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Lewis Hamilton
Button: Perez clash in Bahrain exacerbated by radio messages being broadcast
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Posted By: James Allen  |  02 May 2013   |  3:20 pm GMT  |  112 comments

McLaren’s Jenson Button has voiced his frustration at the way television companies select team radio messages to broadcast during races because he believes they don’t always tell the full story.

Radio messages have become even more of a talking point following the Bahrain Grand Prix where Button, 33, and team mate Sergio Perez, 23, clashed on track and then criticised each other after the race.

While battling over fifth place, Perez tapped the back of Button, breaking off part of his front wing, prompting Button to get on the radio and say: “He’s just hit me up the back. Calm him down.”

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh did not enforce team orders, with Perez going on to finish sixth, his best finish of the season, and Button falling back to 10th with excessive tyre wear.

Button believes the whole incident was blown out of proportion because the messages went out on television.

The 2009 world champion said: “The problem with the radio is that my message is not meant for the masses, it’s meant for the team.

“In a way it’s a pity that TV companies just choose the messages they want, because they can come across in the wrong way.

“I was obviously angry, but the anger was supposed to be kept within the team, because I am radioing the team, I’m not radioing TV companies.”

After the race, both drivers sat down with Whitmarsh to discuss the incident, with Button later tweeting that the duo had “cleared the air”.

Button added: “After the race it was important to sit down with the team and Checo and for us all to talk about the race, get it out and move on.

“I think we’re very lucky that we were allowed to race. There are a lot of teams where team mates aren’t allowed to race. But we’d better respect that decision and not take advantage of it.

“That’s something that we all understand now. Hopefully we can be racing in Barcelona [which hosts the Spanish Grand Prix]: fighting cleanly and hopefully for the win, not for sixth or seventh.”

Button is 10th in the standings on 13 points, 64 behind leader Sebastian Vettel but three ahead of Perez. In the constructors’ McLaren are sixth on 23 points, 86 behind leaders Red Bull.

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112 Comments
  1. Optimaximal says:

    Firstly, these messages come out over the world feed live, courtesy of FOM – but of course, the drivers cannot criticise Bernie.

    Secondly, Jenson seemed happy enough when Red Bull (and Mercedes)’s messages were broadcast because it painted McLaren as ‘the fair team’.

    1. Simmo says:

      +1. Also, it just gives us closer access to the teams, which keeps people more entertained and in the know.

      F1 would be nothing without us fans.

      1. JoeP says:

        “F1 would be nothing without us fans” — this is true, but at the same time, it’s disingenuous to pretend that the benefit you’re deriving from hearing excerpted, cherry-picked radio traffic doesn’t come at a cost to the drivers in terms of potential media scandal, hype or hostility that’s exploited without concern for the real impact it can have on the emotional health and well-being of the competitor. Not making excuses for Jenson or any other driver, since most elite athletes in real sports are hard as nails, and F1 has the added cache of being a sport in which the participants used to regularly be killed, but rather, think the fans are often unwilling to empathize w/ the very drivers who they’re so quick to belittle and criticize. As a result, I would be completely fine with teams adopting strategy of permitting (or even encouraging) the driver to use profanity when relaying sensitive messages like those from Jenson which have since been picked-over by vulture media and trollish fans. If that keeps the broadcasters from using them and spares the team and the drivers from having to respond publicly to an issue that really should be confined to the team and dealt with internally, so be it.

      2. petes says:

        +1

      3. Spencer says:

        I don’t think profanity is the answer. The selected messages chosen by FOM are slightly delayed and it wouldn’t take much to bleep the swear words.

        JB now reads “calm him bleep down” which potentially looks worse for the driver

      4. Dave P says:

        Well said +1

      5. Gabe says:

        So let us hear (or read transcripts of) all of the radio traffic then. It’s all entertainment now anyway. I have no sympathy for the “emotional health and well-being of the competitor”!

      6. Kbdavies says:

        @JoeP –

        Nothing was “cherry picked” in the broadcast message, and that wasn’t Jenson’s gripe either. The problem is that Jenson is being a hypocrite – because this time the messages showed him in a negative light. Ths was a guy who had no qualms commenting and criticising about his teamate’s gaffe publicly – even though he is not part of the management.

        And if fans listening to you gripe about your teamate racing you hard can lead to “emotional health and well-being” issues, then you should not be in any kind of sport (if this does not matter, as you claim, then you simply should not have mentioned it).

