Button plays it cautious and pays the price
Insight
Button plays it cautious and pays the price
Strategy Briefing
Posted By: James Allen  |  13 Oct 2010   |  12:59 pm GMT  |  287 comments

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 attack, looking to get a podium and maybe even have a go at the Red Bulls at the start.

Button: Cautious (Darren Heath)


It was there to be done but he chose not to take that route.

McLaren are a team who go to every race to win, that is their stated aim. But at the same time they often talk themselves down. If you look closely, they often do their predictions for a race based on their perceived weakness. Hamilton often defies this because he is so aggressive and such a competitor. Inevitably in pushing so hard, he sometimes makes mistakes.

Button is playing a percentage game and in my view, missing a trick.

In Japan McLaren were on the back foot anyway because – not for the the first time this year – the updates they had brought didn’t do what they’d hoped and so they took them off for qualifying. They did not believe they could beat the Red Bulls.

Nevertheless, the McLaren was fast enough to get the second row of the grid. You can see that from the Q2 times, where Button was faster than both Alonso and Kubica.

Hamilton is always a tenth or two faster than Button at Suzuka, but Button knew his team mate wouldn’t be a factor, as he had to take a five place grid penalty for a gearbox change.

If you analyse Button’s Q3 performance, he did a lap on the hard tyre that was only 2/10ths slower than Hamilton’s. The hard is at least that much slower than the soft, so he actually did a brilliant lap.

So it’s accurate to say – and McLaren accept this – that on soft tyres, Jenson would have qualified third. If he had done that, he should have had the chance to finish at least third. But he would also have had the chance to jump Webber at the start, as Kubica did, especially given Red Bull’s dodgy start record. Although the Red Bull was faster, he may have been able to frustrate Webber and hold second to claim 18 points. It’s unlikely, but Kubica managed to get ahead of Webber from P3 on the grid, so you never know. More likely he would have started and finished third.

Button plans strategy on the grid (Photo:McLaren)


But instead of going for it and challenging for third place, he took a more timid approach, reasoning that the hard tyre would give his car a more stable back end in the race – something that is very important to him.

And he had the idea that the soft tyre would grain quickly on a green track, after all that rain. So if you were McLaren you might reason that by taking the hard tyre, you would be able to run longer than your rivals and if they were force to pit early due to graining they might come out behind drivers like Liuzzi likes to start on the hard tyre and get held up. .

But no-one has made significant gains this season, starting in the top half of the grid on hard tyres. At best you end up where you would have been anyway on softs.

So there were too many ifs and buts to this strategy. At the end of the day, who did he think he was racing, by doing this? Alonso, Kubica..Hamilton? All people who would have been behind him anyway if he’d gone for it on softs.

Certainly going this route he was not fighting the Red Bulls nor Alonso, given that he had chosen a slower tyre and had given Alonso track position by giving up the vital few tenths the soft gives you in qualifying.

Once the race got underway, the drivers on soft pitted around lap 22-26 and Button took the lead. But his lap times inevitably were not strong enough to build a gap over the drivers who were now on new tyres. Button turned a series of ‘lame duck’ laps, in which Vettel, Webber, Alonso and Hamilton all gained on him. When he pitted on lap 35 Hamilton took his fourth place, having started the race in eighth place.

He questioned the decision to leave him out so long, but the maximum gap he ever held over Hamilton was at the start of that stint and was just 17 seconds, which wasn’t enough to pit and keep his position. There was a big gap behind Hamilton and Button was always going to slot into it, whenever he pitted.

Button got 4th place back when Hamilton hit gearbox trouble (Photo: McLaren)


It was only because Hamilton hit gearbox problems that Button got his fourth place back and essentially ended up where he started, (allowing for Kubica dropping out).

So that’s it really. Button went from being 25 points off the championship lead, to being 31 points off and pretty much out of it.

