Posted on October 5, 2009
Thoughts on the state of the championship | James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1

Sebastian Vettel’s win at Suzuka hasn’t exactly brought the championship to life, because it is still very much Jenson Button’s to lose, but it has brought it to within a range which is achievable.

Butt helm
Kimi Raikkonen turned around a 17 point deficit in 2007 and Vettel now trails by 16. With memories of 2007 still so fresh, a psychological barrier has been crossed. Neither of the remaining races will be straightforward. Lewis Hamilton has two years’ experience of how unpredictable the race in Brazil can be and then we have the great unknown in Abu Dhabi, which looks like a KERS track with only one fast corner.

Vettel needs to win both races, with Button scoring less than four points, which looks unlikely but then it looked unlikely in 2007 as well.

There is no doubt that the 3 extra points for second place, which Vettel missed out on in Singapore, would be handy now as would the 6 points for third place he potentially dropped by taking on Robert Kubica in Melbourne when trying to defend second place in the closing stages.

Vettels’ big problem this season has been his five non-finishes. In the races he has finished he’s averaged 6.9 points. Of the races Button has finished, which is all but one of them, he’s averaging just 6 points.

Anyway the situation is what it is and looking at the championship, this is the picture since Silverstone, which was the turning point of this championship:

Vettel 40pts
Raikkonen & Barrichello 36 pts
Button 24pts
Rosberg 23 pts.

Prior to Silverstone Vettel had scored 29 points at an average of 3.1pts per race. SInce Silverstone Button has scored 24 at an average of 3pts per race. If he keeps that up he will crawl across the line as champion in Abu Dhabi with a point to spare.

Silverstone was the turning point, the moment when Red Bull fitted its definitive update package with the double diffuser. It had an interim diffuser for Monaco and Turkey, but Silverstone was the turning point for Red Bull.

It looks like they have made a similar step recently with the update pack they put on the car in Singpore.

It looks very fast now; in Suzuka the Red Bull’s fastest race lap was 7/10ths of a second faster than the Brawn and half a second faster than the Toyota or McLaren.

They promise more, with a new front wing in both Brazil and Abu Dhabi.

However it is not all about the Brawn’s lack of pace, as Barrichello has scored 36 points since Silverstone. At the beginning of the season he had a problem with the brakes on his car and the solution he found early on meant he wasn’t able to run the rear wheel covers on his car on some occasions, which made it slower.

Since he has found a fix for his braking issues, he has set the pace, outqualifying Button in six of the eight races from Silverstone onwards and finishing ahead of him in four, with one retirement for Button.

From Button’s point of view the key thing to remember going into the next race is that, whatever happens in Brazil, Button will have at least a four point lead over Barrichello going into the last round and at least seven points lead over Vettel.

Once again, Button’s saving grace may be the performance of the man he is set to replace as champion, Lewis Hamilton. The McLaren with its KERS system is expected to be fast in both Brazil and Abu Dhabi. Hamilton could well be the one who stops Vettel getting maximum points in the final races and as long as Button keeps Barrichello close by him, he should be able to clinch the championship.

Button wants to win this title in style, he doesn’t want to limp across the line.
“We are doing the best job we can in a difficult situation,” he says. “I got a five place penalty yesterday. We are getting ourselves into these tricky situations and we are getting ourselves out of them. Hopefully in Brazil we won’t have to fight back from a bad grid slot, we can start at the front and finish at the front.”

Barrichello will be inspired in Brazil, you can be sure of that.

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Thoughts on the state of the championship
122 Responses

  1.   1. Posted By: Rhys Xanthis
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 5:26 am 

    Button will win the championship. It’s just too hard with the KERS cars going around, especially at a circuit like Abu Dhabi. Never say never though.

    Mark Webber is in serious danger of losing 4th spot in the championship too.

    And out of interest James, where do the teams go from Japan? Straight to Brazil?

    Thanks for the blog!

    [Reply]


  2.   2. Posted By: Mike from Medellin, Colombia
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 5:54 am 

    James, thanks for being so objective about the Button situation. Many British journalists fear being totally honest about this for fear of being unpatriotic or a killjoy.

    It seems that 2009 is very much like a half-season championship (post Silverstone) with some (including Ferrari and to some extent McLaren) thinking that there is no point in competing against those who got a massive headstart.

    The big boys will be back to fight eachother in 2010.

    [Reply]


  3.   3. Posted By: Adron Gardner
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 6:05 am 

    Vettel isn’t above making a mistake here and there, but he does seem to have that racer’s desire to win. Button is always stuck in some money dispute. I’d bet on Vettel as long as the Renault doesn’t grenade in the middle of the race.

    Interesting if harmless nod to Mercedes by Vettel in the press conference calling Lewis’ car the “Silver Arrows” and not a McLaren. I’m sure Norbert Haug smiled when he heard that.

    [Reply]

    Renn Sport Reply:

    I am sure he meant that as a compliment but not to detract from McLaren.

    I enjoy the fact Vettel seems to be so sporting. I liked the interaction between him and Lewis.

    Good Stuff.

    [Reply]

    Kenny Carwash Reply:

    In Germany, Silver Arrow is a synonym for a Mercedes Benz and the two terms are highly interchangable, like how a British person might say ‘Prancing Horse’ to refer to a Ferrari only more so.

    So it’s quite a natural thing for Vettel to say, although I’m sure he would like to Red Bull to be Mercedes-powered in 2010 so maybe a bit of flattery is on the agenda!

    [Reply]


  4.   4. Posted By: George
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 6:13 am 

    I think it’s too much of a tall order to expect Vettel to win both races to come, which dont suit their car so much as Suzuka. I cant see Barrichello outpacing Button by enough to close the points gap, so failing a non finish I cant see the championship going to Abu Dhabi, let alone someone else winning it.

    I would like to see Jenson get a podium in one of the remaining races, the second half of the season for him really hasn’t been very good, even considering his car isn’t as fast relatively.

    [Reply]


  5.   5. Posted By: john
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 7:00 am 

    Button would have to be the worst, and luckiest, driver to win a world championship.

    [Reply]

    moot Reply:

    damon hill..?

    [Reply]

    Paul Elliott Reply:

    Lewis..?

    [Reply]

    Martin P Reply:

    Hunt?

    Although how anyone can decry the efforts of a Grand Prix winner, let alone someone who managed to win 6 in one season is beyond me. Seems a pretty impressive tally to me, on a par with most Championship drives.

    The man with most points deserves to win. Simple as. It’s not even subjective on points like boxing.

    Martin Reply:

    Judging by results, Phil Hill is another contender. Only three career race wins, and his team mate, Wolfgang Von Trips died at Monza while leading the Championship. Hill did lead the qualifying head-to-head 6-1, including five poles (the Ferrari had easily the best engine that year). Hill’s next best season result was a 5th. Damon had two second places and Button has had a third in the championship. F1 is a much bigger deal now, so I think Button is rather more meritorious than Phil Hill.

    [Reply]

    Kenny Carwash Reply:

    Keke Rosberg?
    Jody Scheckter?
    Nelson Piquet only managed a ‘mere’ 3 wins in each of his title-winning years, half of Button’s total so far.

    Anyone suggesting Button would make an unworthy champion must have a very short memory and little knowledge of F1′s history. Yes, it is disappointing to see him making recovery drives week after week as he ekes towards the finishing line, but he was commanding up until Silverstone and took every chance that came his way, like a champion would.

    I know it’s much more stylish to start slowly and finish well but if Michael Shumacher was getting the same results we’d all be praising him for keeping his head and maximise his points scoring opportunities. As a British sportsman, Button seems destined to be judged by a different set of standards.

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    Robert Reply:

    Actually, I think if Michael Schumacher were still racing and getting these results, there would most probably be widespread speculation about his retirement.