        All in all, nothing wrong with drivers whinges, moans, gripes, yepls, and whoops being played to the fans. In reminds us that they are human, with faults, rather the the PR robots they and their teams would like us to believe.

        Jenson has never complained about this issue before – until it now affects him. We have listened to Alonso moan, Vettel demanding, Kimi being rude, Lewis being snappy, and no ONE has complained before – Driver, Team or Fan..

    2. SaScha says:

      Agree! Button [mod] uses team radio to his benefit, like at Canada 2011
      Pretends he can’t hear things when they don’t suit him : Turkey 2010
      And moans about it when he is found out.

      1. Angelina says:

        +1
        Couldn’t agree more :D

    3. Quade says:

      I could have sworn that I saw Jenson on live telly interupting a Whitmarsh interview with Sky to establish a really lofty, public position for his gruts.

      At the time, Button first put a reasurring arm around Whitmarshes shoulder like a father would a son, then arrogantly claimed that Whitmarsh was squirming under the media glare and unable to brief them on his clash with Perez with the required efficiency! You wouldn’t even have guessed that Whitmarsh was the boss.

      How times change! Jenson now cuts a a different picture; he’s gone all red and sweaty now that his press gambit has backfired and acquired the whiff of a cow’s rear emission .

      1. Gudien says:

        Why is Jenson incapable of just driving the car? I don’t expect Button to outperform Perez but it would be nice to see a ‘team leader’ drive the bloody car.

  2. MGB says:

    Well Jenson, if you don’t want it broadcast then just swear alot as then the broadcasters won’t be able to put it on air

    1. Random 79 says:

      Don’t be so sure, wouldn’t be the first time…

      1. Tim says:

        You are right, I can’t remember which race it was – maybe China – when Seb hit Mark when they were behind the safety car. They interviewed Mark shortly afterwards and he was…. ahem, how shall I put it, forthright in his comments :-)

      2. Carl Craven says:

        Drivers are not responsible for what is published so if they swear it’s not their problem!

      3. goober says:

        Fuji 2007, I think. I think Hamilton ended up getting some heat for causing it.

      4. Random 79 says:

        Fuji, 2007.

        Yep, that was the first thing to spring to my mind and I still think that’s a part of the reason why they’ve never really been the best of friends.

        Still, that was a live interview. Possibly they could have edited it using time delay, but when it comes to the radio broadcasts they are always delayed by about thirty seconds or so, so in theory we shouldn’t hear bad language over the radio, but mistakes do get made…

      5. Stephen Taylor says:

        Yes I remember hearing Fisichella having an outburst.

      6. KRB says:

        They should have online channels where you can listen in to each team’s radio, like you can at live NASCAR events.

      7. Random 79 says:

        Nice idea and no reason it shouldn’t be possible, except for those pesky copyright laws…

    2. AuraF1 says:

      Perhaps he could ask his race engineer to brush up on his Japanese so they could confuse most of the other listeners (alonso seems to like rotating through Spanish and Italian). So other than Japanese fans, Jenson might have some privacy he craves ;)

      1. Optimaximal says:

        Jenson should speak in his native proper broad Somerset…

      2. GWD says:

        Or imagine a set of messages back and forth in cockney rhyming slang!!!

    3. Joel says:

      If Jenson has kept quiet after the race, probably half the drama would have been avoided.
      He caused the drama by passing silly comments to the media after the race and now, he tries to wish away the negative publicity.
      Is he now trying to gain sympathy by claiming the media as the villain and him as the victim?

  3. MR says:

    I agree with Jenson. This is all media hype driven by a need to sensationalize anything they can. If any driver says nothing to his team or the media when another car clearly drives into the back of him, then to me he does not have the motivational desire required of any top level driver whether it be F1 or FF.

    1. Stephen Taylor says:

      Yes clearly drives into the back of him… after the driver in front stops on the apex.

      1. Scott D says:

        I did not realise that this had been factually established, unless you can enlighten me?

  4. Scuderia McLaren says:

    Um Jenson, it was you doing all the talking once out of the car, talking it all up to all the TV guys.

    You made this storm buddy and slowly the sentiment has swayed toward Perez. The young Mexican might just be smarter than he looks eh.

    You lose mate, politics bite back.

