Jenson Button: I can’t wait to challenge Lewis for British GP win
Jenson Button: I can’t wait to challenge Lewis for British GP win
Posted By: James Allen  |  05 Jul 2010   |  10:30 am GMT  |  72 comments

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 world title. There is a nice bit where he talks about how that confidence has helped him to make some of the tactical calls in races like Australia this year.

But he also speaks about his team mate Lewis Hamilton and how, once they’ve worked together through the weekend to set the car up for Silverstone, the gloves will come off on race day….

Jenson is taking part in the London Triathlon on August 8th. He’s raising money for the Make a Wish Foundation, helping improve the lives of disadvantaged kids. To sponsor Jenson go to jb2010

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I am really struggling to understand why some of the British F1 fans don’t use common sense.

I am Italian and a Ferrari fan and I wish 2 Italian drivers will be competing for Ferrari and be at the top of the standing at this moment in time in the F1 championship.

McLaren has, without a doubt, 2 of the fatest guy on the grid and with the development of the car during the season either of them might win the Driver championship and maybe the constructors.

Unfortunately some of the Bristish media and fans are so self destructive that it is unreal.

Enjoy what you have at the moment, analyse the facts and not the emotions, leave that to the Italians !!!!!

Lewis and Jenson are world class drivers, probably Lewis is faster but it was the same between Senna and Prost, Senna a little bit faster.

When Senna and Prost used to drive for McLaren, no British fan was so negatove about it, certainly everybody has his preferences but saying that Jenson is not good enough is a complete mistake.

Remember that Mark Webber used to be at the back of the grid with a Minardi and at that time people in Italy used to say that he was useless, look where he is now !!!!


You are so right my friend. And thank you for such an analysis of a team you don’t support…

The Ferrari – McLaren rivalry is a wonderful thing in my eyes… all good dramas need good guys and bad guys and i’m sure you and I would disagree on which is which! but I have to resepct who Ferrari are and what they have done for the sport…and it is good to hear a Ferrari fan speak highly of McLaren and it’s drivers…that doesn’t happen often!

Friendly rivalry is a wonderful thing and enhances the sport for me a great deal…

Forza to you my friend! (I have no idea what that means, but I see it used a lot! I think it’s a compliment…)

I hope your Fiats finish well at Silverstone…3rd and 4th would be quite respectable…don’t you think??? ;o)


Yes I would second that. The pairing I think is the best in the paddock and I’m delighted that they are both British and in a British team. They compliment each other well in terms of strengths and weaknesses and that between them they are definitely the ones to beat.

I can’t imagine that there are many Italians supporting British teams or for that matter any other non-British national supporting a British team over one from their own country. Sadly the same is not true for us Brits; we appear to delight in knocking our own for whatever reason and significant numbers supporting rival teams and drivers.

Mike from Medellin, Colombia

Intetresting comments from Damon Hill on Lewis and Jenson. He thinks that the honeymoon between the two will be over soon and that the turning point might be this weekend.

James, do you think that one of them at some time has got to accept being a no. 2…or are we looking at a similar atmosphere to Kimi and Massa at Ferrari with no overall clear no. 1?


He might just be stirring the pot to get more exposure for Silverstone as well Mike 😉

I like Damon, I met him a number of years ago and he came across as a decent guy. Straight down the line.

I think the difference will be with Jenson and Lewis that if they do have to mix it up they wont take each other off.

It is interesting as whereas it was Lewis team previously, Martin was the driving force in bringing Jenson in, so if it remains close in 3 races time it could get interesting!

Whatever happens, i think the Jenson bashers should be eating a little humble pie. neither driver has consistently dominated the other so far. race pace has been very close.


I photographed Hamilton at Goodwood yesterday and had a quick chat with him about Sunday. When his PR was out of earshot I asked him how the upgrade is looking and he replied “we’re gonna be fast, faster than the Red Bulls, it’s looking good” time will tell if this is just bravado or not…


The Lewis vs Jenson debate is so old now it’s not funny… Why can’t anyone just accept that they are very close on pace – Lewis just does the better job in quali… That’s all… seriously.

