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McLaren keen to Button down Jenson
McLaren Honda
Posted By: James Allen  |  20 Jun 2011   |  1:42 pm GMT  |  316 comments

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: On form (McLaren)

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 year. To do that will take a massive reversal from the ban on off throttle diffusers, starting at Silverstone. We will see.

There’s no doubt that the McLaren is now as fast if not faster than the Red Bull in race conditions, especially with the KERS issues that Red Bull keeps encountering. But there is a lot of ground to make up.

Button’s doing well this year for the same reason as Vettel; they get on really well with the Pirelli tyres. These two are what engineers call “finger tip drivers” who use the steering lightly and protect the tyres as a result.

According to engineers I’ve discussed this with, when they encounter understeer, instead of racking on the steering lock, which hurts the tyres, they feel it early and keep the steering open.

The PIrellis fall off progressively, lap by lap and by driving as they do, the finger tip drivers get an extra couple of laps of life from the tyre. It’s very clear if you look at the Race History charts.

Although Ferrari have not given any public indication of interest in him, on a recent visit to Maranello, I got the impression that Button was the kind of driver they need at Ferrari alongside Fernando Alonso. I could also imagine Button feeling that a stint at Ferrari would be a great way to complete his career. His father John would be ecstatic.

But leaving aside the romance of it, this is a pragmatic decision for Button who will be 32 when his current McLaren deal ends. Three more years will probably take him to the finish line.

if he had a choice to make what should he do? McLaren or Ferrari?

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You can't help but feel if he goes to Ferrari he'll just get eaten and turned in to a second driver. Not the way he'd want to end his career in my opinion.




I say that because of how Ferrari seem to have a Fernando at all costs approach to things.

When he came to McLaren people may not have rated his chances against his team mate but I don't think they were particularly worried about his treatment by the team.

And I agree with those saying Fernando is better, it's true, Fernando is better than Jenson. Lewis and Seb are too. That doesn't mean Jenson's not a very good driver, and an excellent choice, though. He is.


the amount of people saying he will be number 2 at ferrari is funny. he would only be number 2 at ferrari because fernando is a better driver, that is just a fact. i dont think you will find too many people anywhere in the world who think jenson is better than fernando. but if jenson moved to ferrari and was beating fernando for sure he wouldnt be made number 2. witness massa and kimi 2008. ferrari simply realise that after so many races in a season they have to back one of there drivers and whoever is in front will get the backing obviously. massa is only number 2 to fernando because fernando is beating him most weeks. if massa was able to beat fernando more it would be different but he cant for whatever the reason is.


But will Button get beaten?

He isn't that far off Lewis, who beat Fernando at Mclaren.

It could be more even than people would suppose.


Lewis beat Alonso at McLaren???

I thought they end up tied. Thing is that McLaren was a top team when Fernando was there. Now under Hammy leadership.....


Well sorry to say as a Button fan he's had the rub of the green lately with a very competitive car whilst Hamilton has completely lost the plot and its not where he should be in term of driver capability, Hamilton is a bit faster overall and I can't see anything but LH overhauling Jenson in the coming races, as goes for Button joininng Ferrari, well Alonso would blow him away as bad as Massa, a career ending decision.


IrishCon you seriously believe the car favored Hamilton's driving style? Alonso was the one who developed the car there are emails to that affect, it's not exactly something the rookie does. U

The car would of been made around Alonso as when he was signed he was expected to be the number one while Hamilton was developing and learning from Alonso. As it turns out Hamilton was far quicker out of the box than most people thought.

You can say what you like after spygate the team are clearly going to want Hamilton to win the title after that but don't try and rewrite what happened prior to Alonso asking for number 1 treatment.


I don't agree with your logic.

It was Alonso that was driving the development of that car, or at least that is what the evidence in the Spygate trial suggested.

I don't think it was Alonso's worst year, and I don't think that there is any grounds to say that Lewis hasn't improved in the last four seasons.

Equally, I agree that you can't judge the future by looking at statitistics. But there is no compelling argument to suggest that Button wouldn't stack up to Alonso at least as well as he has to Hamilton.


I keep saying this. In 2007 was fernando's worst year in the sport and it was only lewis's best. If they still ended up even after the year despite mclaren favouring Lewis and the car much favouring lewis's style of driving what would have happened if say Lewis was against Fernando in the 06 Renault. Alonso would have beaten Lewis in any other situation other than at that year at mclaren and now 4 years later looking back it was a miracle he got anywhere near Lewis at his team.


of course jenson is a better racer ... purely because he doesnt need his team mates to crash on purpose or slow down for him to win .. just saying .