    1. Random 79 says:

      +1

      I’ve always liked Jenson, but he seems to have picked up a bad case of foot-in-mouth in Bahrain.

    2. Dave says:

      I have to agree.

      Irrespective of the team radio messages, Jenson still had a quite condescending moan in the pen afterwards.

      That said, the fact that radio messages are selectively broadcast does mean that the fans may get given a skewed impression of how the conversations or strategies are being played out.

      Perhaps transcripts of the messages to and from each driver should be available on the F1 website, or tapes made available to journalists, so that we can be sure that even if a message wasn’t broadcast, we as fans have the opportunity to be aware of it.

    3. CarlH says:

      Agree 100%

    4. Dave P says:

      Hmmm and none of you have said things in the heat of the moment??? thought not!

      1. Scuderia McLaren says:

        That’s a bit irrelevant. Of course we have said things in the heat of the moment. But we are not international sporting mega stars representing huge companies worth millions.

        But all that aside, the point is that Button was trying to bring about a political storm against Perez, to contain him, but it back fired. He now is angry about radio messages etc. But’s politicking has just kicked him in the backside and now he is upset and probably slightly marginalized now.

      2. Dave says:

        We do all say things in the heat of the moment – of course.

        And indeed, JB say that his team radio comments were not intended to be broadcast.

        However, he is brushing over the fact that he continued his complaint about Checo with the media in the pen.

        So to now claim it is all a big misunderstanding and he was planning to keep it all in-house is [mod]. If that were the case, he wouldn’t have been chatting to Lee McKenzie afterwards, in which he came across as quite condescending towards Perez.

      3. Gudien says:

        **Dave P** Of course we’ve all said things we regret. Jenson Button however goes out of his way to be the spokesman for McLaren while using condescending words of his teammate.

        A true team player would not be using this episode as an opportunity to undermine Sergio Perez.

        What exactly is Jenson’ agenda here? I for one would like to see Martin Whitmarsh assert his authority at McLaren.

  5. Mark Williams says:

    I have to say that I have lost a little bit of respect for Jenson over all this.

    Firstly I think he was just as hard on his team mate and it seemed to me that he didn’t like the fact Sergio was attempting to pass him.

    Secondly moaning about team radio being aired really isn’t the problem. Yes it may have been for the team, but the team’s are racing because us fans watch them race. So why shouldn’t we hear them, it’s just part of the entertainment value.

    Jenson needs to stopping moaning and get on with it.

    1. Hiten says:

      Just because he was fighting Sergio inspite of being lot slower than him, Sergio had to settle down with 6th position. If Button would have realized sooner then I think Sergio had pace to beat Lewis for secured 5th position for team.

    2. Rod says:

      +1, agree

  6. ferggsa says:

    So now drivers have to handle a savage machine at 300k, click kers and drs, avoid crashing into team mates, plus be politically correct on the radio, though job

    Maybe Kimi will beat them at all counts

    If only Checo had said “I know what I am doing” after bumping Jenson, he’d be no.1 on the polls now

  7. Jon Wilde says:

    Who did Jenson give these comments to? a Broadcaster?

    Jenson should get his head down and focus on helping sort the Mclaren woes and hope Perez’s pace was a bit of a one off.

    1. Neil says:

      Yeah…as if he isn’t? How much of Jenson’s time do you really think is spent on these comments. Probably about 5 minutes in total. Real F1 fans pay little attention to what is pushed around in the media. We follow the races. Good on Jenson taking the time to explain this but he doesn’t have to at all.

      1. AuraF1 says:

        +1 – I think too many fans accuse drivers of moaning – when they are contractually obliged to answer some media questions. If Jenson just said ‘its an internal matter, don’t ask me again’ the same haters would accuse Jenson and mclaren of not being open and hiding something. But if they voice an honest opinion they’re whining.

        Though I’m sure also that when you’re paid tens of millions to drive fast cars the bleating of some nerd fans probably gives them all a laugh.

      2. Tim says:

        You are perfectly entitled to your point of view, as are posters who don’t agree with you.

        But, please can you not call them/me haters.

        I don’t hate Jenson. I think he is just a bit miffed that his team mate handed him his shorts at the end of the last race – and, now he is now trying to put a bit of gloss over the episode.