    [Reply]


  6.   6. Posted By: Speedsailor
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 7:30 am 

    If JB limps or romps across the line. Nothing stops the fact he destroyed the field at the begining of the season. Love your blog James a real good read

    [Reply]

    GP Reply:

    Jenson was dominant at the beginning of the season because he benefited from the FIA’s incompetence. Only 3 teams interpreted the rules one way while all the others had a different understanding. After the FIA clarified the rules Jenson’s results took a tumble.

    [Reply]

    Mike Reply:

    I really don’t get this argument, what about the other 5 drivers. Why didn’t they win the first 7 races?

    Who else would win it? Vettel, who cost himself a load of points with all his crashes.

    [Reply]

    Ahmad Albashrawi Reply:

    If Button collects more points than the others, he will be a champion and as a driver will deserve it. As a racer, however, he will not!! I have more respect for a driver being extremely aggressive risking crashing out and going for the maximum possible at every race than a driver winning six races and then saying: “You know what, I can drive the rest of races for 8th place and win the championship!”. That is not racing, it is anything but.

    Some people say that if his six wins were spread throughout the season that would make him look better, I doubt this though. His six wins would have been enough if he was not consistently out-performed by his team-mate since Turkey (5/2) and manage to put better performance. I know that there have been champions with less wins, but lets have a look at his performance since Turkey:
    position(#times) – 6(1), 5(2), 7(2), 2(1), 8(1). The real problem is that he never seemed like going for it. World Driving Champion? yes. World Racing Champion? I don’t think so.

    [Reply]


  7.   7. Posted By: Chris
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 8:03 am 

    Actually Vettel needs at least 17 points more than Button in the next 2 races, Barrichello 15. Keeping in mind if either of them ties with Button then Jenson would win on a victories countback regardless if Vettel or Barrichello won the last 2 races of the season.

    [Reply]


  8.   8. Posted By: Tom Cawley
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 8:18 am 

    I feel 100% confident that Jenson will easily win the title this season. Though on the BBC they are trying to make the most of some apparent threat to this (I think someone even said “Button’s title is hanging by a thread”), the simple fact is that all of this limping across the line talk requires Vettel or Rubens to win both of the last two races. And for Jenson to have two nightmares. Both seem very unlikely.

    In reality, though Jenson has struggled a bit in qualifying, his race pace has been fantastic, especially in Japan. If the Brawn is fast enough for Rubens to win in Brazil, then Jenson will surely, at least, come home 2nd, 3rd or 4th, which will give him the title.

    As James says, even in the worst case scenario in Brazil, ie a Vettel – Rubens 1-2 with Jenson crashing out, he can still go to Abu Dhabi and follow Rubens home.

    I think it’s been an amazing season for Jenson, absolutely dominating when his car allowed him to, and picking up points since then. Championship-winning stuff, right?

    [Reply]

    iceman Reply:

    Quite right. His race pace was great in Singapore too, and Monza wasn’t bad either. He has improved on his qualifying position in the last 3 Grand Prix and pretty much achieved everything he possibly could in the races, given his poor qualifying.

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  9.   9. Posted By: PaulL
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 8:27 am 

    I’m sure you’re aware, but Brazil has decided the championship for the last 4 years and the odds are that it will for 5 in two weeks time.

    I’m glad it’s returning to the final round slot for next year.

    [Reply]


  10.   10. Posted By: DC
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 8:50 am 

    Interesting article…..but I think you should add Lewis into your mini points table. Since Silverstone he has scored 34 points, so if you’re adding Rosberg then Lewis should be listed also to show how the grid has been mixed up.

    Indeed if Lewis had been a little more sensible in Monza then he’d be in the lead of that little table….with 40 points to Vettels 39. I know, we could play what If’s until the cows come home but I feel the point of the article was to demonstrate just how different the second half of the season has been and showing that table without Lewis does not give the whole picture. But as you do go on to say, he could just be Jenson’s best buddy to take the points away from his rivals. Not the way Jenson wants to win the WDC i’m sure.

    [Reply]


  11.   11. Posted By: Paige Michael-Shetley
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 9:09 am 

    Brazil is going to be a really interesting race.

    It’s got plenty of quick corners, especially in the first sector and the beginning of the sector sector, which will suit the RB5.

    It’s got slow corners in the middle of the second sector and two very long flat-out portions, which will suit McLaren and Brawn. I can potentially see it being a really close fight among the three.

    The decider in Brazil could be weather conditions. It’s usually around 20-25 degrees celsius in mid-October in Sao Paolo, which isn’t quite hot enough to play to Brawn’s natural tire-saving advantage and would seem to play more to Red Bull and McLaren. Barrichello has also been better when Brawn has had tire-heating issues. So it could be a tough race for Button. Plus, there’s always the possibility of a wet weather race, as well.

    The characteristics of Abu Dhabi look to favor McLaren and Brawn more. The key there, though, will be the weather: the desert heat in Abu Dhabi could really play to Button’s hands. He should be a strong favorite for victory there, while Red Bull haven’t been as quick on point-and-squirt and have had problems with tire degradation in warm races.

    Vettel really has his work cut out for him if he’s going to win the title.

    Another battle to look out for is the battle for fourth place in the driver standings. Raikkonen and Hamilton are now only 6.5 and 8.5 points behind Webber, respectively. If Webber doesn’t improve the form he’s shown since Valencia quickly, we could see one of Raikkonen or Hamilton overtake him in the standings, which would be a major accomplishment for either driver to finish fourth in the standings given the fact their cars have been so off. Similarly, it would be pretty disastrous for Webber if he was to end the season 5th- or even 6th- in the standings.

    [Reply]


  12.   12. Posted By: Paige Michael-Shetley
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 9:11 am 

    BTW, you forgot to mention that Hamilton has scored 34 points since Silverstone, just slightly less than Raikkonen and Barrichello. If he hadn’t binned it at Monza, he would have scored more points than any other driver since Silverstone. (Since Vettel got a point there because Hamilton binned it.)

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  13.   13. Posted By: monktonnik
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 9:19 am 

    I would like to say (again) that Button is still showing great form. He is consistently faster that RB in the races and even if many do find his damage limitation drives a bit unworthy, at least he is making up places by a combination of strategy, consistent driving and most unusually overtaking on track.

    Something needs to be done about his qualifying and set up though. It really is his achilles heel and for a driver that is at his best with the right car under him, the team and JB have to focus on getting that right. I honestly don’t know why they aren’t pounding round every lap of every practice session to get this right.

    And just in case that doesn’t work James, one sincere request. If you see Button can you please ask him to bring back the Union Jack helmet he had at the start of the season? I don’t think he has had a good race in the new one!

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  14.   14. Posted By: ati
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 9:27 am 

    Button may want to win it in style, but he surely isn’t showing it. In fact it’s rather weak and may I say, cowardice the way he is doing it.

    Only Vettel shows true champion characteristics.

    Who do you think deserves it most looking at the way they all drive James, be honest?

    [Reply]

    Stevie P Reply:

    Cowardice? How so?

    Vettel’s race in Japan was class; a lights to flag race win (in a car that, on that track, was far superior to others), well done, bravo… but he has made mistakes like they all do. Binned his car in Monaco, slipped off the track in Turkey, “sped” in the pit-lane in Singapore… true champion characteristics… not!!! [I will say that with some more experience Vettel will be a future champion - he's still learning]

    Red Bull have had a faster car (than Brawn) earlier in the season and conspired to cock-up their race strategy. Renault’s engines have been un-reliable too… hardly Button’s fault?

    Yes, JB got lucky with Sutil and Kovalainen impersonating spinning tops at the chicane, BUT the dummy move and then dipping down the inside of Kubica was utterly magic… did anyone else on the track make such a clean and precise pass? In fact, were they any other on-track passes at Suzuka?

    Button has done this time and time again this season; got past people when it’s counted… e.g. Hamilton in Bahrain, I seem to recall Vettel was stuck behind Lewis’s rear wing all day; whereas Button got past Lewis.

    People seem to have a gripe that JB’s not winning races at the end of the season – normally we see the title challengers battling for wins at the end of a “typical season”.