Had he attacked on softs, jumped Webber at the start and held it he would be just 22 behind and still in it. And if he hadn’t managed that, he would have had a great chance to finish third and would now be 28 behind.

Eddie Irvine criticises Button for just driving around all season to get a result and not being adventurous or aggressive enough. I have huge respect for Jenson, for his ability to think through races, and he showed some adventure earlier this year.

I’m not having a go at him here. Merely saying that it would have been great if he’d really gone for it in Japan.

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1

James

I got this from drivers interview today-webber stating that RBR have been running “adjustable front ride height suspension”. Please read excerp below…

Q: (Frederic Ferret – L’Equipe): The Red Bulls seem quickest in qualifying, so for the two Red Bull drivers can you explain why it is so fast and do you think you will have the pole on Saturday? For the three others, do you think you can beat them and do you have a special thing to beat them on Saturday?

MW: Well, obviously Seb has had a good run in qualifying. He has had a few pole positions and I have had some poles as well. As you say the car is pretty quick on Saturday afternoon. We have adjustable front ride height suspension which has been running since the start of the year and that works well and then we put the car back up for Sunday. Lots of things have been good for us and we try to do the same job on Saturday.

SV: As Mark said we have this big lever for the ride height. I think that is the secret for Saturday.

2

It was a joke. Everyone has been accusing them of it, they are playing up to it. Horner has been doing it for months

3

JA “That’s exactly the point. I have no time for “fanboy” or “hater” language, that just drags everything down. We need to be able to discuss things intelligently and in an unbiased way.”

Hi James, no hater language or fan boy sentiment here.

But let’s all be clear on your passion for JB and McLaren.

The world is shrinking thanks to the Internet. People who visit this site for some insight are not all Brits.

You are talking to a global audience that is growing as is f1 so a little less JB and McLaren would be nice.

The BBC commentators, well that’s another story for another time, suffice to say the “button counter” is off scale.

One final comment, think global, F1 is growing rapidly and that’s a good thing.

4

Thanks. I do and that’s why 60% of the audience of this site is outside UK. We passed 1 million users for the first nine months of 2010, so you can see we are talking to an international audience. I wrote about Button because he’s a title contender…

5

Build ’em up and knock them down eh? A fairly typical British press type article and really quite disappointing. The Mclaren was nowhere near the pace. Button gambled on the tyres relative performance and lost. The only criticism with hindsight was staying out too long on hards but it would hardly have made a difference.

Too many ifs and buts in this article. The weakest I’ve seen on this site.

6

At Singapore Webber had several pieces of luck:

1. A lot of cars followed him into the pits, even though it was only lap 3, so he didn’t have to overtake them.

2. Both Kobayashi and Schumi made mistakes, making it much easier than it would normally have been for Webber to overtake them.

3. He didn’t have to overtake Rubens, who is always hard to pass, because Rubens’ pace was unusually good.

That’s before you get to his miraculous survival of the accident with Hammy.

Suzuka quite often gives us a Safety Car, and in fact there could easily have been one when Rosberg crashed out.

7

How about a pitstop under the lap 1 safety car, a tough race on soft tires but surely some overtaking and a free pitstop for it?

Realy JBs bigest victory this year must be the move to Macca and not being in the Merc?

8

@AdrianP… They pointed out that if Button had pitted the lap after Hamilton he would have kept track position as Hamilton was held up by Kobayashi for a lap or so

—————————————–

Please excuse my ignorance but I thought the whole point of Button s strategy was to stay out for longer and and put in some blistering laps to gain on the others. Now if he had pitted immediately after Hamilton and those on the softs, how on earth were they going to try out let alone implement that strategy????? Excuses excuses excuses!!!!!

9

“WOW” alot very poor sports on this sit. The amount of people sinking the boot into Button and Webber. Both are considered number 2 drivers but they continue to out drive there more fancied Team mate.

Button seems to be just wanting to beat Hamilton in the championship. Then he can ask for top billing next year.

Weber is just focused on making this a year of no regrets.

