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Paul Ricard 2018
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Why Jenson Button can't stop smiling
Why Jenson Button can't stop smiling
Posted By:   |  09 Mar 2009   |  5:45 pm GMT  |  14 comments

I’ve been at the Barcelona test today, where Jenson Button put the new Brawn-Mercedes through it’s first full day of testing alongside the opposition. And what a day it was.

Jenson was fastest this morning and then this afternoon he wound up fourth with a best lap of 1min 21.140. But we shouldn’t get too carried away with the headline lap times, the point is that the car ran very reliably, covering 250 miles in total, which is a fantastic effort for a first full day’s running, as rival teams acknowledged. It ran with hardly any problems and Jenson had a smile as wide as a Cheshire cat this evening.

As he said, he could so easily have been sitting at home on his sofa with no career to look forward to. He admitted that he had other offers but turned them down to stay with this team and was quite open about the fact that he has taken a pay cut and quite a significant one, to drive for Brawn GP this season.

He described his new car as ‘beautiful’.

“It’s been a stressful winter, five months out of the car. The plan B was not racing. But what would I do, sat at home? There’s nothing out there for me. I’m 29 years old, I’m still a kid and I’ve still got a lot to prove. I’m here to try to win races with Brawn GP and I think there is a good possibility of that in the future.

“I only knew it was 100% on Thursday last week. We had the whole factory in one room. Ross gave a speech and said that we were racing this year and it was just the biggest round of applause.

“When you have a long term contract you don’t worry about the future. But being at home you think, ‘Wow! This has all suddenly come to a stop very quickly. Thinking that I wasn’t going to be racing was very tough.

“It’s necessary for everyone to sacrifice certain things. I’m here to race and I love racing and you have to make sacrifices.

The car is not bad, it’s nice to drive and I’m very comfortable with it. It reacts well to changes. We’ve had a positive day. We’ve done a good job today. We came here to do long runs and get as many miles on the car as we could and we’ve achieved that first day. 82 laps is not bad at all. ”

The car looks pretty good. The detail on the aerodynamics is startling in places, like the diffuser and the front wing, which is very intricate and complex. Brawn GP is running it’s Melbourne car here, whereas some other teams still have updated parts to test this week and next and will bring more parts to Melbourne.

I think it’s fair to say that Jenson was not running as much fuel as some of the other teams, Williams for example were running very heavy today, but nevertheless the car looked like it has great change of direction and they seem to have dialled in a set up pretty quickly

It’s early days yet, but it’s been a great start to the adventure which is Brawn GP. By the way, check out the new poll on the right hand side of this page. It’s about the Brawn GP logo, what do you think of it?

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Always been a Jenson fan with his smooth style of driving.
I will be delighted if the reliability of the new Mercedes set up, gets him back on the podium.

Rubens has been on the podium many times before, during his glory days with Ferrari so if they both are able to shed themselves of the unreliability and under-performance of the Honda engines….. every reason for these guys getting rewarded for their patience.

We need to keep the smiles coming and going up and down pit lane!


Is the BGP001 using KERS or not?


“You should write a new book, James; “The Curious Case of Jenson Button”

That was a Bamber cartoon in Autosport a few weeks back wasn’t it? [ … perchance, like Benjamin, the gag gets fresher with the telling — Moderator ]


JA writes: In response to Boston fan, nice idea and then how about as a sequel to that “Jacques Villenueve – a career backwards” ?


Low fuel or not the time is impressive for a car out of the box. More importantly everyone knows there is massive room for improvement and with a team with Brawn leadership it can go only one way and it won’t be down. Jenson looks more motivated than he has ever been and I am sure Rubens will be the same, can’t wait to watch Brawn GP progress.


It’s great to see the car on the track and Button driving. It would have been a great shame for the team to disappear and to just have 18 cars on the grid. It would have been sad to see Rubens and Jenson without a place in F1. Both are very talented drivers, although I do feel Jenson could have done better last season. Rubens made more of a bad car last year. I expect Jenson is now fully motivated again and will be back on form.

I see no reason why Brawn GP can’t have a competitive season. I am led to believe that Honda had actually started work on 2009 all the way back in 2007. They were really banking on this season quite early on.

Obviously during the winter they will have lost a bit of development time due to the whole saga. But the car looks pretty good, and its nice to see that it has got pace from the straight out of the box. It’s looking quite promising.

With Honda out of the way I think this team can be run far better despite less funds. There are great people and great facilities at the team. Now they have the right person calling all the shots in Ross Brawn and no interference from Japan.

Brawn GP could be one of the big stories of the season.

I just hope they get sufficient funds for 2010 and beyond.


– You should write a new book, James; “The Curious Case of Jenson Button”. Then turn it into a feature film consisting of one win, him driving around the back of the field, sitting on the sofa for 3 months with a bag of chips, and then blasting around the test track and setting a top time. It’s a Hollywood twist.

lower-case david

yeah the finances are a bit sketchy, and it’s next year when the honda money dries-up that we really need to worry about … but i’m putting all that out my mind and just enjoying seeing ross brawn back in the garages. it would have been a real shame to have lost out on that.

still a long hard struggle this season, regardless of what the clock said today, but i fancy they’ll be everyone’s second team this year, hope they make it.

(i’m also enjoying a lot of the little bits of business on the BGP001, especially the front wing, well worth a hi-res look at)


I’m so glad Jenson is back in an F1 car! Great to hear he’s positive about it too. It’s funny how as Honda the team were mocked in the past couple of seasons for scoring very little points at all but this season they will be hailed for just turning up to each race. From a marketing point of view it really adds a great positive spin to the team.

I think the BrawnGP logo is just fine. It’s simple and has the generic F1 italic slant to it. They could spend a fortune on a new logo, or they could just get on with racing!

I’m looking forward to some great DC / JB candid interviews on the BBC this year.


Forget McLaren, Go On the Brawn GP!!
Do you think Jenson might even have to do some Media interviews this year? I reckon he’s a bit out of practise after the last couple years after no one taking any notice!


Great to see and Button and Barrichello back, i think the team actually has more of a chance of progressing now, than under Honda control, as its now run wholly by racers, not business men.

Just one last feeble point, is it a new rule that cars have to run extra camera blanks as all the cars now have them on the side of the car as well as the nose and atop the airbox?

Rupert Pilkington-Smythe

James, like a lot of people, I’d really like to know more about what’s going on at McLaren. Have you been able to find out any info? Looking at the times alone, McLaren fans are starting to worry: are they in serious trouble?

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