      3. JoeP says:

        “Though I’m sure also that when you’re paid tens of millions to drive fast cars the bleating of some nerd fans probably gives them all a laugh.” — hence why most drivers don’t interact with F1 fans in anything but the most controlled environment, unlike other sports like professional cycling, where the savvy (nerdy) fan used to be able to bait Lance Armstrong into a very embarrassing Twitter battle!

      4. Jon Wilde says:

        Thanks Neil, it is delightful to see Jenson’s fans leaping to his defence. I was simply pointing out the comical element of Jenson choosing to discuss his frustrations with broadcasters through broadcasters.

        What exactly did Jenson take the time to explain to his fans?

        I would classify my self as a “real f1 fan” and recognise that 2 hours on Sunday is only a tiny bit of what I take pleasure from. The F1 world, has sport, business, politics, comedy, and perhaps more than anything else plays out as a beautiful soap opera.

    2. Stephen Taylor says:

      Perez’s pace won’t be a one off . Sure he won’t beat Button every race but neither will Jenson and if you think he will then that’s bordering on wishful thinking in my opinion. I predict Perez will be quicker at seasons end.

  8. David Goss says:

    I wonder what tactics teams might use to avoid their messages going out on the world feed.

    For instance I assume if you throw a couple of swear words in the message it won’t go out – does any of this go on?

    1. Tim says:

      Apparently all the time – at least according to Martin Brundle it does. He was moaning about it at one of the races, I forget which, as he said the teams use it as a deliberate tactic to avoid transmission. That’s why there is a delay in the message being broadcast so there are no faux pas’s.

      1. Cliff says:

        Hungary 2011

      2. Tim says:

        Wow, I am impressed – how do you know that?

    2. Aaron says:

      Ferrari seem to alternate between English and Italian. Whether or not that is to deter the transmissions from being broadcast or not I don’t know.

      1. VicWeir says:

        They do. And the media seemed stunned by it at first.
        Now , with the delay in passing on messages for the above mentioned reason, they seem, I may be wrong, to have acquired intepreters who translate for them so that when the original is replayed they can tell us all exactly what was said.
        I imagine this isn’t a problem for certain 5 Live commentators who are fluent in more than one language!?

        I remember the good old days when there was no transmission of radio messages between team and driver. There must have been liveley interchanges . After the race aggrieved drivers simply walked into their enemy’s garage and punched him!
        Life was so much more cvilised in the past!

  9. Rach says:

    Is he still whining!!!!!

    1. Cliff says:

      No, just answering questions at a media event in Hungary.

  10. jawsf1 says:

    God he moans-is it not fair we the paying customer can hear what goes on??? it is one of the few things added in recent years that have not only helped fans understanding of whats going on in the race but also added to the drama.

    He got rid of the fastest team mate he ever had & he’s still not happy, no pleasing some people.

    :-)

    1. Kll says:

      He ‘got rid of the fastest team mate’ by beating him in 1 season and also all 3 seasons combined ;)

      Hamilton actually left sulking and now he is in a car which will show it’s true colors in Europe: fighting Force India for the rest of the season (which is exactly how they did things the last 3 seasons, starts the season strong, then byebye) while McLaren will fight for podium.

      1. Stephen Taylor says:

        Mercedes fighting force india I think not, unless Force India are challenging for wins . I think Mclaren and their fans are being overconfident thinkng their upgrades will put them back on par with Red Bull and Ferrari in Spain .
        I reckon it will take until Montreal for Mclaren to develop a true race winning car as remember the others up front already are ahead of the game so to speak.

      2. jawsf1 says:

        Pull the other one jenson wouldnt know what to do with a fast mclaren if lewis left him a detailed manual!

        Look at canada last year lapped by your team mate shame, and monaco-spinning out trying to overtake a caterham.

        Yes he beat lewis in the standings one year in three and scored more points collectivly but you cant look at the quali results and not wonder what the max of that car is.

        Not saying it would get a podium in another drivers hands but you only have to look at how many times lewis was ahead in quali & the margin was usually atleast 3-5 tenths, pretty big margins these days.

        Its ok cling to the points thing you aint got much else!:-)
        Think jb is guna have a tough time against perez – thats if perez keeps it on the track;-)

      3. Elie says:

        And whos fighting with Force India now..A really silly comment since FI did so well in Bahrain and are never that far from Mclaren and Mercedes in any case !.