My view is that both drivers have been under estimated for a long time. They have good cars under them now and the public are saying, “gee it must be the car”, but they have very strong Team mates that they have pushed so hard, forcing them to make so many mistakes.

I think you should just appreciate what a great season it’s been.

10

China? Everyone Forgot??

Sometimes, it works.. Sometimes, it doesn’t

Precisely like life.

Button has given Mclaren the strongest driver line-up on the grid since Kimi Raikkonnen and Juan Pablo Montoya.

I think he been a revelation last year and this year he has driven better than he did last year.

11

James your article is very scathing of Button’s strategy. IMO it was fouled by staying out too late if anything and that the decision, whoever made it was what really killed his chances.

Also if he’d carried less fuel in qualifying he may also have had a better grid position. All of which would have given him a better race.

Also once Button was on the soft tyres he was catching Lewis pretty quickly anyway and would at least have caught him, overtaking being another issue. Lewis’s gearbox issue, which may well have been down to Lewis’s attacking style really only speeded the process up. Jenson was putting in a lot of fastest laps and catching Lewis by .5 to 1.2 secs per lap which SUDDENLY became 2 secs per lap once Lewis inherited his problem.

All in all, the strategy could have worked with a few tweaks.

It’s also very annoying that people so often criticize Button for being critical when infact he isn’t. He did NOT say the team screwed his chances, he just questioned why they held him out so long. If anything, when he makes a good call, the TEAM credit HIM.

Give the guy a break, he’s 3 points behind his illustrious team mate in his first year with the team.

12

As Pat Symonds said of McLaren in 2005 when they actually had a very fast car, he said they at Renault felt they did some very odd things.

13

It’s undoubtedly a fascinating topic, Button’s strengths vs. others, in particular, Hamilton’s. Some miscellaneous points:

(1) There were a huge number of respected commentators who predicted that Hamilton was going to blow Button away this season. With 3 races to go, they are more or less level. Given that Button has had to adapt to his new surroundings and it has taken time to get the car to his liking, this would tend to show that said respected commentators fixed preconceptions were wrong.

(2) Because one of Button’s strengths is not making *any* errors, he has found it hard to shake off the corresponding proposition that he does not take enough risks. Moreover, most people’s perception of Button is coloured by the awful years at Honda.

(3) The one major (self-admitted) weakness that Button has had is in qualifying. It is a tempting to infer that he lacks a tenth or two in ultimate pace, but that it not a safe inference – a major part of the problem is that he is not a driver who finds it easy to get these tyres up to temperature effectively.

(4) In terms of pace over a whole race, however, I think that there are few, if any, drivers on the grid who could match Button (ceteris paribus), especially in these times where tyre management is very important. This is disguised by the fact that often his race has been compromised by his grid position. It is interesting that in the races this season which Lewis has won, Button has been breathing down his neck at the end of the race (having qualified behind Lewis) – I mean Canada and Turkey (and except Spa for obvious reasons); not dissimilar were Valencia and the Nurburgring.

(5) I venture to suggest that Lewis is making mistakes in no small part because of the pressure that he is coming under from Button (I think particularly of Monza this year and, indeed, last year).

(6) So on to Suzuka: the tyre gamble was undoubtedly exactly that ‘a gamble’. It’s very hard to see that it was a conservative option – the conservative option would be to do what everyone else would do. The thinking, it seems obvious to me, was that the race was going to go similarly to Canada – i.e. tyre degradation would be sufficient such that the leaders on the softs would not be able to gain a pit stop on the middle-runners before they needed to change and so would be compromised by running in traffic. But the prediction proved wrong(the safety car should have been neutral as to this plan save that what it did do is ensure that the running on heaviest fuel which might be otherwise worst on the tyres didn’t happen at racing pace).