    I shall re-iterate, this is not a “typical season” – what really matters is who has the most points at the end of the season!

    [Reply]

    Karl Reply:

    Button is not worthy of being called a champion because doesn’t drive like one, period.

    Vettel drives like a champion, because he always drives on the edge, always hungry and fighting, which then results in a few mistakes…like Senna, Prost, Schumacher, Hakkinen.

    Button? He drives like a bank employee, very safe ‘oh, I might get 1 point if I don’t take risks and I hope someone has a DNF or Hamilton passes Vettel’.

    That’s not how a champion drives. Pathetic and yes, cowardice.

    [Reply]

    Stevie P Reply:

    Ha ha, ok. Me thinks you need to re-visit your history books… Prost was as smooth as smooth can be and consistently drove for points, rather than wins, when wins were unachievable – hence Prosts nickname (The Professor); the man was aware of what he needed to do to win the WDC. The same goes for Mika and Micheal.

    Senna? Well yes, of those you’ve listed, perhaps he always drove on the edge.

    I would suggest that Mansell drove on the edge at times. Gilles Villeneuve? Again, yes, at times. One won the WDC; one didn’t.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like Vettel, I think he’s fantastic… but him and his team have made more errors than Button and BrawnGP, so far, this season.

    I will ask again… did anyone else on the track make such a clean and precise pass (as Button on Kubica)? In fact, were there any other on-track passes at Suzuka?

    Mike Reply:

    Lol, yeah that must be true. Because Vettel has won all of those races when he’s not been on pole. Oh wait.

    Who has made more overtaking moves this season on the race track?

    Steve Mc Reply:

    Hmmm, let’s examine that with just a few examples of champion drives from throughout this season (I could note down more, but I really should be doing some work!). See if anyone can guess who the driver is…

    Nailing Hamilton (KERS and all) in Bahrain, Imperious lights to flag drive in Monaco, ‘monstering’ Red Bull, on what should have been their circuit, in Istanbul, searing series of qualifying laps to get ahead of main championship rival in Singapore, passing Fisichella around the outside of Casino Triangle, then that dummy move on Kubica in the same race, whilst consistently lapping between five tenths to a second faster than his team-mate for most of the race…

    Seems like a worthy champion to me.

    Kenny Carwash Reply:

    By your standards, Hamilton drove like a champion in 2007 and his title hopes ended beached in a Shanghai gravel trap and in desperate overtaking moves and clumsy button-pushing in Brazil.

    A champion does just enough to win and not much more, its the plucky runner up who risks everything and fails.

    iceman Reply:

    I would refer the honourable gentleman to the reply Stevie P gave some moments ago. Button is the guy who has actually been overtaking people on track this season. Was the pass on Kubica the move of a bank employee? Were those tremendously quick laps in the closing stages of the Singapore GP to pass both Kovalainen and Barrichello the laps of a bank employee? I’m pretty sure Howard Brown never scored a 5th place in a GP after starting 12th on the grid.
    Likewise at Suzuka – after his last pit stop, he was faster than Rosberg despite being in a heavier car, and would have passed him if Rosberg hadn’t lucked out with the safety car.
    Perhaps the people accusing Button of cowardice could point out exactly what they think he should have done. I mean _exactly_, not some simplistic nonsense like “duh, win races”.

    Craig Reply:

    Rubbish quite frankly. Are you saying drivers such as Niki Lauda are the same for winning the title in exactly the same circumstances?

    Ahmad Albashrawi Reply:

    Stevie P, Button pulls out clean moves because he is always out of position and surrounded by much slower cars. Kubica was much heavier at the time (30kgs heavier, more than a second slower and no KERS to defend). Now you tell me, who else had such performance on anybody around him to overtake?

    Robert Reply:

    I have to ask is the bank employee joke about Grosjean?

    [Reply]


  15.   15. Posted By: Jonathan
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 9:29 am 

    I’m surprised that you seemed to imply that Barrichello’s lack of pace relative to Button early in the season was all down to a braking issue. Don’t you think driver form had something to do with it too?

    [Reply]

    Anthony Reply:

    No, RB is outracing JB since they are with the same brakes.

    [Reply]

    Doug Reply:

    Er….no he’s not, he’s Out-qualifying him. That’s why Jenson keeps catching him up in the races. Qualifies worse, races better!
    Did you see Singapore or Suzuka? Who raced better? This is not opinion, it’s a cold, hard fact!

    [Reply]

    Anthony Reply:

    Cold, hard facts are the numbers, and the numbers shows RB is finishing higher in the races, finally… if it was not due to the team changing him to worst strategy than JB in the middle of the race, it was for the different brakes barrichello used. now that he has the same brakes and equality within the team he’s always finishing higher, thats cold, hard fact.


  16.   16. Posted By: Pete Isabelle
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 9:38 am 

    Just out of curiosity, but to add a spin to things, has Barrichello ever won/finished in points of a Brazilian GP? I remember in 2003 when he ran out of fuel!

    I still think (hope) it’s in Button’s favour, but Vettel will split the Brawns. I think both Brawns deserve it which is a shame as they can’t. But i think Button needs 2 podiums and maybe a win to show his skills and deserving of winning the title, instead of limping across the line.

    Also if they all ended on equal points Button would win due to more wins that anyone else?

    P

    [Reply]

    Kenny Carwash Reply:

    Barrichello’s record in Brazil is appalling; he retired in 10 of his first 11 Brazilian GPs!

    He earned a few decent results from 2004 onwards, but any home advantage he has pales in comparison to Massa, who really revels in it. Many of his failures were beyond his control, but you have to wonder if Rubens perhaps finds the pressure to please the expectant Brazilian faithful too much.

    [Reply]


  17.   17. Posted By: Adrian
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 9:39 am 

    Has Barrichello ever gone well in Brazil though?

    I seem to remember it as being something of a bad track for hm results-wise…

    [Reply]


  18.   18. Posted By: GQsm
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 9:39 am 

    You have mentioned points scored since Silverstone for Raikkonen and Rosberg.
    What about Hamilton? He’s scored a lot since Silverstone hasn’t he?

    [Reply]


  19.   19. Posted By: **Paul**
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 9:50 am 

    I think it’s far far harder to win this season than perhaps for the last 10 years or so. This season it’s not simply a case of 2 Ferrari’s and 2 McLarens consistently putting in lap times that the rest of the field can’t get anywhere near. We’ve seen all kinds of cars running at the front, even Force India’s and Toyota’s. That makes it incredibly difficult to always be at the front. Even on a bad day last year the McLarens/Ferrari’s could be fairly sure of p4 on the grid and Lewis even had the luxury of his team-mate knowing he was a #2 and to get out of the way. Not so this year though for Button and BrawnGP. The field spread is tiny compared to previous seasons, so stomping to the line isn’t going to happen. It may look less dramatic than a WDC winning left right and centre but remember JB has won more races this season than Hamilton did last year in a far simplier season to win.

    If anything this season we should have seen Red Bull taking both titles because their car is the most consistent on the grid. It’s driver errors that have cost them earlier in the season. They’ve consistently had a car that is within the top 3 on the grid. The Brawn dropped like a stone in mid-season with McLaren, Ferrari, Toyota, Williams (with Rosberg in) and Red Bull all having faster cars at one race track or another.

    I’ve seen very very few races were Jenson hasn’t maxed out his machinery (Valencia would be one, but that was largely due to Vettel giving him a choice of crash or back off on lap 1).

    To win by consistency takes a great deal of skill, many of Schumachers victories were based on getting 100% from the car even when it wasn’t the fastest, not throwing it at the scenery and wondering what could have happened…

    [Reply]

    Stevie P Reply:

    Well, said sir… absolutely spot on, in my opinion :-)

    [Reply]

    Werewolf Reply:

    Fittipaldi, Lauda and Prost, among others, also played the consistency game to maximise points when outright wins were not achievable. It is a valuable and often under-rated part of a driver’s armoury.

