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Posted on July 23, 2009
Button in Budapest: “No excuses” | James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1

Jenson Button was his usual honest self at his press briefing today in Budapest, facing up to the challenge and giving an insight into the level of research he has done into the track and how it suits the opposition.

On Red Bull he said something very interesting, which is that he hopes the updates Brawn has brought here this weekend will “be enough to challenge the Red Bulls,” suggesting that he clearly feels that Brawn has fallen behind them lately. This may seem obvious given the mauling he’s taken in the last two races, but bear in mind that the team was saying that much of the performance gap was down to the cold conditions, which suit the Red Bull much better than the Brawn. Clearly having analysed it further they feel that it wasn’t just the cold, Red Bull has had a clear edge,

“There’s no excuses,” said Button. “It’s supposed to be warm this weekend, so we should get the tyres to work. I think people are going to struggle with overheating on the super softs, so it’s going to be about tyre management as usual. This year has been all about tyre management.

“We also have some updates that will move us forward a good chunk, they are mostly aerodynamic. You see what it says in the windtunnel, but you don’t know whether it’s going to be reality on the circuit. I’m happy with the step forwards and hopefully it’ll be enough to challenge the Red Bulls and make it more exciting.”

Button expects the Brawn to manage the super soft tyre better than Red Bull, much as it did in Monaco. From this race onwards Bridgestone has decided to change its strategy and bring tyres which are only one step apart in softness, rather than two. I think it’s a shame to move the goalposts mid season and it will be interesting to see which of the two title contending teams this move favours. I sense it may be Brawn as the gap between their performance on the two different tyres had been seen to be much larger than for Red Bull, which performed quite similarly on the two different tyres.

As to his opposition Button was very interesting, as usual. He has a 21 point cushion, so no need to panic, but he has seen his lead eroded alarmingly in the last two races. He noted that both Webber and Vettel have always outshone their team mates at Budapest. The big question is, what kind of boost will victory in Germany give to Mark Webber?

More than one commentator has compared him to Nigel Mansell, who took a long time to get his first win and then couldn’t stop winning. I think there may be something in that. One of my readers here on JA on F1 opined after Nurburgring that Webber is a journeyman, no more. I’m not so sure. He has always been immensely quick, but struggled to put it all together. This season he has been strong in races, moving up from his grid slot at times and has had plenty of speed in qualifying. He dominated Nurburgring and could do that again, now he has the map in his head.

“He was very quick,” observed Button of Webber. “Compared to his team-mate as well. I think both of them are going to be quick. If you look at past seasons they have been very quick around this circuit, both of them against their team-mates, they are driving a very competitive car.

“But they have us to contend with here, we’re going to be pushing them a lot more here. It’s going to be a bit cooler this weekend, but it’s still going to be hot enough to make the tyres work. And we need to start beating them, otherwise they’ll take too many points off us. They’ve already taken 11 points out of me in two races – that’s too many.”

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Button in Budapest: “No excuses”
7 Responses

  1.   1. Posted By: Chris Dunbar
        Date: July 23rd, 2009 @ 7:15 pm 

    I wish Mark well because anything that brings more competition at the front end is great.

    It’s also nice because so many of the ‘old-hands’ in F1 seem to lose their edge and are the last to realise that they have. It’s nice that Mark’s ability seems to match his own view of himself. No offence to Rubens!

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  2.   2. Posted By: JBFan
        Date: July 23rd, 2009 @ 8:01 pm 

    I dont think we really know how good that RBR is just yet. In both races Brawn were slower than RBR but were also compounded by poor starts and mistakes, ie the fuel rig. We have not had a fair fight between the new RBR and Brawn. Funny that, sounds like the first few races of the season, posistions reversed ;-) !

    I trust in Hungary Brawn will be back to the top, but the pressure is on them to win. They are expected to win and if they dont then alot of people, Button included will see it that RBR will be unbeatable for the seasons remainder unless Brawn can give a significant update imo.

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  3.   3. Posted By: Boston F1 Fan
        Date: July 23rd, 2009 @ 9:41 pm 

    - This is great news. It means that the title will not be wrapped up with a few races to go; we should witness a battle to the finish.

    - I’m hoping that Webber, motivated by his win, will go on to fight for the championship. I’m also hoping that he stops issuing these stupid statements; first he said that he’s “still in the hunt”. Then he said that Button will be “unstoppable” for the rest of the season. Now he’s saying that Button’s luck can’t hold out. Keep your mouth shut, dog.

    - It’s nice to see Hamilton fighting too.

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    Ray.C. Reply:

    It’s F1,and we all know how quickly things can change,(Lewis-China’07).
    In fairness, I don’t think Mark said all that on the same day.
    Button will be “unstoppable” and Mark is “still in the hunt” and referring to the law of averages,”Button’s luck can’t hold out”.
    Just words, Talk yourself up, plant seeds of doubt in the opposition.
    JB will probably win this year, but it will be Brawn the man as opposed to Brawn the car that will get him over the line.

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  4.   4. Posted By: Oliver Drew
        Date: July 23rd, 2009 @ 10:33 pm 

    I think Button will win this weekend personally. The Brawn updates will more or less level the cars up in terms of performance I think, and we’ll see a real fight, but the Brawn is much better on it’s tyres than the Red Bull, so Brawn and Button by a nose for me. From Webber, Vettel then Rubens.

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  5.   5. Posted By: Chris P
        Date: July 24th, 2009 @ 1:13 am 

    Its is ridiculous, everyone was comparing Jenson Button to Mansell at Monaco then suddenly Webber is proclaimed Mansell after a win!

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  6.   6. Posted By: Rusty0256
        Date: July 24th, 2009 @ 2:27 am 

    I think we would all love to see a real 2 or 3 way dogfight for the lead over 20/30 laps between Button and Webber / Vettel but it seems the one weakness the Red Bulls have is following tight on another car; they seem relativly incapable of pulling a pass even if the car in front is demonstrably slower. Wilst this seems to be a common problem with the new F-1 diffuser aerodynamics, it seems worse on the RB’s.

    On reflection though, who could have imagined twelve months ago that we would have a situation where we would have Button (perennial backmarker), Webber (fast becoming journeyman) and Vettel (newbie with great potential), fighting for the World Championship with daylight to the drivers from Ferrari, Mclaren and BMW?

    What is especially fascinating is that RB’s Webber and Vettel have the potential to be a modern day version of Mclaren’s Prost and Senna; an wily experienced old head versus a gifted young gun, both capable of winning in identical cars.

    [Reply]

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