(7) Once it was clear that the prediction had proved wrong, Button should have been pitted immediately. He was vulnerable to Hamilton and should have attempted to cover him by pitting when he did and if he failed to get out ahead of him, to at least be very close to him with new soft tyres against Hamilton’s new hard tyres. This is what Horner was referring to as incomprehensible unless Button was the ‘sacrificial lamb’, what Brundle was going on about in the race and what Button was pissed off about after the race. There is ample material for conspiracy theorists there, although it might equally be said that it was entirely pragmatic and sensible not to want Hamilton and Button to be dicing it out among themselves – cf. Webber and Vettel’s different strategies at Monza.

14

Hamilton did blow Button away performance wise, he just got more unlucky this season.

Same with Sebastian Bad Luck Vettel and Webber.

Anyone claiming Button is at the same level as Hamilton, or Webber at the same level as Vettel, needs to lay down on the Fanta mix 😛

Button and Webber just got more lucky this season. But then again, luck is part of the game too.

Look at Kimi, he could have easily been 3 times champion but bad luck meant just 1 times and that only because of fighting within Mclaren.

15

Hamilton crashing isnt bad luck its bad judgement…Crashing out so early in practice when mclaren are testing lots of new bits doesnt help the team any.

16

There is no such thing as luck with regard to keeping your own car in one piece. The large discrepancy is car failure there sometimes is between drivers is also down to skill. People like Button, Schumacher and Heidfeld are very good at keeping their cars running without overstressing them. Hamilton, Raikonen and Vettel, Kubica are drivers which are scarily fast, but seem to forget cars can be damaged by driving them to hard. As an example, Heidfeld beat Kubica 2 out of 3 seasons in the same team. That’s consistency and racecraft, not luck. And then the same with crashes. Some drivers are very good at avoiding them (Schumacher), some are very good at causing them (Vettel). Luck has very little to do with that. It all comes down to a skill called situational awarenes.

17

Michael, I understand what you’re trying to say, but I think you’re both oversimplifying and overselling the case when you claim that “there is no such thing as luck with regard to keeping your own car in one piece”.

Take the case of Hamilton’s wheel rim failure in Spain. How on earth does one over-stress a wheel rim? Surely a wheel is designed to last the course of 1 race. Hamilton doesn’t ride the kerbs any more than say Kubica or Alonso, so surely that component failure was caused by a manufacturing defect. Or how about Button’s engine overheating because a crew member forgot to remove a bung from the radiator? If that’s not bad luck, then I can only wonder what qualifies as “bad luck” in your book.

So while I agree that a driver can be a contributing factor in the longetivity of his equipment, there are certainly other factors at play which do not fall under the driver’s sphere of influence, and we can call that “luck” if you please.

18

“Hamilton, Raikonen and Vettel, Kubica are drivers which are scarily fast, but seem to forget cars can be damaged by driving them to hard. As an example, Heidfeld beat Kubica 2 out of 3 seasons in the same team. That’s consistency and racecraft, not luck”

Not sure about Kubica – during 4 seasons he had maybe 2 DNF that go to his account (Canada 2007 and maybe Britain 2008 when he spun in heavy rain as half of the grid). This season 3 DNFs due to mechanical things.

19

I dont agree wirh your 4th point. The reason why Jenson was “breathing down Lewis’ neck” at the closing stages of the races at Turkey and Canada was not due to Jenson’s pace. It was because Lewis was controlling the pace and *cruising* to the finish, confident in the knowledge that the win was practically in the bag, and he could fend off Jenson if needed. Of course, Jenson actually got around Lewis briefly in Turkey, but we all know the reason why that happened.

20

David C – that’s rubbish. Turkey, Button backed off because he was told ‘fuel was very critical now’ (hint, hint from the team). Canada, Hamilton himself admitted that it was touch and go what pace he had left in his tyres.

21

AdrianP, you seem to have a short memory, so let me remind you of how things actually unfolded.