I think that the smart money for Silverstone will be on Red Bull, We haven’t seen them on a track that suits their car for a good few weeks now and people quickly forget results from that long ago… If McLaren’s blown diffuser works as it should then they should be up there – If they’re as quick as RB then it’s gonna be a McLaren 1-2 but being on the same pace as the Red Bulls will be a tall order.

Fair play to them if they can do it!


In this Jenson v lewis debate I think over time and I mean the next 3 years or so we will see hamilton move very far away from jenson. I’m not jensons biggest backer but give him a car he likes and he is a class act. But compare him to the kimi in 05 mclaren alonso in his 06 Renault lewis in his 2007 mclaren schumi in 04 and kubica this yyear he doesn’t come close. Also he isn’t very adapable or versatile and struggles massively when he doesn’t get what he needs from the car.


I think whilst its true that Button has had similar race pace to Lewis, in modern F1 it is a bit academic because of the premium placed on qualifying. Saying Button struggles in qualifying but is strong in the race is almost a non-point, because of the importance of qualifying today. Therefore, raw speed is critical, its no good some people saying that Button doesn’t have the raw speed of Hamilton but can independently call strategy and is fast in the race, for the majority of the time raw speed will win with the sort of races we see now.

Another thing with Button, and I noticed this last year when he started to struggle at Brawn, he loses a fair amount of positions at the start. He lost a number of places in Valencia and three places at Monaco, which went unnoticed by many people because he retired shortly afterwards. Button was extremely impressive in OZ and China, but those races are in the past, Lewis appears to be getting stronger and stronger, and qualifying is his achilles heel – and that is a major hindrance.


I’m hoping for another British 1 – 2 and the extended play anthem. I don’t much care which of the two Brits gets the top step but all things being equal it’s more likely to be Lewis.

It’s fast turning into a two horse race now so let’s hope the latest developments on the McLaren work well.


Jenson’s a great driver and has got better this year but I’m sorry to say he isn’t a Hamilton and never will be.

Very few drivers stand out like Hamilton has since he came into F1, Senna and Hamilton mentioned in the same sentence just fits whereas Button and Senna just doesn’t.

I do think that both Jenson and Hamilton have become both better drivers and better people now they are driving together and for me, 2009 Hamilton just raised his game and it’s clearly showing this year, he has a steel (Senna again) have and it’s a belief that he knows he can deliver, Jenson just doesn’t have this however nice a bloke he is.


Prost and Button mentioned in the same sentence fit as well as Senna and Hamilton – in general terms of style. In terms of talent, the two current drivers aren’t even on the same page.


Sorry to butt in, but I think you cannot compare drivers from different era’s such as Senna and Prost with Hamilton and Button.

The differences in cars and tyres is so great that we will never know if Fangio could beat Senna or Stirling Moss will win a race nowadays.

Just a reminder of what is happening this season to a 7 times world champion, Michael Schumacher, he is struggling to understand how to use the tyre best, how to drive his Mercedes fast.

His team mates has been as fast as him despite being considered a good driver, not one of the best in F1 today.

Therefore I think there is no point comparing divers that competed in different eras.

Senna and Prost were good but will they be that good today ?


Well said. Couldn’t agree more.


Never ever compare Hamilton to Senna, they are nothing alike, Senna was a genius and the greatest F1 driver of all time, Hamilton is quick but that is it.


I have to disagree with you there. Senna was a genius, but we’re judging him on his entire career. Hamilton is still building his legacy.

Senna had 10 years to build his legacy and did so with many moments of controvesy and genius..Hamilton is heading in the same direciton in my opinion, he’s already done some amazing things in the sport and started to build his own legacy, races like Silverstone 2008 and Fuji 2007, these were amazing drives and as he matures and puts in some similar performances his legacy will grow..

This is why he is compared to the late great Senna…and I for one think the comparison is just…but Hamilton must maintain this level of driving for many years for the comparison to stick.

Personally, I think he will.


