Posted on March 14, 2014


It won’t just be F1’s cars that get their first competitive run-out of 2014 at Albert Park this weekend. The Australian Grand Prix will also mark the start of the fifth season for Run That Track, the informal F1 running club that raises money for the Make a Wish Foundation by pounding out timed laps of grand prix circuits the world over. The new running season kicks off on Saturday at 21:45 local time in Melbourne with team personnel, media and paddock folk of all stripes all breaking out new-season trainers for a blast around Albert Park. Last year they were More…

Posted on February 22, 2014


Nico Rosberg today brought the first Bahrain test to a close with a flourish, the Mercedes driver setting the week’s fastest time with a lap of 1:33.283. The only driver to break the 1min 34s barrier, Rosberg’s time was set on soft tyres in the midst of a sequence of fast short runs. The German also racked up the most laps on day four of the test with 89 tours of the Sakhir circuit. “We can be very pleased with the first test in Bahrain this week,” said Rosberg. “We completed a lot of mileage and learnt more about the More…

Posted on January 29, 2014


McLaren’s Jenson Button topped the timesheets in Jerez today, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, but the second of day of pre-season testing was defined by problems for Renault-powered teams. While Mercedes-powered teams logged 212 laps today and Ferrari-powered cars put in 100 tours of the Spanish circuit, Red Bull Racing, Caterham and Toro Rosso, which all use Renault’s Energy F1-2014 power unit, completed just 19 laps today. Sebastian Vettel managed just eight laps in his RB10 before the team called a halt to proceedinga citing a problem with the car’s energy store. Toro Rosso fared even worse, with rookie Daniil Kvyat More…

Posted on January 13, 2014


John Button, father of Jenson and one of the most charismatic people in the F1 paddock of the last 15 years has died at the age of 70. His loss is a source of great sadness to me as he was one of my favourite people in the sport. He is believed to have suffered a heart attack at his home in the South of France. John was a terrific man; very funny, irreverent and loved by many in F1 regardless of their team affiliation or whether they had ever had anything to do with him or Jenson. He could More…

Posted on December 9, 2013


In the next of our series of analysis of the head-to-head records of team mate pairings, we look at Jenson Button and Sergio Perez’s season together at McLaren. With Lewis Hamilton leaving for Mercedes, Button had a new team mate for 2013 in the form of Perez. The Mexican joined the Woking-Based outfit after a strong season for Sauber where he scored three podiums and came close to winning the 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix. It proved to be a difficult year for McLaren, who failed to score a single podium all season for the first time since 1980. The team More…

Posted on November 13, 2013


McLaren’s Jenson Button has been excited about the introduction of next season’s new regulations since back 2012 and he is confident he will be able to adapt his driving style to get the most out of the new cars. Formula 1 will see a switch to V6 turbo engines next season while engines will need to use around 50kg less fuel to complete a race distance – that’s a 33% reduction on this year. The Briton, who made his debut in 2000 and will start his 15th season in the sport next year, believes drivers will have a lot of More…

Posted on July 25, 2013


McLaren are a team who are used to winning races however they are facing the prospect of their first winless season since 2006 and second since 1996. The Woking-based team finished last year with the fastest car, as Jenson Button claimed victory in the season finale at Interlagos in Brazil. However, the team chose to radically change the design of their car and have since struggled to understand and successfully develop it. Button or Sergio Perez have failed to finish higher than fifth in the first nine races of the season to leave the team sixth in the constructors’ championship, behind More…

Posted on July 3, 2013


Welcome to the JA on F1 podcast for July. This month we have a very special edition coming from behind the scenes at the FIA Sport Conference week in Goodwood. The three day event, in the days leading up to the British Grand Prix weekend, featured a wide cast of characters and was focussed on the challenges facing the sport, as well as the work that has been done in key areas. We had a unique opportunity to go behind the scenes and talk with some of the big names; In a rare interview, FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting explains More…

Posted on June 10, 2013


McLaren’s Jenson Button said he has “never been so pleased to get out of a car” after he finished a lowly 12th in Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix, once place behind his team-mate Sergio Perez. The result ended McLaren’s impressive 64-race streak in the points and highlighted their current plight. The team are sixth in the constructors’ championship, 164 points behind leaders Red Bull while neither Button or Perez has come close to scoring a podium. Button, the 2009 world champion, tried a one-stop strategy in Montreal, while his team-mate Sergio Perez did two stops, however both drivers struggled and finished just three More…

Posted on May 13, 2013


Britain’s Jenson Button has described McLaren’s current form as “embarrassing” following the Spanish Grand Prix where he finished eighth, one place ahead of team mate Sergio Perez. McLaren, who won the final race of last season with what was considered to be the fastest car on the grid, made major changes to their machine for 2013, while their rivals took an evolutionary approach. As a result, they have dropped down the grid and currently lie sixth in the constructors’ championship, 102 points behind leaders Red Bull while Button is best placed in the drivers’ standings 64 behind leader Sebastian Vettel. More…

Posted on May 2, 2013


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 More…

Posted on April 22, 2013


McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh is confident Jenson Button and Sergio Perez will be able to move on after the team mates clashed several times in Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix. Perez, who joined McLaren from Sauber this season, has had a lacklustre start to the season, prompting Whitmarsh to tell him earlier this week that he needs to “toughen up” and “use his elbows” – and in Bahrain, the Mexican did just that. The 23-year-old boldly overtook Red Bull’s Mark Webber and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso to show signs of the spark which attracted McLaren to him in the first place. More…

