Take a look at this Darren Heath photograph of the McLaren team on Sunday night after their win in Montreal.
It was the third 1-2 finish of the season, the second with Hamilton heading home Button.
The first thing to note is Ron Dennis on the left of the picture, sitting on the floor, wearing a victory T shirt. He’s no longer in charge of the team and is only an occasional visitor to races, but he was in Montreal in his civilian clothes over the weekend. It was a very low profile appearance though and he had to be persuaded to take part in this picture.
The team has changed since Martin Whitmarsh took over in many ways, more open, more relaxed. Everyone was on edge when Ron was in charge. They are less so now.
But McLaren still knows how to develop a car and there is confidence about this picture which I find striking. The team has just taken its fourth win in eight races and is on top in both championships. Red Bull has squandered a car advantage in the early season and now they are doing 3am finishes at every race to try to keep up. There is something frantic about Red Bull, not yet desperate, but frantic nevertheless.
McLaren have the momentum and this picture sums it up.
Now look at John Button, Jenson’s father. His presence in the picture says a lot about how McLaren has changed. John is not really an old school McLaren type person. But in the new McLaren, where music pumps out of an ipod in the hospitality area and the team is reaching out to fans via social media perhaps more than any other team, he is very much at home and welcomed.
Look at Jenson, does he look miffed at being beaten by Hamilton again? Not a bit of it. When he came into the unilateral room after the race he was delighted with his performance. He couldn’t get close to Lewis in Montreal, as he admitted after qualifying, but he managed to finish two seconds behind him. He has brought a lot to the team; calmness, engineering sense, racing intelligence. Above all though he is scoring big points every race.
This is a team working in harmony, a team with momentum. Red Bull and Ferrari have their work cut out living with these guys.