While there is some valid comparisons between them regarding driving style they are completely different personalities, Senna was extremely charismatic, engaging, determined and very intelligent, while Hamilton always seems a bit boring and PR controlled to me (out of the car). I think that Senna was more of a mix of Hamilton’s driving style and Alonso’s personality.


Completely agree DC. I think it is premature to compare Hamilton with the ‘greats’ but I also think that Hamilton has got the raw talent to eventually be there – he just needs the other pieces (quick car, reliability, support of team, mind mgmt) to fall in place.

Most drivers talk about Senna with the utmost respect, and it’s nice to hear Hamilton and Button doing the same here (even though it’s a viral ad and staged!)


I hate to get dragged into the hamiliton button debate as people are so polarised on the issue its untrue but please just give them both a break!! Jenson talks about lewis as he knows the questions are coming a lot of these interviews are not just him talking but questions put to him so he answers. I doubt very much anyone can read from his body language that he feels lewis is better than him sorry unless you’ve known him for years thats rediculous. He comes across to me as someone who is supremely confident and relaxed as is lewis. Hes managed to stay in the hunt for the championship which is more than most gave him at the start of the season and hes won 2 races!!! I hope both of them smash the rest this weekend come on the Brits!!!


Still got a lot of time for Jenson. All things considered – if I could swap job lot with anyone on the grid it would be him. He’s aware i’m sure that he’s a few percent shy of Lewis on pure pace. But the gap isn’t quite as wide as many on here predicted it would be. And a few surprises or errant conditions here and there could easily negate his speed disadvantage – minimal as it is.


Did anyone really believe Button was gonna be better than Hamilton?

He’s only finished ahead of Hamilton because of 2 wacky wet races.

It has been 19 races now Button has failed to qualify in the top 3, despite the cars he’s had this year and last.

Lady luck is really on his side though – take the timing of the safety car in last race from P7 to P3. What a points save…


The only way Jenson will challenge at Silverstone is through a favourable strategy from McLaren. What is now clear, and was clear before, is that Jenson can only fisnish ahead of Lewis if he outqualifies him, or through favourable strategy. This year, Jenson has been brought to the pits ahead of Lewis 6 times in the last 7 races – irrespective of whether he is in front or behind.

Lewis has been brought into the pits before Jenson ONLY once this season – even when he is leading. This season, more than any, pitting first either allows a driver to jump ahead, or consolidate his position; a huge deal if your teammate is breathing down your neck – Just ask the Red Bull drivers.

Expect to see fireworks if Lewis feels Jenson’s strategy disadvantages him. I suspect Martin Whitmarsh would be pushing for a Jenson win, as Lewis has already won his home GP before.

I expect Whitmarsh to cock it up again, and i expect to see blatant strategy favouritism for Jenson in Silverstone.


It’s odd, but i’ve thought this myself but then dismissed the idea. Everyone has been talking about McLaren being Lewis’ team but i’ve noticed that pit strategy has been more in Jenson’s favour. I’ve also noticed that Lewis hasn’t spoken out about this, indeed doesn’t seem to mind one jot. Maybe the fact that he’s still beating Jenson despite what appears to be on the surface a more Jenson friendly pit strategy.

Also, Jenson has had more luck in the races. his split second decisions that won him his two races were amazing, but could so easily have gone the other way…and in Valencia he was approaching the pit entrance when the SC light came on his dash!

Granted Monaco and Barcelona have evened out the reliability issues with both of them…but I don’t think Lewis has been very lucky in the race. He’s really had to work hard for his results. Arguably more so than Jenson…

But, like a lot of people on here. I think Jenson has been impressive. and as a McLaren fan i’m delighted he’s bringing home big points and not making many mistakes.

Couldn’t ask for more really.


I happen to agree with you – I think Lewis is fighting against 23 other drivers plus his own team. We’ll see what happens in the race but if he gets another odd strategy or second best strategy, I will be really angry.


Jenson is a fake WDC, on the back of the 2009 double diffuser farce…

He can talk all day, but the truth is that he is a mediocre driver.