Posted on April 15, 2013


It’s tough times for McLaren at the moment: Sergio Perez has yet to get his season started while Jenson Button says his team still lack the pace to compete with the likes of Ferrari, Red Bull, Mercedes and Lotus despite scoring his best result of the season in China. The 2009 world champion battled to ninth place in Australia and then failed to finish in Malaysia, after earlier being on target for a top six finish. But in China, buoyed by some new upgrades and a brave strategy, he finished fifth. In each case McLaren has gambled on strategy, because More…

Posted on March 21, 2013


It’s been one of the worst starts to a season for the McLaren team, but there is defiance from within the ranks that sticking with the 2013 design is a better path than reverting to the old car, which won the last two races of 2012. Speaking in the Sepang paddock this afternoon, Jenson Button said that they would stick with the Plan A and work with the 2013 design. It meant that they would be able to “take more risks” than their rivals because they are chasing results. “It’s better to stick to the plan and develop and improve More…

Posted on March 18, 2013


Britain’s Jenson Button says his new McLaren is not capable of winning a grand prix in its current spec after he trailed home ninth in the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. The 2009 world champion, who had tasted victory at Albert Park in three of the last four years before Sunday’s race, lacked the pace to contend with the likes of Lotus, Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes. Kimi Raikkonen went on to take victory for Lotus, ahead of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Red Bull’s reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel while Button took ninth and his team-mate Sergio Perez finished outside More…

Posted on March 14, 2013


McLaren and TAG Heuer have announced a new partnership which sees the watchmaker extend its commitment to the British team. Speaking at the Geneva Motor Show, TAG Heuer president and CEO Jean-Christophe Babin and executive chairman of the McLaren Group Ron Dennis said that the watchmaker would continue to supply the official timepiece to the Formula 1 team. The partnership also extends to include McLaren Automotive, the sports car arm of the business which includes the 12C and McLaren P1. TAG Heuer, who began its relationship with McLaren 28 years ago, will also support McLaren’s Young Driver Development programme, a More…

Posted on February 5, 2013


As the new F1 cars got down to business on the first day of testing in Jerez, Jenson Button and McLaren overcame an early on-track stoppage to top the time sheets by a considerable margin, ahead of Mark Webber and Romain Grosjean. But there were troubles for Mercedes too, as they were forced to cut the opening day short with electrical problems. Two red flags in the morning caused by Button and Nico Rosberg put the brakes on their respective programmes, with Rosberg the most hampered as Mercedes opted to call it a day and solve the issue before Lewis More…

Posted on November 27, 2012


Lewis Hamilton’s final race for McLaren in Brazil represented a clear closing of an era for the Woking squad both in terms of its long-standing relationship with its one-time protégé and, after three season and 58 races in tandem, the team’s high-profile all-British world champion driver line-up. While Hamilton’s hopes of saying farewell with an Interlagos victory were scuppered when Nico Hulkenberg slid into him at turn one, Jenson Button was able to pick up the pieces and lay down a marker for 2013 when he will inevitably assume additional responsibility and expectation at the team given the relative inexperience More…

Posted on November 20, 2012


Lewis Hamilton’s father, Anthony, has given a revealing insight into how his relationship with his son has evolved over the last couple of years and why the move to Mercedes is another example of him flying the nest. Hamilton Snr’s presence in McLaren’s post-race celebrations of Hamilton’s brilliant victory in Austin pointed towards father and son having firmly been reconciled this year after a period in which their relationship, publicly at least, has appeared more distant. The pair had been famously more akin to a double act as Lewis came through the motorsport ranks and into his record-breaking early years More…

Posted on November 1, 2012


A few weeks have passed since it was confirmed that Lewis Hamilton will leave McLaren for Mercedes at the end of the 2012 season. Today Jenson Button admitted that he would be a “big loss”, while Hamilton has addressed the mountain he will have to climb next season with a Mercedes team which has failed to score points in the last three races. “The team loses a very fast driver, a guy that’s achieved a lot with the team, the last guy to win a world championship for the team,” said Button in the Abu Dhabi paddock this afternoon. “It’s More…

Posted on September 16, 2012


[Updated] Formula 1 sage and former McLaren team co-ordinator Jo Ramirez believes a failure to come to terms with the fact that he had been beaten by team-mate Jenson Button explained Lewis Hamilton’s tweeting of telemetry traces at Spa. Hamilton endured a miserable weekend in Belgium at the start of this month, becoming embroiled in controversy over several messages posted to the social media site – all of which were ultimately taken down. Ramirez, a mainstay at McLaren for 17 years before retiring in 2001, reckons that the telemetry incident highlighted a general reluctance for the current generation of drivers More…

Posted on September 4, 2012

The Strategy Report

Jenson Button’s victory in the Belgian Grand Prix makes him the leading points scorer of the last three races, a reversal of a trend, which began in May, where the British driver and his McLaren team lost their way. The problem Button was suffering from was a lack of performance due to mismatched tyre temperatures between the front and rear tyres and the team was experimenting with various ways of solving that, including heating the tyres from the inside, using heat soak from the brakes. They’ve now found a solution, partly involving aerodynamics to increase rear end grip and aerodynamic More…