    [Reply]

    Steve Mc Reply:

    Couldn’t agree with you more, Paul. Good point well made. He just needs to focus on maximising qualifying, and therefore give himself less to do in the races, for the last two rounds of the championship.

    [Reply]

    Theothercoldone Reply:

    To finish first, first you must finish…

    [Reply]

    Paul Reply:

    At last people making comments who seem to know there F1 history well said.

    Jenson will win in Brazil, then when he has got the monkey off his back he will be very strong next year, mark my words.

    [Reply]


  20.   20. Posted By: James
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 9:51 am 

    Everyone seems to be expecting Barrichello to do well in Brazil but he has a terrible record there, having only one 3rd place result in 16 seasons.

    [Reply]


  21.   21. Posted By: jose
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 9:55 am 

    i just hope the title fight goes to the last race. Just to see how button will react to maximun pressure. He is not reacting well now, so imagine how he is going to be in a do or die type of situation.

    [Reply]


  22.   22. Posted By: niceguyrichy
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 9:55 am 

    tbh, i don’t think Jenson is anywhere near as fast as some of the drivers around him these days, and this is his one and only chance at a drivers title…
    he needs to relax a bit and nail the quali.
    i so want him to do it, but he seems to have tightened up so bad recently i’m proper scared he’s gonna bottle it.. :(

    [Reply]


  23.   23. Posted By: yos
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 10:01 am 

    Since silverstone Hamilton got 36 points…

    [Reply]


  24.   24. Posted By: Doug
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 10:15 am 

    It was great to see Vettel getting a well deserved victory after that stunning qualifying lap!
    However, I can’t really see him winning the championship as Kimi did in 2007.
    Although as in 2007, 2 team-mates are fighting it out down to the wire there is one key difference. Lewis was a rookie & he went for it in every race…it cost him. Jenson is a well seasoned pro. He’s not going to do anything rash to blow his well earned championship.
    Mechanical problems excluded, I see Jenson taking the title….I hope he does it in Brazil as I feel he’ll then give a ‘championship performance’ in Abu Dhabi! :-)

    [Reply]


  25.   25. Posted By: Curro
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 10:35 am 

    None of them has gone into an F1 season finale in a position to win the title. Points difference notwithstanding, what do you think is the single most precious asset a driver can have in this kind of new situation?

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  26.   26. Posted By: El Shish
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 10:50 am 

    Why no mention of Hamilton in that points total since Silverstone? Wins in Hungary and Singapore, a second in Valencia and a third at Suzuka gives him 34 points. Remarkable to think what might have been had liegate and the Monza crash not taken place. For me and considering where the teams were at the start of the season, he and Kimi have been the best drivers of the season. I don’t think any two drivers have squeezed more out of their respective cars than those two.

    [Reply]


  27.   27. Posted By: Niko
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 10:52 am 

    Just to add to your list James:

    Vettel 40pts
    Raikkonen & Barrichello 36 pts
    *Hamilton 34 pts
    Button 24pts
    *Webber 24 pts
    Rosberg 23 pts

    This shows even more the deficit in performance Button has shown in the last 8 races, and none of his rivals have always had the best car either. In fact, if you discount all the points even before Monaco, where Button drove very well before going on to Turkey where he was on fire, Vettel would be the current leader.

    Perhaps F1 should go back to a system where you take the best results from each half of the season, although this one has been unusual and unlikely to repeat itself exactly like this. In 2006, it was just two teams maintaining dominance in different halves of the season, not one for the first and three for the second.

    As for how the next two races will pan out, Interlagos’ high altitude (thinner air) might help Vettel’s engine problem, especially if it rains. people are prediciting it will be Brawn territory but I don’t think the twisty infield section will be enough to cancel the high-speed corners of the rest of the lap, though Hamilton and KERS down the main straight might be a problem. I think there’s a good chance of a Vettel-Hamilton-Barrichello result at Brazil. Abu Dhabi should suit McLaren and Brawn, but look how good Red Bull were at Singapore. If Webber’s bad luck finally runs out, he could have something to say too; don’t forget Button has scored 2 points more than he should have, due to Webber not finishing where he should have. It could be the difference that seals the title either way.

    It will take something like a rain-affected Brazil and a bad weekend/incident in Abu Dhabi to deny Button the points he needs, but I can see Vettel getting the win and second place he needs to put himself in contention. If he does that, he will be my moral victor of the title, regardless of whether Button gets the 6 or 2-4 points he needs to beat Rubens and Vettel.

    [Reply]

    monktonnik Reply:

    I’m sorry but I don’t agree that Vettel will be the moral victor in any case. He hasn’t shown championship winning form for the whole season. He has been fast when his car has allowed and Webber hasn’t beaten him.

    Some examples:
    Australia, crashing into Kubica
    Monaco, sticking it into the wall at the swimming pool
    Turkey, going off and handing the win to Button.

    Don’t forget that when Webber was outscoring him everyone was asking whether he was crumbling under the pressure of a title assault. Sound familiar?

    The fact is that when JB had the best car he capitalised. When he was on a worse strategy, ot outqualified by RB or Vettel in the first part of the season, he still out drove everyone else and won. When his car isn’t great or he gets a penalty he brings it home in the points and generally a few places up. Which ever way you measure a championship, be it wins or points accumulated, he has performed better than every other driver this season.

    I am not saying he has the all round quality of Alonso or MSC, but in general he has driven very well this season, particularly his end of stint laps that have really made the difference. I admit that his qualifying and set up woes mean his never going to be considered an all time great.

    I think your idea about taking the points of both halves of the season is interesting, but wouldn’t it have meant that Button would have been crowned WDC in 2006 after beating every other driver including Alonso and Schumacher in the last half of the season?

    [Reply]

    Karl Reply:

    Where are all you Button fans coming from suddenly, seeing everything through some magical glasses which show Button as one of the best drivers of all time and Vettel as a very poor cab driver?

    Seriously.

    [Reply]

    Steve Mc Reply:

    Karl, I think you need to re-read the responses from all the ‘Button Fans’ – I don’t think anyone has said that Vettel is a poor driver, they are just trying to get a bit of balance to the discussion.

    It seems to be a very easy thing, for someone like your good self, to say that Button is terrible and Vettel drives like the very personification of the word Champion, however, a few of us out here (who, believe it or not, may not actually think that Jenson is the greatest driver in the history of Grand Prix racing) whose perspective is slightly less skewed, and can appreciate spirited racing, no matter who is behind the wheel – Jenson included.

    I think a lot of reasonable F1 fans are getting a little bit fed up with posts on forums that are full of blinkered and ill-informed opinions, and they want to redress the balance.

    No magical glasses required, my friend.

    Stevie P Reply:

    Not at all Karl. If you read what most people put in relation to “the defence of Button” they are thought out comments and objective points; whereas the advocates of Vettel seem to make subjective statements… Vettel’s throwing his car all over the place, he’s more aggressive, thus he must be champion.

    I certainly don’t think Button is the greatest (has anyone actually said that?) or even one of the greatest (how you actually determine that, can open up a whole other debate!).

    I think, when JB has the car (he wants) under him, he delivers. Yet people have used the word “cowardice” in relation to him… I’ve asked for an answer to that statement or for that to be explained to me (I still don’t get it!).

    I think Vettel is fantastic (certainly no cab driver!! your words, not mine) and I think most people rate him highly too, BUT him and his team have made too many errors… take Japan, where was Webber? He could have taken points off both the Brawn drivers… he made an error (in P3), crashed and started from the pit-lane.

    Has Button crashed this season? Nope! Grosjean went into him at Spa… thus he’s had one DNF, the rest of the time he’s been top eight – everytime! Has Vettel crashed this season? Yes. And how many DNF’s or non-points finshes?