        As for Lewis- if your saying the Merc is a worse car (and it is) -he is still leaving old jb in his wake isnt he..and showing who the driving force was at Mclaren..JB used politics and clever racecraft to get anywhere near Lewis.

        Further if you count the number of times the Mclaren failed when Lewis was well ahead of Jenson and in many cases leading a GP-then Im afraid for JB fans he was not really ever in the running. I also find it laughable that a driver can be lapped by his own team mate and just use tyres as the only excuse..Really please dont mention Jenson in the same sentence as Lewis Hamilton.Pretty soon the crazy Mexican will be beating him too

      4. Scott D says:

        “JB used politics and clever racecraft to get anywhere near Lewis”.

        Wow, I had no idea. You’ll be telling us next that Jenson just had 3 year lucky streak while racing against Lewis..!

      5. Elie says:

        No I’m saying Lewis had more failures mechanical than Jenson ever did in those 3 years. Last year he led two races easily when his car failed. Same with refuelling when he pole position,same with two serious operational errors.- Everyone in the know acknowldeged this. So Yes luck has a big part to play in motor sport.

        Raikkonen had 7 wins in 2005 for Mclaren but countless failures – mostly mechanical cost him a title. 2003 was similar that’s why he left Mclaren for Ferrari. It’s no surprise the best drivers don’t stay at Mclaren because they are not very reliable despite having fast/est cars .

      6. KRB says:

        What will be mentioned first about Button in history? The fluke 2009 DWC or that he was able to beat Hamilton on pts over a season?

  11. goferet says:

    Blimey, Jenson is such a politically correct, media savvy individual that he doesn’t like it when the media gets a glimpse into the competitive side of him >>> this is what I sense Jenson is talking about. In other wants he wants team radios banned as they broadcast drivers real thoughts without the PR spin.

    Personally, I think the team radio has been one of those creations that has been a great value to the fans for they have been a useful tool of information for how else would we get F1 gems such as Jenson celebrating having made it into Q3 in Bahrain or Horner telling Vettel in Malaysia… ”This is getting silly Sebi”

    Having said that, am a little perplexed by the person in charge of the team for he seems to always broadcast certain drivers and yet there are others we almost never hear about e.g. all the midfield to backmarker runners.

    Yes, it’s also very rare to get the Ferrari and Red Bull team radios matter of fact, once upon a time, Schumi’s Ferrari radio were never aired.

    Over all, this sport belongs to the fans and steps should be taken to make the fans’ experience that more enjoyable and not necessarily cater to the drivers wishes for least we forget, the drivers work for the fans and not the other way round.

    1. AuraF1 says:

      I enjoy hearing the radio messages but just like a drama director, the feed is carefully chosen to build tension and taken out of context so as to build a ‘narrative’ for the fans. If it was just open on a full feed and everyone could tune in to any messages at all it would be sport – but when we get selected voices and selected parts of those voices – lets call it what it is – a dramatic tool.

      If I read it correctly Jenson wasn’t saying they should BAN team radio transmissions from broadcast, just that it was annoying which bits were picked out to create a story line. We heard none of the messages to or from checo. Only Jenson and only select quotes.

      That’s closer to quote mining than open communication.

    2. Optimaximal says:

      I believe at the time, Ferrari had such sway with the FIA and FOM that they basically said ‘you will not broadcast our messages’.

      The majority of the messages going on, be it RBR or Marussia, are simply numbers or code words, which doesn’t make for interesting audio – there is a full radio feed available on Sky and (I believe) the BBC Red Button which has a lot more messages.

      1. iceman says:

        Interestingly in previous years the McLaren web site has also carried a more complete transcript of their radio messages, along with some very basic telemetry. I don’t know if they’re still doing it.

    3. Brettus says:

      This sport does not belong to the fans. Pandering to fans self inflated sense of privilege is why the racing is suffering.
      Motor racing is and has always been about driver and car. F1 would still be around in some way without the fans as rich young men would still be throwing fast cars around fast tracks, the same way they’ve been doing it since cars were invented.
      If we can get some enjoyment out of watching it then lucky us, but that’s all we’re entitled to.

      1. ChrisS says:

        Well said. Though it remains the case that the commercial value of the sport does derive ultimately from the fans – with fewer fans there would be less money to be made from the sport, but the sport would still go on.