Posted on September 1, 2012


Jenson Button claimed his first McLaren pole position in dominant fashion today with a spectacular performance in Spa to head an unexpected top three ahead of Kamui Kobayashi and Pastor Maldonado. But hours after the session ended, stewards took Maldonado’s fastest time away for an impeding incident in Q1 on Hulkenberg. It moves Kimi Raikkonen, who was also quizzed by stewards for leaving the circuit boundary with all four wheels, up to third, with Perez fourth. In Button’s 50th Grand Prix for McLaren he set two laps fast enough for pole and finished the session 3/10ths faster than anybody. The More…

Posted on August 30, 2012


McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh believes the performance the team showed in the two races immediately prior to the summer break has set it up to have a real crack at both world championship titles over the remainder of the season. The Woking squad had looked in danger of being cut adrift in the battle for the drivers’ championship in particular after disappointing race performances in Valencia and Silverstone but a big upgrade for the German Grand Prix provided a much-needed breakthrough with Jenson Button finishing second there and Lewis Hamilton then winning the following weekend in Hungary. Hamilton is in More…

Posted on July 30, 2012


The Hungarian GP weekend may have prevented Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button from following the opening days of the 2012 Olympics too closely but the British pair ensured they were showing their support for the 541 athletes taking part in the London Games for Team GB by carrying a message of support on their race helmets. Both drivers raced with ‘Go Team GB’ stickers on the top of their crash helmets over the weekend at the Hungaroring, with Hamilton also displaying a message in support of his father Anthony family’s country, Grenada, which has 10 competitors in action at the More…

Posted on July 12, 2012


The McLaren Group has announced a new branch of its company, McLaren Animation. The new venture is aimed at bringing a more accessible front to McLaren as well as stimulating increased brand loyalty; as is apparent in the company’s first production – ‘Tooned’. McLaren Animation has set up an alliance with Oscar-winning animation studio Framestore – whose recent projects have included the film War Horse and the BBC’s Euro 2012 title sequence – to create ‘Tooned’, a new show featuring the voices of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button as themselves as well as Alexander Armstrong, who will voice Professor M. More…

Posted on July 5, 2012


Jenson Button has been managing expectations for fans who will pack the grandstands at Silverstone, as he believes that heavy rains on Friday will restrict track action. Torrential rains are forecast for central England, with risks of flooding. As Silverstone bosses revealed that they have extensive contingency plans in place to deal with the threat of car parks turning into mud holes with heavy rain forecast for Friday, Button says that the drivers will not do many laps in practice “As far as I can see it’s going to rain all weekend. The problem is we are restricted in tyres More…

Posted on June 20, 2012


McLaren heads into the middle phase of the season hopeful it has finally turned a corner with its pit stops and strategy in wake of Lewis Hamilton’s victory in Canada, operations director Simon Roberts has said today. The team’s attempts to capitalise on the MP4-27’s generally strong pace since Jenson Button’s season-opening victory in Australia had been hampered by repeated errors in pit stops in particular but a change to its processes and personnel since Spain have steadily improved the situation, with analysis on this website showing that, while McLaren’s fastest pit stop remained behind those of chief rivals’ Ferrari, More…

Posted on June 14, 2012


Up-and-coming racing drivers are to benefit from the experience and insight of Jenson Button and Alex Wurz after the pair became the first Formula 1 drivers to sign up to an online coaching website. The SAFEisFAST website, run by the American Road Racing Drivers Club, launched the ground-breaking online initiative earlier this year and signed up a host of American racing stars including Dario Franchitti to provide expert advice to aspiring drivers, who were given the opportunity to submit questions to the famous racing names. The scheme, which is funded via a grant from the FIA Institute, provides advice on More…

Posted on June 14, 2012


One of the most stark stories of recent weeks has been the decline in form of Jenson Button, who won the first race of the season but has now fallen to eighth in the driver’s standings, 43 points adrift of championship leader Lewis Hamilton. With seven different race winners and no-one running away with the championship, it’s by no means a disaster. But the McLaren driver knows he needs to get on top of his set up issues and get back onto the podium as soon as possible to keep himself in contention. The problem, as always in F1, is More…

Posted on May 24, 2012


Jenson Button set the fastest time in the second free practice session ahead of Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix, but much of the afternoon was lost to rain showers, which also threaten the qualifying session on Saturday. Romain Grosjean was second with the two Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso next up. The first session in the morning had shown that the Lotus and the Ferrari look competitive this weekend, with Alonso edging out Grosjean at the top of the time sheets. Grosjean’s Lotus team mate Kimi Raikkonen spent most of the morning in the garage, changing the steering geometry More…

Posted on March 18, 2012


Jenson Button won an dramatic Australian Grand Prix ahead of Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, with Lewis Hamilton dropping from pole position to third at the flag. Hamilton was disconsolate afterwards, while Button was delighted having won the bragging rights within the team at the outset of the season. It was Button’s 13th career victory and his third here in Melbourne and it was all done at the first corner, where he dived down the inside of Hamilton to take the lead. He managed to survive a late safety car, which cut his 10 second lead to nothing, while Vettel and More…