Lewis was cruising in the closing stages of the Canadian GP, thus both Jenson and Alonso were closing on him until Lewis set some quick lap times *10 laps from the finish* which sent a clear message to Jenson and co. that they were not going to get past him, and that’s how Jenson finished about 2.2 seconds behind. Tire wear was an issue for everyone in that race, but Lewis was able to manage his tires well enough to control the gap to Jenson and still be able to set those quick laps. The point is that Lewis had the speed advantage to handle Jenson, and he was smart enough to know when to use it as well as when not to, given that this was a race of tire attrition.

In Turkey, Lewis was again cruising in the lead when he (and Jenson) were told by the team to save fuel. Lewis was given a benchmark time to adhere to, thus he slowed down (which allowed Jenson o bear down on him). Lewis then radioed to the team and spoke to Phil Prew.

McLaren: Lewis, we need you to save fuel. Both cars are doing the same

Hamilton: Jenson’s closing in on me, you guys

McLaren: Understood, Lewis

Hamilton: If I back off, is Jenson going to pass me or not?

McLaren: No, Lewis…no

It was soon afterward on lap 48 that Jenson passed Lewis, only for Lewis to re-pass him immediately. Then

Then on around lap 50, both Phil Prew and Martin Whitmarsh were on the radio to both drivers, and Button was finally told “We need more fuel saving. Fuel is critical”, which was a clear message to call off the fight.

22

This is why I read this blog every day……

23

I’ll have to agree on pts 1 to 5. partly for 6 -its not a question of etymology (conservative)just that he was a shade faster than Ferrari in quali and could /should have gone for third on the grid. from there, with the “conventional” softs he would have succesfully (??) raced Alonso for third.

this was a standard and handy approach, it only seems “aggresive” taken into the context of commenting “Button is this or that” and there are people who do that, true.

make a long story short it was a bad call and one can only presume that Jensons` character had anything to do with it (which I disagree obviously, that`s sort of silly talk)

for pt 7 I’ll hold my comments though

24

button was never far enough to overtake hamilton in the pits

even if he came out immediately behind hamilton on new softs there was absolutely no way he was going to risk a dodgy overtake on his team-mate any more that webber would try to overtake vettel

not a winning strategy !

better to leave him out even longer if possible to hold up the RB’s who couldn’t risk an overtake on him even on new soft’s

25

After my long post, I read the race report in Autosport and was pleased to see that they made similar points to my point (7). They pointed out that if Button had pitted the lap after Hamilton he would have kept track position as Hamilton was held up by Kobayashi for a lap or so. They also pointed out that the safety car did have another adverse effect to Button’s strategy, namely that it helped to rubber the track down at non-racing speeds, i.e. this was part of the reason why the softs did not go off as badly as expected.

26

Lebesset, I think you’ve got confused. Button *was* ahead of Hamilton when Hamilton pitted. If Button had pitted immediately afterwards he would have remained ahead in the ordinary course of things. In fact, Hamilton was held up by Kobayashi, which means that this would have been a near certainty.

27

doesn’t alter the fact that the gap to hamilton was never enough to get ahead of him under normal circumstances …unless you think the team should have been psychic

I kept watching the gap but never saw one that would have got button ahead …why would the team want their cars fighting each other ..hamilton would have his tyres fully up to temperature so disaster would have been the most likely result

28

Excellent Post

29

Thanks for that. Some great points here

30

Couple the number of times the BBC F1 commentators, James Allen and British F1 fans say the word “Button” and its enough to make the average person want to chew their own arm off !

31

???????What’s your point?

32

An anti Buttonista! Perhaps you hadn’t noticed

that this particular section is all about JB?

Look at the enormous response so far – because

it’s something people want to discuss, whether

are a ‘fanboy’ or not!

33

That’s exactly the point. I have no time for “fanboy” or “hater” language, that just drags everything down. We need to be able to discuss things intelligently and in an unbiased way.