        You’re quite right to criticise the view that the fans must be pandered to – that view is what is leading to the destructive mindset that F1 is part of the entertainment industry, not a sport – and that is responsible for DRS and the tyre rules, to name but two.

    4. iceman says:

      I wonder if some of the other teams that we don’t hear from use languages other than English as a matter of course, and the FOM team usually select English langauge transmissions (except occasionally for Alonso, because, well, he’s Alonso).

  12. goferet says:

    “I think we’re very lucky that we were
    allowed to race”
    ————————————————–

    Yes, if a team sole aim is to win races and nothing more then Mclaren drivers are very lucky for they can go at it till the finish line.

    But for those drivers that harbour dreams of winning drivers titles then being a Mclaren driver is very unlucky >>> seasons like 2007 come to mind.

    Yes, the board of members should sit down and ask themselves, how come we’re the only top team that allows this anarchy.

    1. AuraF1 says:

      To be fair red bull tried it and anarchy ensued anyway because their drivers couldn’t care less what soft-centre Horner tells them ;)

  13. mhilgtx says:

    Jensen has a point, maybe not the one he wishes to make. All of the radio messages should be available to the fans or none at all. I side on all the messages.

  14. Kll says:

    I must agree, the radio messages that are being picked up to broadcast are done with a lot of bias. The way they cut it in parts and leave out what was said before and after.

    I bet there is way more controversial stuff being said, but not broadcasted because of bias.

    1. goober says:

      True. I do know Sebastian actually said “I respect him, and admire his career greatly, but get Mark out of the way. He is too slow. Please apologise to him on my behalf.”

      We simply got the edited bit.

      1. Gul says:

        choked on my breakfast….hahahahahah

      2. Joel says:

        :)
        He also asked “Hello Horner, is this a good time to talk, or should I call after a few minutes?”
        Kll – get on with it. These messages are broadcast for one and only reason – to increase viewer excitement and keep them involved during the couse of the race. F1 is not the only place this happens, if you open your eyes and look around, you will know.

  15. Danny Almonte says:

    Button has been exposed as a media manipulator. He even interrupted an interview after the Bahrain race to put his own spin on it. He seems desperate and unhappy, just like many of his fans. Things are not going according to plan and Button is a big part of the problem. LOL.

    1. For sure says:

      +1

  16. Robert says:

    “I am radioing the team, I’m not radioing TV companies.”

    Formula 1 has changed for the good of the fans and this statement is just not true. Drivers are radioing TV companies whenever they radio the team. That is hopefully not going to change, so Jenson would be best advised to recognise this fact and take it into consideration for any future radio messages.

  17. GT_Racer says:

    Its FOM & not the TV broadcasters who pick/play the radio messages.

    As to why only bits of the team radio is played, You don’t really want really long messages going out on the world feed so they only select & broadcast the parts which the director feels is worth airing.

    However FOM also have there pit lane channel now where additional team radio communications are broadcast & they also tend to play longer versions of the snippets played on the world feed.

    Pits channel radio bits from Bahrain gp-
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uiz-ykINu4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cfc6ee4NIg4

    1. Knuckles says:

      I wanted to say the same thing re FOM and am surprised that yours it the only comment mentioning that.

    2. KRB says:

      Is that the entire FOM channel feed? Was very good, thank you.

  18. Malcolm says:

    Jenson said to the pitwall, “calm him down.”

    If Button at the time, had taken some of his own advice, maybe now he wouldn’t be receiving so much criticism.

  19. BadName says:

    Button publicly criticized, condescendingly so, Vettel over the Multi-21 incident. None of his business but fine, Button seems to have an opinion about everything these days.

    Unfortunately, Lewis took notice and decided to reveal that Button did the same thing to him, passing him after orders were given for drivers to maintain postion and turn the engines down. Miraculously, I saw no angry mobs with torches coming after Button for doing this. Not even a single mention, really.

    And now Perez racing him, forcing Button to cry for help over the radio, something Button cant seem to let go of. He has to tell everyone Perez apologized. Perez didn’t. He has to tell everyone its been taken care of, yet he wont let it go because he hasn’t finished administering the blame.

  20. ACx says:

    Is Jenson becoming the new Alonso????

  21. aveli says:

    i don’t understand button, he is the most experienced f1 driver so he should know what happens with team radio messages. he has also raced against hamilton at mclaren for 3 years so he should know where mclaren stand with letting drivers race unless he expected special favours from the team.
    perez went on to pass several other drivers after passing button and they didn’t complain. button was also passed but several drivers after perez passed him and he didn’t complain. confirming that the problem lies with button and the radio broadcast was truthful. nature will take it’s course.