    I’m looking for a balanced view, that’s all :-)

    The WDC is the person with the most points come the end of the season, regardless of when they scored them and how they scored them (by wringing the neck of their car etc, etc); who that is exactly, is yet to be determined.

    However Button is in the box-seat.

    Doug Reply:

    Karl,
    I’m sure like me many of the ‘Pro Button’ comments come from people who think Vettel is a fantastic driver & possible future world champion. However, he has dropped the ball a number of times this season & Button has driven fantasticaly…if his qualifying wasn’t as poor he’d have had the championship sewn up by now…though we’d have missed all his awesome overtaking moves…something Vettel needs to work on!

    monktonnik Reply:

    Never said Button was the best of all time, although clearly I am a long term Button fan so I do think that he is talented.

    Vettel is a very talented F1 driver, and will be a future champion. I genuinely like him.

    Niko Reply:

    Good points, but:

    - Vettel makes mistakes (Turkey doesn’t really apply as it would have been a win on strategy, not pace) and is still in contention, despite not having had an all-conquering car as many times as Button, and yet is not as good as Jenson.
    - Button hasn’t really performed for half the season and yet has performed better than anyone else.

    I’m sorry but that makes no sense to me, even before you consider the points Button’s rivals have dropped due to sheer bad luck. Luck can be fundamental in deciding a championship but Jenson’s has been ridiculously good. Just because Button has the points it doesn’t mean he’s done the best job. It just means he’ll win the title. 41 points in the first 5 races, but 44 from the next 10! That’s extremely suspect.

    Fact is, without a supreme car at the start of the season, and without Barrichello having teething problems with the brakes on it early on, Jenson would not be the title leader. In fact, had Red Bull had a dominant car for the 7 races after Silverstone, like Brawn did before it, Button would have been out of it by now. Ironically, McLaren and Ferrari have saved his bacon.

    [Reply]

    Cliff Reply:

    Niko, your points are well made,but you make them with the benefit of hindsight. You use the word ‘fact’ quite often, but the only facts the history books will show are the leading points scorers in the WDC and the WCC and the Runners-up may get a small mention. The RBR problems & RB’s brake issues plus McLaren & Ferrari getting their act together is just the way it goes. If Vettel wins the WDC, fair play to him. I wonder what we would be discussing, had the Brawns won both titles by Singapore…Boring/predictable races maybe?

    Dave Reply:

    Absolutely agree with monktonnik here, all you get on here is bitter Hamilton fans that can’t stand the fact Jenson is going to equal their golden boy and claim the title this season.

    Jenson drove a wonderful 6 out of 7 wins in the first half of the season and that alone deserves him 1 hand on the title and as for 2nd half of the season goes it’s also true Button in 2006 manage to outscore the championship contenders in the 2nd half of the season with a car that’s not exactly a match for the Ferrari, Renault or even Mclaren so I guess Jenson beat Schuey, Alonso and Kimi in an inferior car (don’t forget he trashed Rubens in 06).

    Just face it this title is well deserved, more so than hamilton’s last year in 2008 which relied on him having number 1 status, Kimi falling asleep half way through the season and Massa’s problems: Amateur mistakes in Australia and Malaysia, Engine blown whilst leading in Hungary, Singapore fuel rig whilst leading in Singapore. If anyone’s title is hollow then it’s Hamilton’s.

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    I’m getting a bit bored of the one eyed criticism of the drivers. Hamilton deserved his title, Button will deserve his. It’s incredibly difficult to win an F1 championship – it’s hard enough to get an opportunity in a winning car. I don’t mind banter, but there is no room here for slagging off drivers or anyone else for that matter

    Steve Mc Reply:

    Quite right, James – I think that that is what most of us are trying to get across to a few, shall we say, more vociferous posters…

    [Reply]


  28.   28. Posted By: Yo
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 10:52 am 

    And the 5 points Button missed out in Sepang due to the red flag…

    [Reply]


  29.   29. Posted By: Martin
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 11:04 am 

    I doubt Button has the car to win in style. Between the Red Bull updates that gave them the advantage at Singapore to reverse the slow track situation, and the Lewis-McLaren combination, I think winning is out-of-reach in normal circumstances. Kimi may also be in the mix as Ferrari clearly know the fast way around Interlagos, and the lack of quick corners should hide the lack of downforce. Where the Toyotas will be is a probably the biggest unknown.

    [Reply]


  30.   30. Posted By: Spyros
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 11:18 am 

    I think it would take a special case of bad luck to ruin it for Button… unfortunately for Vettel, despite a short loss of pace for a couple of races, Brawn is not too bad recently. I think he’ll win it, and win in (relative) style.

    And talking about “winning in style”: remember, Hamilton’s and McLaren’s strategies in the last races in 2008, weren’t exactly… stylish either!

    [Reply]


  31.   31. Posted By: davidturnedge
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 12:36 pm 

    While I appreciate what Button has done this year, I think Rubens taking the Championship would be a great end to his career, and he could just do it.

    [Reply]

    artorwar Reply:

    I agree 100%, I would love to see Rubens win, I think both him and Button are seeing their one and only chance come up here. SV will get another crack for sure, hes a rising star.

    [Reply]


  32.   32. Posted By: Neil Williams
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 1:06 pm 

    Slightly off topic here but I haven’t seen this point raised yet. Why was ‘low fuel’ on Nico’s display able to override the timing delta he was being given? Surely in this increasingly helath & safety conscious world the consequences ploughing in to an accident site outweigh just grinding to a halt and out of fuel? Just a thought

    [Reply]

    Martin Reply:

    Being flat-out doesn’t normally save fuel either…
    Thanks for pointing this issue out. In Australia we get TV commercials to interrupt key bits so I missed why the safety car helped Rosberg. In Champcar there is a clear advantage with the safety car as the out-lap on cold tyres in removed. In F1 it is drivers making excuses.

    [Reply]

    Steve Mc Reply:

    I had a similar thought too, Neil. Surely he would have been cruising around under the Safety Car, and therefore would have been conserving much more fuel than if he were trying to make it back to the pits (by short shifting, lifting before braking, etc) under racing conditions. This should surely mean that the low fuel warning is irrelevant under SC conditions, and, as a matter of safety, should not override the lap delta.

    [Reply]

    iceman Reply:

    Another question I’d like to see answered is this – if it’s true that Nico set a green sector after the safety car had been deployed, did he pass any SC boards as he did so? Regardless of whether he could see the exact sector times he was supposed to be doing, he should have at least slowed when the marshals showed the SC boards.

    [Reply]

    Kenny Carwash Reply:

    I find it hard to belive that the stewards let Rosberg off the hook. A driver doesn’t need the timing delta to know if he’s driving at racing speeds while the safety car is out!

    [Reply]


  33.   33. Posted By: john
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 1:10 pm 

    I´d like to know if there has ever been a title winner with an average of 3 points a race in the second half of the season.
    Button will probably win this championship without having a podium finish in the next two races.

    [Reply]

    Stevie P Reply:

    And?

    The titles are decided over a whole season!

    Since when did half seasons come into it? ;-)

    We’ve never had a season where a mid-to-back runner (Force India) appears on the podium and hassles Ferrari for a further podium spot (Spa and Monza).

    We’ve never had a season where the traditional protagonists (ie, Ferrari and McLaren) were so shockingly bad (to begin with!) and then move to the front taking points of the championship contendors.

    And where one contender from a previous season has vanished off the radar almost completely (BMW).

    This is not a typical season… and the blinkered view, of some, is most bizarre.

    Kubica was leading the championship after his single victory in Canada last year, I don’t recall people bleating about his consistency levels.

    Go back a few seasons and the only one pushing Schumi and Rubens in Ferrari’s was Jenson in the BAR.