No Henson just crashes into his team mates. Lewis + jacques


yeah - that's how Alonso won 2 world championships of course.


Button is staying at McLaren because Hamilton is going to Red Bull in 2013. McLaren becomes Button's team although I can see them hiring a Hulkenberg who ends up outdriving Jenson. If LH stays then there is a possibility of JB going to McLaren although being No. 2 in Macca is preferbel to being No. 2 in Ferrari. I respect Button and believe he is the best of the rest but Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel are genuine phenoms (3 youngest GP winners) in a class by themselves.


He won't be allowed to beat Alonso at the reds. He's given equal treatment at McLaren and even then Lewis beats hime overall (the last 2 races aren't reflective of the last 1.5 years). However, Button is the best 2nd driver for McLaren compared to what's available.


Totally agree. Whoever is faster at Ferrari is the number 1 driver. Just notice how Fernando was queued up behind Felipe is the canadian pitlane.

At Ferrari, it is the winning that counts, not the driver who wins.


@F1_Badger I agree with the 'why move drivers over' comment. It was quite a gauche action by Ferrari, wasn't it?

What I was trying to say was that Ferrari does not care who's driver takes the winning. They do not favour a driver but rather allow the faster of the two not to be impeded.

Most of the time, the two drivers will have equal equipment because common sense dictates you need both drivers to be at the front. In the instance were Button would prove faster (through consistency maybee?) than Alonso, then team orders (and logic) would go Jenson's way.


I must've been watching a different Ferrari all these years. If that's true why move drivers over!! Also number one status gives the driver newer parts and the faster car, not to mention better engine and fuel settings when requiredto show superior speed. No team in F1 let's drivers race fairly, team orders in whatever form will always be there. Fernando will have no 1 status at Ferrari endex.


That or they recognize Button's marketability.

Their marketing efforts are now 50/50 Lewis/Jenson - departure of both would be problematic for campaigns.

Lewis visiting Red Bull, puts Jenson in the driving seat on this one.

Conrad M. Sathirweth

I am sure that what people said when he moved to Mclaren.


Yes but it's been proved otherwise at McLaren - he and Hamilton clearly compete equally. At Ferrari the opposite is true; Massa is clearly number 2, and during the Schumacher years any team mate was clearly number 2.

Alonso is their focus and there is no way he would let that slip. At McLaren he wanted to be number one and when he was just equal to Hamilton he left. After that debacle I'd be surprised if Alonso didn't have number one status written into his contract. He's good enough to have that power.

Button would be a mug to go to Ferrari in my opinion. But I don't believe he is a mug - I think these Ferrari rumours are just leverage for a better deal at McLaren - and good for him.


I don't think you're reading Ferrari right. They favor whoever's doing better partway through the season - they backed Kimi in 2007 and Massa in 2008. If Massa had been ahead in the points last year, at the moment when Ferrari started to get desperate, I think they would've backed him.


Exactly right!


Had I known originally that the story of Ferrari's interest in Button came from the News of the World I would not have wasted my time reading it. I would not believe the News of The World if they told me that water is wet.

And yes people said that about Button when he went to Mclaren and that is largely what has happened. Button is almost always out qualified and outdriven at every race. Only Lewis' impetuousness and Button's tyre calls in the rain have kept them close together in the standing than the reality of their talents would otherwise demonstrate.


Button is the exact opposite of Alonso.

One is a passionate, firey emotional spaniard, the other a strong hard Brit who isn't going to cry on the radio if he is being beaten by his teammate.

Button suits McLaren not Ferrari just as Alonso suits Ferrari and Mclaren wasn't the right environment for him.

Button is a precious commodity, not because of pace but because he is consistantly 2nd best in a team with a top driver. He wont complaina nd take points at every opportunity away fron Alonso or Hamilton like Webber does, he wont get anoyed if he is beaten by another WDC, he will take his wins and be happy with driving one of the best cars picking up a few wins and knowing he is on the esteemed list of WDC's of F1..

Massa suits Ferrari, Alonso does. Kimi didn't really, Button wont


seeing Jenson as always second best behind a top driver is a bit harsh. At the moment, he is top at McLaren because he manages to get more out of the tyres than Lewis does. This offers him more options strategy wise during the race.