34

strange that nobody seems to realise what actually happened after button’s gamble failed …no chance after the safety car period

so the team left him out for a long time [ if you look at the timing sheets you will see that he could only have come back where he did whenever he stopped ]

why did they do this ? to slow down the leaders of course , and give hamilton a chance to catch up …preference for hamilton ? not at all , nothing would help button so a no brainer as far as I am concerned ; ok , button queried what happened immediately after the race , but once he looked at the timings at the post mortem he would have seen exactly what the team did and why

personally I watch the races with the laptop showing the live timings , once button had been in the lead for a couple of laps it was obvious what the team should do , and they did it …in fact I think they could and should have left him out a little longer , despite their faster cars and fresher tyres the RB’s were not going to risk trying to overtake ; but obviously McL know things I don’t

in the end it didn’t matter because of hamilton’s gearbox problem , but it is the principle that counts

35

So if it was all set up for that, why didn’t they do it then? Why did they pit Button on lap 35 instead of leaving him out as a roadblock?

36

well , as I said james , it was pretty clear that is exactly what they did

but without access to the telemetry I can’t tell you why they didn’t leave him out a bit longer [as I said ]

as you were not there I presume you don’t know either ,but if you watched how it was enabling alonso and hamilton to close up they certainly must have had a reason ; try asking martin whitmarsh when you are in korea

37

I think that your comments may be correct in as much as the result is concerned, but that they benefit hugely from hindsight.

Before Japan Button was seen as fifth out of five in the line for the title and, therefore, perhaps looked at the strategy as the only possible way to finesse a win out of the Japanese race, albeit that the particular route had many variables and relied somewhat on ‘unknowns’ e.g tyre wear.

It was obviously a huge gamble, and one that did not pay off, but I see it as more of an acknowledgement that something had to be tried to try to win the title rather than a missed opportunity to get third place.

I think it should be seen both as a bold strategy seeking a win over everything else and an acknowledgement, particulalry now, that the title will not be retained.

38

James, judging by the number of replies, this article has really struck a chord.

I have not read all the comments (time!), but my favourite ‘what if’ question is how would Jenson’s gamble have played out without the first yellow flag.

Six laps is more than 10% race distance in Japan and more than 25% of the life of the option tyres.

If the first six laps had been run under green, with the option tyres getting torn to shreds on the washed-clean track, Jenson’s competitors would have pitted earlier than they did, leaving him clean air for longer.

Still a gamble for JB, but better odds

39

I thought it was the more aggressive decision to take, rather than the safe option. The bottom line is that the McLaren isn’t fast enough, and the only way Jenson and Lewis were going to be able to take points off Red Bull was by doing something different. As you say James, had Jenson qualified on the soft tyre, it’s likely he would have finished 3rd. Given that he was playing catch up in the championship, that wouldn’t have been enough, as he would have lost further ground to Webber. With the track being ‘green’ from all the rain the previous day, there was a chance that drivers starting the race on the softs might be forced to pit after just a few laps, which would then have played into Jenson’s hands. In the end, it didn’t play out that way, and Jenson lost out, however he didn’t really have a lot to lose going into the race, as McLaren’s title chances looked almost over after their poor showing in Singapore.

40

James,

I’d be really interested to ask you how you feel the remaining circuits will suit the three competing constructors?

We don’t know a lot about Korea I guess, but I’m at odds with what some of the comments I’ve read suggest – the long straight could be a concern to RBR, but looking at the layout, doesnt the long twisty part of the lap surely make up for this handicap for Newey and co?

Am I right in thinking Abu Dhabi is going to be far more about McLaren?

and what about Brazil?

Would be really interested to see your thoughts on this if you have time.

41

Brazil should be Red Bull territory, Abu Dhabi was good for McLaren last year with KERS and they should be competitive this year as will Ferrari. But Vettel won the race last year so Red Bull are no slouches around there. If Alonso wants to win the title he really needs to beat Red Bull in Korea, but I can’t see Vettel and Webber off the podium now for the remaining races and that should do it for one of them

42

Can you see Kubica breaking through for his first win?