Posted on February 2, 2012


Here is something a bit different, which will hopefully give fans a flavour of the McLaren 2012 car launch yesterday. It’s an opportunity to listen to the audio of the media group interviews conducted yesterday with Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Martin Whitmarsh. Hamilton speaks about what he’s been doing over the winter, his 2011 season to forget and his hopes for the year. He also speaks about how it feels to be getting older as a driver, now 27 years of age. Button speaks about his feelings about the competition, particularly the thrill of being one of a record More…

Posted on January 5, 2012


Lewis Hamilton has done a short interview in La Gazzetta dello Sport today in which he says a couple of interesting things. One is about team mate Jenson Button, the other on Felipe Massa. On Button he says, “Jenson is very fast and has built around himself a very strong team of technicians. I always want to beat him and I’m never happy if I don’t. But psychologically I don’t see it as a problem. He’s an open person who you can get along with. “It would be great to fight with him for the world title in 2012, it More…

Posted on November 11, 2011


With two races to go in the 2011 F1 season and Jenson Button ahead of Lewis Hamilton by 38 points, we’re running a competition to predict what the final points position will be between the two McLaren team mates after the final race in Brazil. Hamilton had the edge during the first two thirds of the season then Button got in front at the Belgian Grand Prix and since then his run of podiums and a win in Japan have eased him clear, while Hamilton has been involved in collisions and hasn’t hauled in the points. Hamilton, who has never More…

Posted on November 11, 2011


One of the themes running through the second half of this season has been Lewis Hamilton’s troubled demeanour and the way issues off the track have affected his performances on it. Here in the Yas Marina paddock yesterday Hamilton offered a window in to his troubled soul, confirming many of the things commentators have been saying for months about the effect his private life have had on his professional life. He explains some of how he is feeling. He envies team mate Jenson Button’s protective “bubble” of friends and family and faces the prospect of being beaten by a team More…

Posted on October 31, 2011


It was interesting last night after the Indian Grand Prix to hear McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh suggest that part of the reason for Lewis Hamilton being off form and rather niggly with many people he encounters in F1 at the moment is because he isn’t enjoying being beaten by his team mate, Jenson Button. “Lewis will be feeling under pressure because of the great performances from Jenson at the moment, ” said Whitmarsh. “Lewis, the great, exciting driver that he is, will not like being beaten by Jenson. I don’t want him to enjoy being beaten by his team-mate. I More…

Posted on October 14, 2011


I’ve got a fantastic competition this weekend for JA on F1 readers around the world; we have four signed Senna movie posters and DVDs of the film, released this week, to give away. All you have to do is predict the time gap between the two McLaren drivers at the finish of Sunday’s Korean Grand Prix and in whose favour. So for example if you think that Jenson Button will finish ahead of Lewis Hamilton by 4 seconds use the comments box below and write “Button by 4 secs”. Or you could predict that one will finish and the other More…

Posted on October 9, 2011


Sebastian Vettel became the youngest double world champion in the history of F1 today, the 24 year old finishing third in the race and wrapping up the title with four races still to go. “To win the championship here is fantastic,” said an emotional Vettel. “I’m so thankful to everyone in the team, working day in and day out pushing hard. We found ourselves in a strong position and it’s great to achieve our goals. This year we have always been one step ahead. There is no secret, it’s step by step. The hardest thing is winning after winning, to More…

Posted on October 5, 2011


Jenson Button has committed himself to a long term contract at McLaren, ruling out a move any time soon to any of the team’s rivals. McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh describes him as “one of the most capable and respected drivers we’ve ever had.” ‪ Button is in the form of his life at the moment, lying second in the drivers’ world championship, with a chance to become the first F1 team mate to beat Lewis Hamilton in the points standings – he is currently 17 points ahead – and he is thoroughly enjoying his racing. He’s stood on the More…

Posted on July 31, 2011


On his 200th Grand Prix start and the 5th anniversary of his maiden victory in Hungary, Jenson Button drove a perfectly judged race to take his 11th victory and his second of the season. And it takes him to fourth place in the all time points scorers list behind Schumacher, Alonso and Prost. As in the most recent victory in Canada, it was Sebastian Vettel who followed him home. Once again it was a great outcome for his championship challenge as he extended his lead to 85 points, the largest margin at any point this season. Fernando Alonso finished third More…

Posted on June 20, 2011


Not surprisingly the stories beginning to swirl around Ferrari being interested in Jenson Button have led to McLaren suggesting that they plan to offer an improved deal starting at the end of his current contract in January 2013. They have let it be known, via Autosport.com today, that they will be looking to tie up a renewal quickly with the 2009 champion. Button is having a very good year, driving very well and lying second in the championship with a win under his belt from Canada. He’s even talking about being able to challenge Sebastian Vettel for the title this More…

Posted on June 12, 2011


Jenson Button won an astonishing Canadian Grand Prix with a last lap pass on Sebastian Vettel, who made a mistake when leading. After two high pressure finishes in Spain and Monaco where he held on, Vettel made a mistake under pressure this time and you could tell that it hurt him. He extended his championship lead to 60 points, with Button moving into second place in the table, but it was scant consolation; everything has been going right for Vettel so far this year, but today he came unstuck. It was Button’s 10th career victory and his first since China More…