Yes, he got lucky with the weather a couple of times, but that has the least to do with driver skill.

He is just milking the cash cow, for as long as he can.

I would prefer to see Kobi or Kubica in a top car, as they have the necessary skill to race at a far higher level, then Button.

Button is going to sink faster and faster, as his luck averages out…


Rubbish, Jenson is a great driver just like Prost and a nice person!!


Concidering everyone wrote off Buttons this year when he confirmed his move to McLaren and that he would be out classed by Hamilton I would argue that Button is driving far better this year than last year….! He seems to be driving without any pressure and enjoying himself at the same time.

No fair play to him – he’s certainly gone up in my estimations – I too wrote him off early on….

Still need a Ferrari win though! ha

michael grievson

Completely disagree. He may not be the fastest driver but he’s a lot faster than some on the grid.

If it’s down to the diffuser why didn’t reubens win more races?

If it’s down tonhaving the best cars why didn’t Heikki do better against Hamilton or reubens and Irving against Schumacher?

Mansell had the most technically advanced car in F1 when he won the title. Does that make his a fake champion?


You’re right, no one seems to be questioning the Red Bull drivers ‘worthiness’ this year in spite of them having a trick diffuser. In fact, doesn’t their failure to capitalise on having a technical advantage on a dominant car for the first half of the season put Buttons title last year in a different light? Having a winning car is no use unless you go out and win with it, is it? Button did himself a disservice but having such a good start to the season, rather than the usual settling in period we have come to expect from even the best drivers,


That’s a bit harsh…!


Its very harsh on Button.

‘The weather has the least to do with driver skill’? I think you’ll find it’s quite different to that – driving in the rain (yes, it can throw up some odd results) but it still requires great skill.

I don’t think you can say he is a ‘fake WDC’ either. Fair enough, Brawn had a huge advantage at the start of the year but fair play to them. It was clever design, just like the ‘F Duct’ this year from McLaren.

I don’t agree with any of the original posters comments here.


I agree here with James. Jenson might not be in the same level with Lewis but he is a damn decent driver. You just need to look at the points haul.


Any news about the McLaren straight line test?


Think his tongue slipped near the end…

“we’re all racing for the team, but also, more importantly for ourselves.” (something like that)

Don’t think McLaren will be too happy to hear him put himself in front of the team – in fact is that not contradicting the golden rule? Team first!


I have had enough of Button’s self-promotion. All educated people know who will qualify ahead and finish ahead of the McLaren drivers, and it ain’t gonna be Jenson. I wish he would keep his mouth shut, it just makes him look foolish. I have said it time and again, but Lewis overtaking Jenson at Istanbul has broken Button’s belief. The main man at McLaren is Hamilton, and Silverstone will once again prove that.

Richard Craig

Sorry, but you really don’t think that if it was the last race of the season, winner takes the WDC that Jenson wouldn’t have had another bite at the cherry in terms of getting by? He had a poor / compromised exit on the final turn, which gave Lewis a good run going down to Turn 1, they touched (slightly) as we know then the team said [paraphrasing here of course] “all right guys, you have had your little squabble, enough’s enough”. At a more crucial juncture of the season (e.g. title decider) McLaren would not have called off the drivers from racing one another, and they probably would have raced hard to the flag (dicing with the possibility of running out of fuel to boot).

I suppose that was a long winded way of saying Istanbul proved nothing, since Jenson did not get the chance to attack Lewis for a second time due to team orders…


That’s bull, McLaren felt that that betrayed Lewis’ trust and called it a race, the only way Jenson would have beaten Lewis was if McLaren asked Lewis to save fuel again.


@ Monji

I agree with you 100%. He clearly betrayed Lewis in Turkey


I don’t think Jenson is self promoting necessarily, after all he is responding to questions put to him. In addition we must remember that Jenson was told by most of the world that he was going to be trounced by Lewis this year and so I think that there is always an element of measured defence or justification in his answers.

