and then nursing them when necessary. His real skill is his ability to combine both, so his tyre use and race reading skills become complementary. Lewis undoubtably has the skills to become a great, but at present he's still caught a little between being an F1 driver and a GP2 driver where the 20 or 30 lap sprint driver comes to the fore. Probably the best thing he could do instead of becoming downcast would be to learn from Jenson. Before he can do that though, he has to acknowledge that pure speed is not everything and rarely wins World Titles. That's the wonderful thing about this sport we all love, it's far more complex than that.
 

Kewee

Race Winner
Can we try to leave Hamilton out of it, this thread is about Button

It's hard to comment on a driver and his various skills without comparing him to his teammate. They tend to become benchmarks for one another. My comments on Lewis were added simply to emphasize Jenson's strengths.:thinking:
 
Fair enough Kewee, I just couldn't see the relevance of 'Lewis' grumpy little boy face'

This only invites response which leads to derailment, and no one wants that
 

Kewee

Race Winner
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!

2004 is the year I always remind people of when they start putting Button down. A gem of year for Jenson and so telling of what he was capable of. Third in the championship behind two virtually unbeatable Ferrari's and taking BAR to second in the constructors championship with only token help from his teammate. Check out his race by race results from that year, impressive to say the least considering the BAR certainly wasn't the second best car on the grid.
 

Kewee

Race Winner
The biggest piece of luck he has had was the gift of a drive in a rebranded Honda which was an instant field beater. Everything else has been down to hard work, talent and nouse.

Not luck Ninja. He was incredibly loyal to BAR/Honda/Brawn for years when he didn't even have a team principle in his corner and a car that was going nowhere fast. Really all he had was a dream and a love of the sport.
 

Il_leone

World Champion
Not luck Ninja. He was incredibly loyal to BAR/Honda/Brawn for years when he didn't even have a team principle in his corner and a car that was going nowhere fast. Really all he had was a dream and a love of the sport.

You might say those horrible years in 2007 and 2008 was a punishment to Jenson for the contract wrangles he had with Williams and BAR

However he was smart to tell Honda back in late 2007 that they needed to get Ross BRawn on board because he was fed up with the decision making process from corporate Honda slowing development down

I remember he issued an ultimatum in 2008 and a few days later Ross Brawn agreed to join Honda
 
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