Posted on November 7, 2010


Reigning world champion Jenson Button and his entourage have just arrived at the Interlagos circuit to tell the story of how they escaped machine gun wielding bandits last night. Button, his father John, manager Richard Goddard and trainer Mike Collyer left the circuit at around 7pm last night in an armoured Mercedes and were attacked at the bottom of the hill which leads away from Interlagos and back towards the city of Sao Paulo. There is a favella all the way down the hill on the right hand side of the road, the side which is next to the lane More…

Posted on October 13, 2010


I was fascinated by the way Jenson Button attacked the Japanese Grand Prix, with his strategy of running the hard tyre in qualifying and the first part of the race. It didn’t work for him and he has pretty much dropped out of contention for the title as a result. Actually “attacked” is the wrong word, because if anything this strategy showed timidity – perhaps even a lack of confidence. For a championship contender up against some fierce competitors, with four races to go, it seemed an odd thing to do. Surely Jenson should have gone out there on the More…

Posted on September 13, 2010


Jenson Button maintained a narrow lead over Fernando Alonso for the first 36 laps of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, but lost the race when he pitted first. It was a game changing decision by McLaren. After the race Button said it was the wrong decision, while McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh said it was the right one. So what is the truth? Did the call to pit Button before Alonso cost him what would have been a historic and memorable victory? Button got the lead at the start, but it was clear from the performance of the Ferrari that More…

Posted on September 12, 2010


This afternoon’s Italian Grand Prix is wonderfully poised, with Fernando Alonso starting on pole but Jenson Button alongside him. Alonso’s race will be about dominating the start and then relentless pace. Button has been thinking about his race since Friday and has gone with a plan which, if it works, will spring a trap on Alonso and the others at the pits stops. The McLaren drivers were given the option of running with higher downforce and the F Duct drag reducing wing, or running a standard Monza low downforce set up. The latter gives you approximately 8km/h additional straight line More…

Posted on August 28, 2010


Red Bull got their 12th pole position in 13 races today, but behind that headline is an interesting story which gives McLaren some encouragement for the Grand Prix, particularly if it is wet, as it has been every day this weekend. I spoke with Mark Webber after the qualifying session and he seemed to be more impressed with Lewis Hamilton’s improvement of four tenths of a second at the end of the session when the track was wet, than he was with his own pole position. Asking engineers from other teams they share that sense of wonder at Hamilton’s final More…

Posted on August 23, 2010


You will have heard the expression “seat fitting” in connection with F1. Well this is what it looks like. This is a behind the scenes video I shot a little while ago at McLaren which provides a fascinating insight into the detail a team will go into to get the driver comfortable in the car. They have a perfect mock up of the chassis and all the components in it, like the steering wheel, headrest, seat padding and so on. You can see Lewis Hamilton working on the fine detail of the steering wheel movement and his seat padding. It More…

Posted on July 6, 2010


Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton were today challenged by an 11 year old boy to arrange a bet between themselves as to who will come out on top in the world championship. The challenge, from 11 year old Carl Hillis, came during a press conference organised by British GP sponsor Santander, which I was hosting. The event took place at Great Ormond Street Hospital and Carl has been a patient there most of his life. He is writing an article for the hospital magazine and wanted to know what the loser would have to do if he lost. Jenson and More…

Posted on July 5, 2010


Here is an exclusive Jenson Button British Grand Prix preview for JA on F1 readers. It’s video we shot at the Westfield Shoping Centre in London last Thursday evening, a few hours after the Fans’ Forum ended – busy day! The reigning world champion, previews the race at Silverstone for us. He talks about what he found when he drove the new Silverstone layout on the McLaren simulator, describes the “buzz” of arriving at Silverstone both as world champion and in the thick of the fight for this year’s title and talks about the confidence he feels since winning the More…

Posted on June 19, 2010


As you know, I’m a keen student of viral videos; not many people do them well in F1 and there have been plenty of poor ones. I quite like this latest effort from McLaren and Vodafone. They have done some lame ones, but the one where the two blokes build a remote control device and persuade McLaren to let them use it to drive a real F1 car was funny. This one shows Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, left to their own devices by their mechanics, building what looks like a 2008 McLaren from a pile of parts. There is More…

Posted on May 28, 2010


An eventful first day of practice at Istanbul ended with Jenson Button setting the fastest time, with team mate Lewis Hamilton fourth. The Red Bull cars look very fast but there are reliability worries. Winner of the last two Grands Prix Mark Webber stopped out on track in the final moments of practice with a suspected engine failure, having set the second fastest time. It will have been an old engine, probably close to its mileage limit, but nevertheless and engine failure is an engine failure. His Red Bull team mate Sebastian Vettel was third fastest despite time lost to More…

Posted on May 26, 2010


McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale took part in the latest in the series of Vodafone teleconferences with leading websites today and it was an interesting discussion. What caught my attention was his comment about Jenson Button, who lost the championship lead in Monaco after a pair of fairly ordinary results there and in Spain. For Button it has either been victory, gained through tactical plays in changeable conditions, or minor placings this season and his best qualifying has been fourth. My understanding of the situation has been that Button is quite happy with the general set-up of the car and More…