I know that Jenson’s detractors will say his two wins this year were lucky and that Lewis is faster in raw pace. But I would submit that with Lewis there is always an element of danger that something could go wrong and that Jenson perhaps plays the percentages better. A good team combination I reckon that deserves credit for both drivers.


Well I agree. But remember other factors come into play – maybe he will get ANOTHER weird strategy call or ANOTHER terrible pit stop. You never know.

But all things being EQUAL, I would be surprised to see Button ahead.


If you look at the lap times of Button and Hamilton during the races this season they have been basically identical and the only reason why Hamilton has finished ahead of Button in the last few races is because he has qualified better, but in the race their pace is the same. So if Button does a better job in qualifying he can definitely beat Hamilton.


I never said anything about Button finishing only a few seconds behing Hamilton, I said that during a race their individual lap times are practically the same so if Button can get his qualifying sorted out then he can beat Hamilton.


This season is about car and tyre management, no one is going to finish more than a few seconds ahead anymore.
Why do people keep saying the fact Jenson finishes only a few seconds behind mean he could beat Lewis?
Lewis beats Jenson at will each quali and race baring bad luck, there’s the clue.
It’s obvious that apart from Petrov and Kubica no other team mate battle is becoming increasingly ominously dominant.


Finally some common sense.


These new comments from Jenson and some previous comments from himself do imply that he thinks Hamilton is the better driver of the two. He seems a bit desperate to prove that he is better then Lewis, I don’t see Lewis making similar comments about Button. I get the feeling that Lewis is totally confident in his own abilities, because he doesn’t feel the need to make specific comments about beating Button, but Button feels the need to make specific comments about beating Lewis.

Button had a great start to the season, but in my opinion it is clear that as each race goes by, Lewis is showing that he is the faster driver. As noted, Lewis has beaten Button in every qualifying session since Barcelona and has out-raced him at every race since Monaco too. Bullish statements won’t hide the fact that Hamilton is a faster driver then Button. Things may change, but I would be surprised if Button started beating Hamilton on raw pace.


Wasn’t it button that posted fastest lap last time out? It’s a lot closer than may 1st appear.


OK , I think that is almost universally agreed that on ‘Raw pace’ Button is behind Hamilton, but then again he is still much closer to the benchmark than Kovy ever was. However Button still has his strong points (maybe better, more mature race-craft_. The championship points table does not lie, and he is a very close second to his illustrious team-mate.


I can’t wait for Ferrari to win the British GP in 2010!


The friendly banter starts here…

Fiat have no chance my friends!

Come on Lewis and Jenson…!!!



I hear ya chap – that would be and will be cool….


roflmao!! not gonna happen people… that mclaren will be too strong with the new blown diffuser combined with the most efficient f- duct on the grid.. mac 1-2 all the way..


Would be great if you could do a similar video from Lewis.


I’d love to see Lewis and Jenson go head to head for the British GP, but I think Red Bull will be untouchable at Silverstone this year. I guess it all comes down to the success of this Mclaren upgrade!


“- If I back off, is Jenson going to pass me, or not?…

– No Lewis…no”

I bet that Jenson IS NOT GOING TO PASS Lewis this Sunday.


Tell us Jason about the Buzz of trying to stay within 1 second per lap of your team-mates times….


Strange statement. Although Jenson didn’t beat Lewis in any of the last 3 races, he was about 2 seconds behind him going over the line at the end of each race.

I am not a maths genius but 2 secs divided by 50 to 70 laps per race is a lot less than a second per lap difference.


Jason?? Must be one of the 13th team drivers I guess


James, I am waiting for an article from you about the changes made to one of my favorite circuits – Silverstone Are you planning to have a post around this?


Yes I have something special – a video interview with the architects of the new circuit, including him talking us through the section from Club to Woodcote. Will be posted this week


Hopefully you’ll post it soon as I’m heading for Silverstone midday Thurs ready to marshal for my first GP. (No internet in the marshals camp!)


Jenson’s body language is of someone who’s excusing himself, at least that’s how I see it


Good luck to Jenson…

Heading to Silverstone this weekend. First time at a GP, so looking forward to it!

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