  22. Jumpy O' VeRbUmP says:

    C’mon, Jenson – you know you’re just part of a global prime ‘entertainment channel’ now.

    I’m sure your words were carefully chosen to inspire lengthy and heated debate amongst acolytes of the F1 bloggerati –
    Much appreciated!

  23. Personally I think the way the broadcasts are handled really interrupt the flow of the coverage. The way the little graphic comes up and the commentators start bringing themselves down to a mumble whilst in the middle of dialogue, just to hear something that is half the time not even relevant.

    Worse still is when the graphic comes up, the commentary is interrupted, then the graphic disappears with nothing coming through at all.

    I wish they’d just provide the quotes to the broadcasters to feed in at their own convenience, the same way they are able to do with their in-house driver interviews etc

    1. James Allen says:

      It is quite difficult to commentate around, but they definitely add value to the narrative. Imagine Malaysia without the “This is Silly Seb” and “He’s too slow get him out of my way” lines being broadcast

  24. Fair point by Jenson. Hand picking comments will tend to create a biased picture – but it makes for great entertainment!

  25. jb says:

    Just “shut up and drive” – Rihanna.

  26. Elie says:

    Oh gees this is bordering on ridiculous !. Why does Jenson have to worry about what he said on the radio.It was as placid as school girl whos hair was messed up by the wind..Most drivers would have said get that “@#% idiot out of the back of the car” or words to that effect..Anything happens in the heat of battle.
    Same for Raikkonen at Abu Dhabi last year..it was a nothing comment, but the fact he won just carried it through the media (and still going)..I’m sure he still cant believe the fuss.

    JB is right to say that the media drummed it up-but hey thats their job..and really he did not say anything that required defense at all !
    In fact I’m surprised people didn’t say how “nice he was” about it..But opinions are always divided.This incident did nothing to highlight what a crafty, political brown nosing driver Jenson is. Oddly enough people are only just starting to see it now -except the one or two hardcore JB fans out there

  27. Andy says:

    Since Sky bought the rights to coverage in the UK, I’ve been able to watch the Drivers Press Conference prior to each race. I’ve watched them all since the start of 2012 and have been disappointed by the behaviour of the top drivers. They often sit there laughing, joking and talking to each other while another driver is talking. They rarely offer sensible replies.
    The best and most detailed answers always come from the lesser teams’ drivers. Webber is an exception in my opinion.
    The drivers have a lot of media responsibilities, it’s part of their job.
    I’ve always seen Button as one of the best when it comes to the media, but here it looks as though he’s just sounding off after being beaten by his team mate.

    1. ADF says:

      Whilst it may be a bit disrespectful to do other things whilst a peer is being interviewed, it shows to me that there is still some sort of camaraderie between the drivers

  28. jimbob says:

    No more Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrradio !!

    What more I have to do !!

  29. John says:

    Jb is should not complaining and drive! Calm him down!? No this is a race either drive faster or get out of his way. Now its the broadcasters… He should write a book of F1 driver excuses.

  30. vivek says:

    Hi James.

    A question again slightly out of topic. My calculation and imagination tells me Lewis Hamilton would have put this years McLaren on Pole or at least in the top 3 in China, if he was still at McLaren.

    Here we go.

    Lets take Q2 for reference, as Button din’t do a proper Q3 lap for strategic reasons. Here are the times,

    Hamilton : 1:35.0
    Rosberg : 1:35.5
    Button : 1:35.7

    If Hamilton is about 3 tenths faster than JB, and Rosberg is the fastest Mercedes driver (at least in qualifying like last year) , the revised timings look like,

    Hamilton : 1:35.4 (assuming he is in a McLaren)
    Rosberg : 1:35.5
    Button : 1:35.7

    So does it mean McLaren don’t have such a bad car as it is claimed in the media? It may not be as good as last year, but there is genuine pace in the races. In qualifying Hamilton’s acrobatics could have put them on pole.

    All this is theory, but something to think about. For e.g last year Hamilton was fastest in Catalunya, while JB did not make it to Q3. And last years McLaren was considered the best in the field. This year, we are saying everything on the basis of JB’s qualifying pace.