    This season, for me, has been a breath of fresh air and I’ve been watching from approx 1978 onwards. But, don’t fret folks Ferrari and McLaren will be back to the fore next season and it’ll be between one of the usual 4 drivers (if Kimi goes to Macca; if not, make it 3) ;-)

    [Reply]


  34.   34. Posted By: P King
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 1:44 pm 

    Button should not try to win the title in style. The fact that Hamilton lost the 2007 title race with a 17 point lead going in to the last two races was down to three things.
    1. Hamilton wanted to win in style, so he went all out to win in China and ruined his tyres and then went in tot eh gravel at the pit lane entrance. He tried to do the same all or nothing push in Brazil and got pushed off the track by Alonso.
    2. Hamilton had Alonso in the team trying to spoil Hamilton’s attempt to win the Brazil race, whereas Raikonnen had Massa actively helping to get the title for Ferrari under team orders.

    So if Hamilton had played it cool like Button is doing, he would have gathered the 3 points he needed to win. Instead he blew it in a push for glory.

    [Reply]


  35.   35. Posted By: Silverstoned
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 1:54 pm 

    Some inconclusive guesswork:
    Can Jens win one or both races outright?
    Answer: no reason to believe so on recent form

    Vettel is up against not just the Brawns , but also KR and LH. His hope in both races must be to win and have them and teammate Mark finish ahead of Barrichello, and for Jens to finish nil point each time.

    So, can Mark Webber act as a roadblock for Rubens and allow Vettel to speed away?
    Answer: yes, probably, with a bit of luck
    [remember Rubens has never had luck in Brazil]

    Therefore, unless Vettel has a dnf or engine change He Will Be Crowned WDC 2009
    Quelle year! as they say in France

    [Reply]


  36.   36. Posted By: Ian Blackwell
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 3:07 pm 

    I think another headwind for Vettel is his lack of a spare engine. While both the Brawns can and will run fresh engines in one of the two remaining races, Vettel must nurse his current engine all the way to the end or incur what will surely be a championship ending grid penalty. The Renault engine is neither the most reliable nor the most powerful so Red Bull will probably be forced to run Vettel on reduced revs outside of a few important laps. Velttels only hope is that his team mate returns from the holiday he has been on since Germany and provide a buffer to the rest of the field.

    [Reply]


  37.   37. Posted By: DK
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 3:19 pm 

    Jenson will win the WDC. It is just too difficult for him to lose.

    - Rubens has a terrible record at Interlagos
    - Sebastian Vettel’s engine is more vulnerable and he has used up all his engines
    - McLaren, Toyota, Ferrari or Force India also has a reasonable chances to the remaining races

    I feel Jenson should take the offensive and try to win the WDC in style, at least in Interlagos. If he wins, he can claim the crown more or less and silent his critics. Worst case, he still have a good safety margin going down the wire depending how Ruben and Seb finish in Brazil.

    [Reply]


  38.   38. Posted By: Ray.C.
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 3:28 pm 

    What a year…real hare and tortoise stuff.
    I for one am glad that Brawn and JB dipped mid-season. Imagine how boring it would have been had they maintained their dominance and wrapped it up already.
    RedBull’s year may be their best yet, but I think they’ve had a shocker…so many missed opportunities. That car should have won the championship.
    The whole being greater than the sum of it’s parts, Team Brawn deserve the title.
    If JB does limp over the line to win the WDC, he’ll be cool with it.
    I’d love to see Ruby win Brazil,but I have a feeling it’s also on Hamilton’s “to do” list.

    1F backwards ‘n all…JB’s lucky he’s only had one Ferrari to deal with for a while.

    We all expect Ferrari and McLaren to be back with a vengeance in 2010, but I hope Brawn and RedBull can take their form into next year…and some of the “unknowns” surprise us.

    [Reply]


  39.   39. Posted By: Charlotte
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 4:32 pm 

    Really really hope Jenson wins one of the last races just to silence all the doubters.

    [Reply]


  40.   40. Posted By: Declan
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 4:36 pm 

    Hi James

    Thoroughly enjoyed your blog over weekend! I’m sorry if the topic of this comment is not particularly in line with your latest post, but I was curious as to whether you could shed some insights into the extent of the politicking as a journalist; when you have to compete for the drivers’ and power brokers’ attentions!

    There was a recent clip on the BBC website of Kimi in the middle of a media scrum, when Ted Kravitz (I assume!) asked 2 or 3 questions in a row and before he could continue with another question; an Italian journalist (assumption again!) interrupted with a short “this isn’t a one-on-one Ted! Let other people have a go!”, which stopped him straight away. Personally found this little exchange highly amusing!

    My questions which I hope you could answer are: Is there a pecking order within the media? Is it ultimately based on nationalities, or is it simply whoever the drivers (or their rep with the ‘team’ recorders) nod to? And in terms of finding newsworthy scoops, do journalists try to inflitrate as many members of teams as possible or is there a restriction of who is ‘authorised’ to speak on behalf of the team (and visa versa, are personnel of teams therefore not allowed to speak to the media at all?). Are there frequently any ‘off-record’ discussions that take place too? And are there times when managers, engineers, drivers approach you to let you know they weren’t best pleased with any of your postings/articles (or the reverse!)? If I remember correctly, there was a period when Michael Schumacher did not grant any interviews with British journalists. Is this a one-off or does this type of interaction occur behind the scenes frequently?

    Lastly – from the outside, F1 sometimes gives the imagie of an exclusive club. Is there a similar atmosphere within the media in that they are initially dismissive of ‘newbies’?

    Perhaps it’s much friendlier than I imagine!

    [Reply]


  41.   41. Posted By: Nik James
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 5:36 pm 

    And if my Auntie had balls…….

    Gents and probably a few ladies too, you are all coming up with ‘what ifs’ “Jenson scored two more points than he should have as Webber crashed etc”. The fact is there is only one measure of whether a driver is a deserving WDC or not and that is the table and last time I looked it showed Jenson top by quite a few points. In fact if we had Bernie’s new medal system he would have already been crowned champion by now. There is a saying in football, “the sign of a good team is one that can still win when they are playing badly”. In the last few races Jenson has got the most out the positions he has qualified, other drivers have had plenty of opportunity to top the table but they haven’t!
    I am not blinkered, I would like to see him get a podium in the next two races but this does not diminish his standing should he win the WDC. And yes I think Vettel is great driver too, maybe better when he is out front without the pressure to make a passing move but still a lightning quick driver.

    [Reply]


  42.   42. Posted By: Ed
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 5:38 pm 

    James,

    I disagree with all the rubbish regarding Button not being a worthy champion.

    Critics pick statistics to suit their argument. You talk about points picked up since Silverstone, fair enough, first race Button didn’t win.

    I say that the points collected after 15 races are Button 85, Barrichello 71 and Vettel 69.

    Button quite cleary is a deserving champion. Aside from being punted off in Belgium, he has scored points in every race.

    Consistency is the key. The best champions score points even on bad days… at least thats what Schumi fans say… Does that not apply here?

    On a side note… are Toyota really planning an audicious for JB? Surely more optimistic than realistic?

    [Reply]


  43.   43. Posted By: Andy Fov
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 5:39 pm 

    Can Button lose the title? Even if Vettel wins both races Jensen needs just one finish in the top 5 to thwart that.

    What odds would you give in Vettel winning the last two races? 4/1 ? Givens the Brawn’s reliabity I’d guess the chances of Jensen scoring fewer than 4 points in the last two races at 10/1 – That gives Vettel a 2.5% chance of winning this years WDC. Can’t see it happening TBH.

    As for Rubens, can he take 7.5 points out of Jensen’s lead in each race? In my opinion, no, he can’t.

    Two nondescript 5th place finishes is all Jensen needs to secure the WDC, and even then Rubens or Vettel would have to win both their remaining races.

    [Reply]


  44.   44. Posted By: Derek
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 5:47 pm 

    If Jenson were to finish were he did in the last couple of races the championship is gone with Vettel on-form and Rubens in the hunt Button should be worried.