43

He’s already won once. I can’t see him winning this year without some change of conditions. But I see him now at F1’s top table. He’s had another excellent year

44

Go on James you can do better.

Some clues: qualy, hard tyres, fuel, laps, decision, team, Hamilton, subtle, McLaren.

Try to imagine McLaren as a foreign team.

45

Sorry, save the conspiracies for another day. It was Button’s call to go with hard tyres. Not everything McLaren or any other leading team does is a conspiracy!

46

I think you’re wrong about Button playing it cautious.

It was a gamble to take the hard tyres, it would have been a great decision if the soft tyre had of behaved like a soft tyre and lost its advantage rather quickly, like he thought it would. In Brundle’s grid walk Jenson says he thinks he’s on the right tyre.

But a long safety car period meant those on the soft could stay out longer and remove any benefit of being on the hards.

I think you are being too hard on Button.

47

James, I think only his country men and friends would think that Button is a serious title contender. If he is realistic, he would probably fighting for a solid runner up position.

It may sound harsh but rating him as one of the top ten drivers on the world is hardly a bad thing.

48

Funny to to read that you blame Button for his lack of aggresssiveness, where he is the only contender who hs the guts to try something different on a regular basis.

What you seem to forget is the the rather lengthy pace car situation (7 laps!). That means the whole top 10 (except Button) would have pitted 7 laps earlier. That would have left the whole top 10 (again except Button) caught up in the midfield. Clear track vs midfield overtaking, no way you can seriously believe that midfield overtaking is the better option. Simple numbers show that every guy you have to pass costs you approx. 2 seconds. And then all of a sudden Button would be far enough in the lead by the time he pits that he actually has a shot of being in front of the RBSs. And then everybody would have applauded Button for his guts.

In short, you accuse Button of being a whimp because the safetycar caught him out. Curious.

49

Kubica may have held up Webbre and Alonso as well. It could have been a different race.

50

I think that virtually every angle has been covered here, mature and reasoned argument on an F1 forum extremely rare in my experience, however, to quote James’ predecessor;

‘Anything happens in Grand Prix racing, and it usually does.’

51

Hey James, excluding the fact that Jenson may have been to cautious in some races I would rate 2010 as his best yet. 2004 and last year were fantastic but this year he seems to have stepped up again, what do you think?

52

Some good days, yes, but his peak performances in 2009 surely take the spoils?

53

I think those first 7 races of 2009, he was at his best. Even though the Brawn wasn’t the best in the second half of the year he was more conservitive. I just think that this year he said he could go toe to toe with Lewis and he has, I think that in itself has showed just how good Jenson is

54

As a die hard JB fan I agree with James, but I am by no means disappointed with JB’s performance, just his qualifying (as usual).

Ironically, even though Lewis is ahead on points and race wins I feel that this has not been his best season. People criticise JB for being too cautious, which is probably fair, but Lewis has made mistakes this year which ultimately have made his job harder.

I think if Jenson had Lewis’ raw pace, particularly in qualifying then he would be pretty unbeatable. I think that Lewis has the instincts of a true racer and if he tempered some of his wilder moves he would be a match for the Red Bulls at every track.

55

Hamilton was handcuffed with the grid penalty so McLaren thought it would help to have Button stay out longer than the leaders to back the pack up into Hamilton. It didn’t work but at least we know who McLaren’s number 1 driver is and who the sacrificial lamb is. 🙂

Forza Ferrari!

56

As this is my first posting, I would really like to say how much I have enjoyed reading the Schumacher and Mansell books written by James Allen.

The Schumacher book easily allows the reader to understand Schumi’s approach and that in my view he has anything but “lost it” based on 2010 form.

I was never a Prost or Senna fan – I was and remain a Mansell fan through and through. Nigel was better that Prost and equal to Senna.

I just loved the Mansell book!

Thanks indeed for writing both!

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