Posted on May 21, 2010


I’ve been thinking about Mark Webber’s recent success and it struck me that ‘older driver makes good’ is such a positive storyline for Formula 1. In two successive seasons we have seen the phenomenon of drivers in the later stages of their careers finding success; Jenson Button and Mark Webber. Both have seen their careers revitalized when it looked like the sands of time might be starting to run out for them. What makes it doubly positive is that It hasn’t happened for a while and it goes against the prevailing trend of gilded youth in sport. In the last More…

Posted on May 10, 2010


Jenson Button had a frustrating afternoon in the Spanish Grand Prix, losing a place to Michael Schumacher at the first pit stop and failing to pass him for the remainder of the race. Button scored ten points for fifth place and retained his lead in the world championship heading into this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix, but his comments surprised senior figures in the Mercedes team and many onlookers. Button criticised Schumacher for his passing move as Button exited the pits, “”He turned in and if I didn’t back out of it we would have crashed,” he said. “So he didn’t More…

Posted on April 18, 2010


Jenson Button’s victory in the Chinese Grand Prix today, which puts him in the lead in the championship, is one of those results which can change perceptions in Formula 1. Let’s take a balanced look at this situation. Last year he took a big early lead in the championship in a car with a big technical advantage and then had a patchy second half to the season, holding on for dear life to win the title. Nevertheless I put him as ‘Driver of the Year’ because his peaks were very high and on some of his bad weekends he made More…

Posted on March 29, 2010


I’m very interested in the response of McLaren and its two drivers to the events in Australia. Jenson Button won the race with a performance of measured perfection and instinctive tactical brilliance, while Lewis Hamilton lit up Albert Park with his audacious passing, but ended up looking diminished in comparison with Button, less in control of his destiny, less mature. That isn’t so surprising; Button is 30 years old and ten years into his F1 career, whereas Hamilton is 25 and only three years in. Perhaps because he won the title so early in his career and has been a More…

Posted on March 1, 2010


World Champion Jenson Button spoke to a few of the leading F1 websites today on a phone-in from the McLaren Technology Centre. He seemed very upbeat after the testing and clearly believes that he has a competitive car. However he said that the last few weeks have proved to him that the first few laps of the race are going to be vital, “It’s like an endurance race, like Le Mans, ” he said. “The car works very differently from high to low fuel loads in terms of balance. It is a different way of driving from last season. We More…

Posted on January 29, 2010


The two McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button were quite a double act today at the launch of the new McLaren MP4/25. Hamilton welcomed his new team mate warmly, even suggesting that Button would get priority treatment in the event that the team could only produce one new piece of equipment for a race. In contrast to Ferrari and Mercedes, where there are obvious competitive tensions, the McLaren drivers are keen to appear well and truly loved up. It was obvious from the start of the presentation today. Hamilton spoke of how he had always looked up to Button More…

Posted on January 11, 2010


McLaren has reshuffled its engineering staff at the race track, giving both Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button new race engineers, who have been promoted from junior roles. Hamilton will work with 31 year old Andy Latham, while Button will be engineered by 39 year old Jakob Andreason, who was number two engineer on Hamilton’s car for the last few years. It is a statement of how careful they are trying to be to appear even handed between the two drivers. With painful experiences of Fernando Alonso’s year at the team, where allegations were made of preferential treatment towards Hamilton, McLaren More…

Posted on January 10, 2010


The two McLaren drivers for 2010, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button have had some revealing things to say this week as F1 gets going again after the New Year. The in house battle at McLaren will be a real talking point this year and the pair are approaching it in different ways. Hamilton has come out strongly to challenge Fernando Alonso, who will square up to him in a Ferrari this season. If it were not for the return of Michael Schumacher, this renewal of an old and bitter rivalry would have become the leading story line of F1. Meanwhile More…

Posted on December 14, 2009


Jenson Button collected a trophy yesterday at the BBC’s Sport Personality of the Year award, but not the one he was expecting. He was the favourite going into the event, but like Lewis Hamilton last year, the F1 world champion found himself demoted to second place, in this case by the Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs. The award is based on a public vote during the programme and this year’s Sports Personality event was totally overshadowed by the X Factor talent show which was on at the same time on ITV and which drew an audience of 20 million people. More…

Posted on December 1, 2009


A fantastic year for Jenson Button could be rounded out with a win in the most prestigious sporting award the UK has to offer. The short list for the 56th BBC Sports Personality of the Year award were announced last night and he is the odds on favourite to win. Looking at his competition, he should ease through to take the title. It is based on a vote by the British public and F1 drivers have always been well supported because F1 fans are passionate and actively get out to vote. Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill and Sir Jackie Stewart have More…

Posted on November 19, 2009


It’s amazing how little time there ever is in F1 to enjoy the moment, to celebrate something special, before something comes along and makes it all turn nasty. The bitterness is starting to come out now in the aftermath of Jenson Button’s shock move to McLaren on a three year contract. According to Ross Brawn, who has actually been trying to have a holiday this week while all of this has been going on, Button breached the terms of his contract when he visited the McLaren factory last Friday mid-way through the negotiations over a new deal. At the time More…

Posted on November 18, 2009


Jenson Button has done what he threatened to do; quit the team he won the championship with and launched a new adventure with McLaren. Button has a three year contract to race alongside Lewis Hamilton in an all British “World Champions” superteam. Everyone at the Brawn team in Brackley will be disappointed by this and there will be lots of question marks about loyalty and “feeling valued” swimming around on both sides. But at the end of the day Button has gone because Brawn and Mercedes were prepared to let him – and that says quite a lot. The timing More…