    [Reply]


  45.   45. Posted By: Paige Michael-Shetley
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 6:00 pm 

    James,

    Here’s an interesting tidbit from the Twitter page of James Roberts of F1 Racing from Saturday:

    “Just spotted Red Bull supremo Helmut Marko in deep conversation with Kimi and his manager in the Ferrari motorhome…”

    http://twitter.com/JRobertsF1/status/4595328641

    I’d like to get your thoughts on this. Could Red Bull be considering going back on Webber’s deal for next year to get Raikkonen? Surely they extended him based both on his form at that point of the season- which has fallen badly since Hungary- and the assumption they wouldn’t be able to get anyone better- which we now know to be false, since Raikkonen is on the market.

    Perhaps this is posturing from the Raikkonen camp to get McLaren to ante up?

    [Reply]

    Silverstoned Reply:

    KR was saying recently he will only consider going to a team with a “winning car”. Newey’s cars are known as speedy but fragile and Kimi’s had a heavy dose of fragile cars 2003 to 2005

    [Reply]

    Declan Reply:

    Kimi would be a fantastic fit for Red Bull!! Although I really think it is highly doubtful that they will not honour Webber’s contract considering he’s been a loyal workhorse for them for so many years.

    But the fit is perfect – KR would be able to fill his adrenelin whims with virtually anything imaginable which ticks the box of his corporate obligations. The car is a proven winner this year which will most likely flow onto next season. And when he fancies a tipple; he’ll still be on song with his vodka and red bull. Perfect.

    [Reply]


  46.   46. Posted By: Robert McKay
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 6:30 pm 

    Vettel winning both is probably tough, but I can well imagine Button failing to score 6 or 7 points over the two races, given his current rate of scoring.

    In fact given the nature of this title battle I fully expect Button to chalk up two no-scores or a pair of 8ths and still win the championship by a margin because Barrichello scores equally poorly and Vettel DNF’s the two, one through engine mechanical failure and the other driver error.

    [Reply]


  47.   47. Posted By: rpaco
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 6:35 pm 

    We should all be thankful that we don’t have a stupid medals system.
    Or what would be the result? I’m sure someone is able to work out how it would have been with Bernie’s preferred system.
    (I Suspect Bernie had done a deal at a fixed gold price, when he suggested this.)
    As a matter of interest who currently supplies and who pays for all the trophies?

    [Reply]


  48.   48. Posted By: Will
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 7:32 pm 

    I think there might be a slight error in the article; with Vettel 16 points behind and only 2 races left surely Button only needs 4 points to end Vettel’s title hopes? He needs 6 to end Barrichello’s.

    [Reply]


  49.   49. Posted By: True Blue
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 7:34 pm 

    Even if Button wins the championship I say he will be one of the worst champions ever.
    His constant complaining of understeer, oversteer, tyres not working shows his character to be one who likes everything to be perfect.
    He would attract more respect if he showed a bit more fire in his belly

    [Reply]

    Kenny Carwash Reply:

    I think you’ll find all the best drivers are quick to relay anything they’re unhappy with back to their engineers. It’s a common rookie mistake to try and drive around problems. We’re just hearing it more from Jenson because the radio transmissions are now public.

    [Reply]

    Stevie P Reply:

    You are entitled to your opinion…

    But “constant complaining”? Really? What we hear on the TV feed from the radio, are snippets (small bits) of the overall comms between the driver and crew, edited and fed to us by FOM – who will want to “enhance” the show.

    All the drivers talk about tyres not working, graining, over-heating, over-steer, under-steer etc, because that’s what they do… drive their car. Any driver wants their car to be perfect to their own driving style.

    And finally, I would suggest Rubens has done more complaining than Jenson, this year. To quote Mr Barrichello “all this blah de blah de blah!” ;-) How apt!!!

    [Reply]

    Doug Reply:

    Don’t you think his concerns about tyre temp. & handling issues are:-
    1. Because he wants to win (has fire in his belly)?
    2. Because he’s giving feedback to his engineer to help improve the car?

    [Reply]


  50.   50. Posted By: Patrickl
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 9:07 pm 

    “Vettel needs to win both races, with Button scoring less than six points, which looks unlikely but then it looked unlikely in 2007 as well.”

    You seem to be mixing up Barrichello’s points and Vettel’s.

    Button only needs 4 points even if Vettel wins both races.

    If Button doesn’t score any points then Vettel still needs a win and a second place. Which seems highly unlikely. KERS cars should be strong and surely Vettel will need an engine change or otherwise he will suffer an engine failure.

    With Vettel really only winning from pole, an engine change would finish every hope of the title.

    Barrichello scored 36 points and Button 24 over the races since Silverstone. The thing is 8 points out of that 12 points difference comes from Valencia. Barrichello won there while Button was pushed off track by Vettel. Otherwise Button would have been right on the tail of Hamilton and Kovalainen and pretty nicely in the points.

    So there is only one race where Barrichello really outperformed Button and it’s not really because Button was driving poorly.

    People are making way too much out of Button’s “slump”. The car is simply much less developed than the Red Bull and the McLaren. Even the Toyota, Williams, Force India and Ferrari are faster on many occasions. It’s amazing that Button and Barrichello even manage to score points. Of course it’s mostly because so many teams have only one “real” driver these days.

    What is another rather common misconception is that the Brawn is supposed to have been the fastest car for most of the year. In fact it has only been the fastest car at Australia, Malaysia, Valencia and Italy.

    The Red Bull was faster than the BrawnGP in 9 races (basically most races since China). Yet still they managed to be trailing Button by 16 points. How about them apples?!

    Red Bull and Vettel should really be embarassed that they so royally messed things up this year. They really had the title up for grabs, but they failed quite badly.

    Poor strategy, lack of overtaking of KERS cars (while Button DID overtake KERS cars) and masses of driver errors put them at this disadvantage. Even though they have had the fastest car for most of the season.

    Now people start complaining about Button for performing less with what is quite obviously an underperforming car on the high speed corner circuits, but they easily forget how he got this huge lead to begin with. By driving in superior fashion while the competition was being incompetent.

    [Reply]

    Simtek Reply:

    Vettel had many DNFs because of technical failures. How can you blame him for that, explain. You forgot to mention those. Brawn had the fastest car until Turkey, then a few more races later on, everyone agrees on this. Get your facts straight.

    If Button is driving in competent fashion since Turkey, I don’t wanna know what incompetent is.

    He is a false champion and so he will be remembered. The real champion in mind is Vettel.

    [Reply]

    Patrickl Reply:

    Well then name all these technical failures?

    I don’t think crashing a car into Kubica or Raikkonen qualifies as a technical failure. I don’t think crashing a car into the Monaco armco counts as technical failure, I don’t think spinning out of the Malaysian GP counts as a technical failure …

    The only technical failure that he had was the engine failure at Valencia. That’s 1 (one) instance.

    Brawn did NOT have the fastest car till Turkey. Indeed, get your facts straight!

    The fact that Red Bull messed up the strategy and that Vettel messed up the races and wasn’t able to overtake KERS cars, does not negate the fact that the Red Bull was inherently faster (or as fast as) the Brawn.

    China and Bahrain, the Red Bull was 4 tenths faster. Monaco and Spain they were equally fast. Turkey, the Red Bull was fastest again by 2 tenths.

    China: Vettel won
    Bahrain: overtaking problems
    Monaco: bad strategy and crash
    Spain: Vettel was struggling behind Massa and got beaten even by Webber
    Turkey: Vettel blundered in the first lap and a poor strategy again got him behind Webber

    Seriously, Vettel has only himself and his team to blame for their poor performance over the first 7 races.

    Sure, when they got the car back up to half a second a lap faster they were winning again (GB, Germany). if the car is any less faster than the competition they tend to throw the win away. In fact Vettel tends to crash like a rookie in those cases.

    [Reply]

    Steve Mc Reply:

    Simtek,

    Australia – Crash
    Malaysia – Crash
    Monaco – Crash
    Hungary – Suspension
    Europe – Engine

    So only two retirements due to technical failures, then.

    I think Patrick has slightly more points in his post that are valid, and accurate, than you do in your response.