    Reality is probably that their car is not too good, but not as bad as it looks compared to last year.

    Your views on this..

    1. KRB says:

      100% agree. Textbook case of how a driver can change how a car is perceived.

    2. Kbdavies says:

      I have already postulated this theory,on a different site, and was shot down in flames by Jenson fans who claim the Macca is nowhere near pole position material.
      If fact, i was quoted the average quali gap for Lewis vs Jenson in 2012 which was .275 of a second (almost 3/10ths) as proof. Theyconveniently ignored the fact that this was an “average” gap, so the actual gap would have been quite a bit more at some races.

    3. aveli says:

      if that mclaren is fast enough to win races, it will win in either hands because button did win races last year. he is not only racing hamilton, he’s racing the rest of the field just like he did last season. it is not fair to make those claims. it’s best to look at the results as they are.

      1. Kbdavies says:

        No one is claiming it is “fast enough” to win races. Please read the comments. What we are claiming is that it could be put on pole – which Button is not so good at. Perez was good for 6th, and would arguably have duelled with Lewis for 5th; if he wasn’t held up for so long by Jenson. Remember the Merc was on Pole in Bahrain
        Incidentally, the McLaren is not alone in it’s drivers failing to maximise it’s single lap pace. The same accusation can be levelled at Ferrai and Lotus.

      2. aveli says:

        kbdavies, i always enjoy discussing actual events and results and agonise over imaginary events and results. there is enough evidence to suggest hamilton was faster than button in qualifying and on sundays but to suggest hamilton would’ve put this seasons mclaren on pole is far fetched but possible. after all hamilton may have directed the team to find the speed they’re lacking.
        one other important fact you’re missing is that rosberg also put the mercedes on pole so the car is the common denominator not the driver. one could also argue that button has been on pole before so he does know how to put a car on pole.
        to end, you must be great at imaginary conclusions because i believe that i am in a better position to say what am doing than you are. i read your claims before responding, then and now. we’ll see how they go racing in barcelona.

      3. vivek says:

        How fast a car is.. is judged usually by Qualifying pace. All am saying is that, right from 2010 to 2012 , Hamilton’s magic could have contributed to McLaren looking strong (only pole JB had was in Belgium). So when saying McLaren have a dog of a car compared to last year, one has to be measured. They don’t have the same driver line up and could be a significant reason for the car looking slow.

      4. aveli says:

        in the past, different engines were used for qualifying and race so judging how far a car was wasn’t based on qualifying pace. today the same engine is used for both race and qualifying and how fast a car is is still not based on qualifying pace but race pace. this is the reason points are awarded on race day.
        the constructors championship table is a very good indicator of the order of how fast the cars are.
        button and hamilton have been teammates and we know the outcome. button has a new teammate and we’ll soon see the outcome.
        i found out that professy is life’s least profitable occupation.

      5. Kbdavies says:

        Well, if are going by actual events and results, then it is indeed clear that Lewis is more likely to put the 2013 McLaren on pole than Button is.
        Button claimed a single pole in 3 yrs at Macca, whilst his teammate had 9.
        Past form is the best indicator or predictor of present form. We can therefore theorise that Button is not likely to put this year McLaren on pole whilst Lewis is more likely to do so. Nothing wrong with that.

        Btw, Rosberg is also a good qualifier.

      6. Kbdavies says:

        That is the main problem with McLaren now. There is no way they can know how bad(or good) the car really is as Button is the reference point. Remember, the cars are quite close, so even a seemingly minor difference of 2/10ths means a lot in terms of grid position and lap times over a race distance.

      7. aveli says:

        we don’t what what will happen next weekend, saturday and sunday. button could be on pole so i’ll wait to find out. button was less likely to be on pole all season in 2012 but he was on pole albeit on one occasion.
        have a look at this weeks autosport and you’ll see that the mclaren set the average 2nd fastest race lap in the four races, second to red bull so everything is possible.

  31. petreous for president says:

    please jenson, can you just concentrate on the driving, and stop talking.

  32. Sebee says:

    FOM,

    May I please request that we knock it off with these 3 week breaks? Please, it’s painful. And we have 2 more long breaks to go.

    All GPs should be 2 weeks apart at most, and we should only have the one longer than 2 weeks break for the summer – which at 5 weeks this year is just too darn long!

    Nice to get that rant off my chest.

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