Posted on November 16, 2009


Tomorrow’s papers in the UK will be full of stories about how Mercedes’ takeover of Brawn means that the team will have an all German driver line-up, while Jenson Button is being pushed towards an all-English line up of Button and Lewis Hamilton. Indeed the Guardian is reporting this evening that Button is on the point of signing a £6m a year contract for three years. As the piece is written by Alan Henry, who knows what colour the toilet paper is in Woking from one day to the next, this news needs to be taken seriously. So is that More…

Posted on November 14, 2009


The latest turn of the wheel in the saga over where Jenson Button and Kimi Raikkonen will race next year is that Button and his manager, Richard Goddard visited McLaren’s Woking HQ yesterday. In itself that is no great surprise, it sends out a message to Brawn that Button has options and McLaren are known to be good payers. For McLaren it sends out a signal to Raikkonen, whose manager also toured McLaren this week, to act now if he wants to stay in F1 in a competitive car and to be more realistic about his salary demands. But what More…

Posted on October 29, 2009


Nico Rosberg sat down with a few of us this afternoon and promptly came out with the statement that this would be his last race with Williams. It comes as no great surprise to anyone, as he has been strongly linked with a seat at Brawn-Mercedes for months and less strongly linked with McLaren Mercedes. Rosberg’s seat at Williams will be taken by Rubens Barrichello and the received wisdom is that the pair are doing a swap. But Rosberg would not be drawn on where he was going next. “It is my last race for Williams,” he said. “It is More…

Posted on October 26, 2009


There has been a lot of talk this week about Jenson Button’s contract talks with the Brawn team. Proving what an unsentimental business this is, the champagne soaked clothes are barely back from the dry cleaners and both sides are publicly playing hardball. It’s a question of who needs who the most. The team have come through a lot together. It was really noticeable on the day the titles were clinched in Brazil that Ross Brawn’s first thoughts were for the employees he had been forced to let go when the team downsized from 700 to 450 in April. Equally, More…

Posted on October 22, 2009


Lewis Hamilton handed his champions’ crown to Jenson Button last weekend and in Abu Dhabi will race with the number one on his car for the last time. He is determined to win it back again, as soon as next year, but in the short term he thinks that he and Button could finish 1-2 in the final race – and I think that is a distinct possibility. “He will make a great champion, ” said Hamilton on his website. “I’m proud of what he’s done – both him and his team – and I think he’ll come to Abu More…

Posted on October 3, 2009


Jenson Button has been moved back five places on the grid for not observing the yellow flags warning him of debris on the circuit. Not ideal, but he is quite calm about it because his team mate Rubens Barrichello got the same penalty for the same offence. No-one has the slightest idea of exactly where on the grid he will start; estimates vary from 9th to 12th, depending on how you calculate it. So little changes between them and Button can watch his team mate closely in the race. Even without the penalties it was another less than perfect qualifying More…

Posted on September 8, 2009


Also in today’s Guardian interview with Felipe Massa is an interesting section where he talks about the championship battle and the recent, alarming decline in the form of Jenson Button. According to Massa, who fought Lewis Hamilton for last year’s world championship, Button is buckling under the pressure as the end of the championship comes into view and this offers Massa’s friend and fellow Brazilian Rubens Barrichello the chance to win the title, “Look at me, ” says Massa. “I came to Brazil six points behind [Hamilton], and I almost won the championship. That was one race. Rubens has five More…

Posted on August 28, 2009


Jenson Button lost his cool yesterday with the man from the Times, Ed Gorman, when he suggested that in the eyes of some, Button didn’t actually want to win the world championship. “I don’t think people are saying that seriously. Who could possibly say that?” said an incredulous Button. Button has made heavy going of shutting out this world title lately, especially in Valencia where he failed to turn a winning car into a winning result. He made a mistake in qualifying and then got boxed in at the start, dropping from 5th to 9th on the opening lap. This More…

Posted on August 25, 2009


Jenson Button had another low key weekend in Valencia, his fourth in a row. It’s not the end of the world, championships are won by keeping the scoreboard ticking over and Button has scored in every race. But unlike the previous races, Valencia was a race where the Brawn car was the fastest – for time really since Monaco – and this meant a chance to take a much needed win or podium to release some of the pressure which has been building on him. Instead Rubens Barrichello was the faster car all weekend, qualified well on a high fuel More…

Posted on July 27, 2009


Jenson Button has seen his championship lead diminish badly in the last three races. He has scored six points since Turkey, while Mark Webber has scored 24 and Sebastian Vettel 18. At four points per race, as he lost here in Budapest, he will lose the title lead by Japan. Brawn had a third bad result in a row on a track where everyone thought they should have re-established themselves. Hungary was everyone’s idea of a strong Brawn track and if you throw in the heat, and the updated technical package, it is deeply worrying for them that they could More…