    [Reply]

    Patrickl Reply:

    Well I count Hungary as a crash too since he damaged the suspension by ramming into Raikkonen.

    Doug Reply:

    Simtek,

    As you’re a man keen on facts:-
    Who has done more movertaking moves this year
    Vettel or Button?

    You admit that Red Bull had the faster car in Turkey…are you suggesting that your ‘real Champion’ Vettel kindly moved over & allowed Button to pass as a kind gesture to an old incompetent driver?

    I look forward to your fact filled reply! :-)

    [Reply]


  51.   51. Posted By: Filipe
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 9:54 pm 

    Barrichello track record in Interlagos is dismal (include I believe something like 10 straight retirements). That said he has always being pretty fast there (he was once leading it on merit in a Jordan), but very unlucky. The good thing for Button is that Rubens – who is known for his psychological up and downs – will be driving in track where he usually felts the pressure, the bad thing is that despite his usual bad results Rubens will probably be fast there.

    [Reply]


  52.   52. Posted By: Olivier
        Date: October 5th, 2009 @ 9:58 pm 

    hey! Jenson Button ain’t a rookie anymore :) he’ll be the coolest worldchampion ever!

    I’d advice him to stop reading forums like this because I am getting nervous allready.

    Jenson world champion
    Barrichello winner of the Brazilian GP
    Vettel winner of the Abu Dhabi GP

    everyone happy :)

    [Reply]


  53.   53. Posted By: F1 Fan
        Date: October 6th, 2009 @ 1:58 am 

    Unfortunately I believe Button will win the championship although I rate this win similarly to that of Damon Hill or Nicky Haddon in Motor GP, shallow victories. I was as surprised and thrilled as everyone in the way Brawn and Button commenced the season (even with their technical advantage through rule interpretation). However the great shame is how Button has performed in the second half of the season. He bagged most if not all of his advantage when it was Brawn 1st and daylight second and now that some of the other cars are competitive he’s pathetic, even RB has out driven him. Now Button wants a pay rise, I think he’s foggeting who he works for, Ross Brawn has worked with the Best and I’m sure the difference between the two of them is blindingly obvious to Brawn.

    Watch out for a Merc powered Redbull next year.

    [Reply]

    955i Reply:

    Who is Nicky Haddon?

    Did you mean Hayden?

    [Reply]


  54.   54. Posted By: casey
        Date: October 6th, 2009 @ 3:16 am 

    So glad to see the posts giving Button his due. 34, 39, 41, 42 for example. Couldn’t agree more. Tired of the style talk. Too often sounds like darned if he does and darned if he doesn’t.

    [Reply]


  55.   55. Posted By: Mike from Medellin, Colombia
        Date: October 6th, 2009 @ 7:39 am 

    Ross Brawn is no idiot and knows that Button was flattered by the double diffuser advantage earlier in the season, this is why he is playing hardball over salaries.

    What seems to interest Ross more are the Nos.1 and 2 on the front of his cars rather than Jenson sitting in one of them.

    If Brawn really want to up their game they need a superstar for 2011. Vettel is committed as are Hamilton and Alonso. Kimi will have quit by then. Who is the next likely superstar that they should be looking at?

    [Reply]


  56.   56. Posted By: Snehal
        Date: October 6th, 2009 @ 5:43 pm 

    Vettel’s win keeps the title race open,but its pretty much Button’s.Brawn’s may not be ahead of the rest anymore but given their amazing reliability DNF seems unlikey,and red bull’s being handicapped by the engine is an additional advantage for them,button will keep scoring points and not take risks.

    Brazil is always a question mark,and abu dhabi being a new Track is unknown for everyone.

    would like to see vettel win the title on last race last lap :-)

    [Reply]


  57.   57. Posted By: Dave
        Date: October 6th, 2009 @ 6:08 pm 

    Jenson Button deserves the title and if anyone thinks Rosberg will beat him next season then go down the bookies and bet on that, waste your money! I find it funny how most people seem to forget how easily Jenson completely trashed Rubens in 2006… yeah short memories and all.

    Unfortunetly for every team out there Alonso’s move to Ferrari has sent a fear rippling through Mclaren and we are likely to see a Alonso victory next season as long as they don’t build a mediocre car.

    [Reply]


  58.   58. Posted By: Ago
        Date: October 6th, 2009 @ 8:08 pm 

    Provocative mode:
    With a Vettel 1-2 and a Barrichello 1-2 or even 1-3 jenson could finish 3rd in the championship if he doesn’t score more than a point…
    Hardly something to bet on but in motor racing anything can happen and there are only 2 races to come. Remember in 2007 Lewis could only score 2 pts in the last 2 races…
    Besides Jenson has a highly unexpected rate of finishes in the points (14/15 this year) with the exception of his team mate (13) nobody comes close (Rosberg 11/ Vettel 10) so that too might come to an end…
    I will be happy whoever wins.

    [Reply]


  59.   59. Posted By: Mike from Medellin, Colombia
        Date: October 7th, 2009 @ 4:34 am 

    Button will win the championship with a small margin. Then some fool will say something nonsensical such as “he’s better than Lewis Hamilton because Hamilton won by 1 point and Button by xx points”.

    The driver market says it all. Button is not the target of one of the other top teams. If I am not wrong, he’s a free agent in 2010. If he was so good wouldn’t one of the top teams come running after him. Ross Brawn probably knows that in the longer term he will have to let Jenson go.

    [Reply]

    Craig Reply:

    Er, he isn’t a target of one of the ‘top’ teams because the last time I checked they were full?

    Button will stay at Brawn.

    [Reply]

    F1 Fan Reply:

    Top Driver fine their way into top cars regardless of contacts, re: Ferrari.

    I do believe Button will stay at Brawn but he certainly wont attract top dollar and I think Rosberg will only lower his stocks next year (I’d be happy if he proves me wrong.

    [Reply]


  60.   60. Posted By: Stevie P
        Date: October 7th, 2009 @ 9:43 am 

    To Ahmad Albashrawi (I couldn’t reply directly to your point, so posted a new comment – I hope you get to see it)… ok, that’s a valid point about Kubica being slightly heavier and I take that on-board.

    I’m up for debate and constructive ideas n thoughts, without it becoming a slanging match, so thanks for that :-)

    KERS is irrelevant though as neither BMW or Brawn use it.

    Button was out of position due to his deserved penalty – both Brawn drivers were compromised in quali, yet that’s no excuse for “ignoring” yellow flags.

    We’ve seen all season faster and lighter cars have been stuck behind slower and heavier cars, yet have not been able to get past on-track and thus they have their strategies utterly ruined. Why? Because the cars are ultimately designed to run in clean-air, rather than “dirty air”.

    The aero has been clawed back as the season has progressed making over-taking much harder, regardless of fuel-loads.

    I believe Liuzzi was very light in Singapore started near the back and couldn’t get past anyone… Sutil had a similar scenario and he clobbered people in Japan and Singapore. My point re: Button’s pass on Kubica, was how clean and precise the pass was.

    I’m not saying Button is the world’s best driver… ever. Nor is he “always” out of position. I’m saying he makes places when he needs to… earlier in the season I was convinced this had something to do with the adjustable front wing… I figured Brawn had done something cagey that allowed them better aero, when stuck in the turbulence behind another car.

    Any person who becomes WDC deserves it. Not at the start or the finish, but across the whole season and if Vettel “does a Kimi” and wins from miles back I’ll be happy too as it will have been an exciting end to an interesting season.

    Button himself said “…we have low fuel and the cars in front have 25 kg more fuel than us, which is a lot of laps – 10 laps – makes tomorrow’s race very difficult”. He admitted that, knew what he needed to do and got a point – that, to me, deserves some credit.

    [Reply]


  61.   61. Posted By: LeighJW
        Date: October 10th, 2009 @ 5:49 pm 

    If Button is not worthy, tell me who is?

    [Reply]

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