Posted on July 23, 2009


Jenson Button was his usual honest self at his press briefing today in Budapest, facing up to the challenge and giving an insight into the level of research he has done into the track and how it suits the opposition. On Red Bull he said something very interesting, which is that he hopes the updates Brawn has brought here this weekend will “be enough to challenge the Red Bulls,” suggesting that he clearly feels that Brawn has fallen behind them lately. This may seem obvious given the mauling he’s taken in the last two races, but bear in mind that More…

Posted on July 16, 2009


On my way back from the airport on Sunday night my taxi driver was talking about Mosley this and Ecclestone that and I asked him if he was interested in other sports. He was. So then I asked him if he could name the regulatory and commercial bosses of any of those sports. He could not. These larger than life characters have actually taken over the limelight from the drivers this season, which is extraordinary but it looks like that is about to end and the focus for the final eight races will be on who is going to win More…

Posted on June 23, 2009


I have posted before about Jenson Button and his openness this season. Despite his reputation as a bit of a playboy, he is very serious about his racing and always has been. Now he’s at the sharp end and very focussed, he analyses situations very clearly and is good enough to share them with us in the media, on and off the record. After the British Grand Prix he did his usual media debrief and I have picked out a few comments which enhance our understanding of his situation and how the season is unfolding for him. Silverstone wasn’t a More…

Posted on June 4, 2009


Jenson Button sat down with the media this afternoon and as usual gave a well-considered analysis of where he stands relative to the opposition. Jenson is clearly thinking a lot about all aspects of the rival teams, as is normal, but what is good is that he is prepared to share his thoughts with the media in a considered way. “I think that the Red Bulls should work quite well here,” he said. “The car that they had in Barcelona, if they brought that here they would be competitive. We’ll have to see if their diffuser makes a difference on More…

Posted on May 28, 2009


There has been quite a bit of chatter in the last couple of days about Jenson Button’s future, in light of comments made by Brawn GP’s Nick Fry on the subject. “Jenson’s been with us a long time, and we’ve had failures and we’ve had successes,” said Fry. “My objective, and our objective, is to have him for the rest of his career, and nothing’s changed on that front. It’s mutual that he would like to stay with the team, and after five race wins, we should be able to get something together.” After five wins from six races and More…

Posted on May 21, 2009


I wasn’t surprised to hear Jenson Button saying that racing is dominating his life at the moment. Button is like many drivers who have found themselves in with a chance of winning the world title. Presented with an unexpected opportunity to fulfill his lifetime’s ambition, Button is finding that he can think of little else between races. “I’m probably a right boring bastard at the moment, I really am,” he said. Jenson has always had a relaxed air about him in person and in the years when things were not going so well, he found it easy to switch off More…

Posted on May 18, 2009


For the first time in his career, Jenson Button goes to Monaco as the favourite to win the race. “To go to Monaco with the lead in both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships is fantastic but we saw in Barcelona that the performance margins at the front are extremely close. There will be a lot of competitive cars fighting it out this weekend, ” he said. He has won four of the first five races and even though there have been signs lately that the Red Bull car is more than a match for the Brawn, at a tight circuit More…

Posted on May 14, 2009


Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton has today backed Brawn GP’s Jenson Button, the runaway championship leader, to finish the job off and take his title. “I think Jenson’s got a great chance, a great shot at it so I wish him all the best,” he told Reuters’ Alan Baldwin today. “I think if I were to wish anyone (else) to win, it would be him.” It’s quite an exciting prospect for British F1 fans to have two consecutive world champions. This used to happen in the 1960s when British drivers dominated the F1 scene. In 1962 to 65, we had More…

Posted on May 14, 2009


You recall the banter between Jenson Button, David Coulthard and Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone last year when Jenson challenged Lewis to join him in a Triathlon and Lewis accepted the bet only for his Dad to withdraw him later. Well Jenson will be participating in this year’s London Triathlon on August 1st and is going to be raising money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The race covers a 1500m swim, 40km bike ride and a 10km run, which Jenson is challenging himself to complete: “I’m aiming to finish in the top 10%, so no pressure!” I think it’s great he’s doing More…

Posted on May 8, 2009


Jenson Button says that he is not happy with the performance of his Brawn Mercedes car today, the first day of practice in Barcelona. The car is equipped with the new aerodynamic package, the team’s first major development step since the season started. It features a new engine cover, new floor and new bodywork around the rear suspension. It is supposed to have given around three to four tenths of a second to the car. Rubens Barrichello was fourth today and is happy with his car. It looks very much as though it is still the strongest car out there, More…

Posted on March 12, 2009


Everyone is buzzing with the performance of the new Brawn Mercedes car in Barcelona, particularly that lap Jenson did on Wednesday of 1m 19.127 to end the day fastest. There is a lot of speculation within F1 circles and the wider public about how he did that time, whether it is genuine or whether they are running an underweight car to attract sponsors, as some teams have done in the past. Even Fernando Alonso has paid tribute to the Brawn team today, saying that his Renault couldn’t do those lap times whatever configuration it was in! Well I’ve taken a More…

Posted on March 11, 2009


Ross Brawn’s team still has a long way to go, the car has no sponsors on it, the Mercedes engine deal is rumoured to be for just one year and they have to find partners in an economic crisis, but for 2009 things are a lot rosier for this team than they might appear. For one thing, Ross is not running the team on a shoestring, he has been given a budget not just to compete, but to impress. Honda estimated that it would cost them €100 million to close the team down and rather than do that, with all More…



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