If he goes to Ferrari, I suspect that'll be for the same reason as Fisichella in 09: a childhood dream and also trying to emulate Hawthorn and Surtees who won the WDC at Ferrari.

James calls it 'romance', which sums this up nicely I think.


I was very harsh on Button when he won the title but this time I agree yeah it's a bit harsh. First of all how do you define "the best"? In my opinion he is the slower mclaren driver but better because he is producing better results.


Have to agree there. Button has over the past several seasons racked up the points. I would most certainly want him in a team for that alone. He may not have the outright speed of a few on the grid, but he knows how to bring home large sums of points over a season. He did it with Honda when that car was a pig. When given the best car, he wins with it. It was his mistake free points capitalizing driving that won him the championship in 2009.


Button isn't getting more out of the tyres, Hamilton is mucking up quite often. Just going through this year

Race - Hamilton's result - Button's result - notes

Australia - 2 - 6 - Hamilton 1 Button 0

Malaysia - 8 - 2 - Hamilton ahead until tyres go. Also Alonso clash. Hamilton 1 Button 1

China - 1 - 4 - Hamilton 2 Button 1

Turkey - 4 - 6 - Hamilton 3 Button 1

Spain - 2 - 3 - Hamilton 4 Button 1

Monaco - 6 - 3 - Hamilton stratergy wise buggers up quali but also drives like an idiot Hamilton 4 Button 2

Canada DNF - 1 - Hamilton qualified better and had more pace but a racing incident knocked Hamilton out so hard to say, my gut says Hamilton 5 Button 2 simply because the incident wasn't Hamiltons fault, at that point that were equal on track and until that point Hamilton was driving better as was shown by the speed Hamilton took out of the coner compared to Button

I wouldn't call that a Button getting more out of tyres.

ALSO Fisi knew FI wanted to get Lizzi in the car after being test driver for a bit of experience to see if he was worth it. He knew the chances of egtting a contract signed for the the next few years was minimal and so chose to go to Ferrari, retire at the end of the year while driving for Ferrari as a reserve and getting to play on the sim for 'work'. Button has a career to follow.


If you think Button isn’t getting more out of the tyres than Hamilton, I'm happy to send you a copy of the Spanish grand prix. =D

I don't think McLaren would not have been able to experiment tyre strategies in China and Turkey with Hamilton, the same way they did with Button. Like Vettel, Button is able to eek out an extra lap or two out of a set.

Button would probably do just fine at Ferrari as he did when he started at McLaren. No one knows how competitive the new cars are going to be with the 2013 regulations onwards. With Pat Fry on board, Ferrari might not be such a bad bet.

Now, slightly off topic but answering your post nonetheless:

There is a fine line between hero and zero. Whilst it hasn't work for Button in China and Turkey, it hasn't worked at all for Hamilton in Malaysia, Monaco and Turkey.

It's not the times Hamilton finishes ahead of Button that count. It is the number of points. Hamilton had more points than Button last year and that was mattered then. This year is a different story (and I'll pass on the Simon Fuller factor). When it comes to racing, my hunch is that Lewis may have seen the Stewart/Senna interview too many times and goes for 'a gap' that might be a little too small.

As for that incident was Hamilton's fault. If you haven't noticed, there a bit of a patterm developing here:

- there was also the Webber incident in the same race (Canada);

- the Massa and Maldonado incidents in Monaco;

- the Alonso incident in Malaysia;

- the Webber incident in Singapore 2010; and

- the Massa incident in Monza 2010.

Personally, I thnk Lewis was driving better in 07 to Spa 2010. Since then, his form has been a bit erratic. It's true Button can't learn more speed. He just seems to have more maturity and, dare I say, brain capacity.

Lewis will probably come good in the end but at the moment, he needs focus on the bigger picture during the races.


I see what you are saying about Hamilton, although it pains me to say it, its only a matter of 1 race win that makes Button look miles better but I just prefer Button as a personality and driver.

Hamilton should just calm down a bit and see the end game 15 points is better than 0 points.

I also just don't see how you think Hamilton trying to pull a crazy move, coming up to a tight corner, in the wet, knowing that Button was going to take the racing line is anything other than Lewis' fault. He should have waited and took him with DRS on the straight - I just can't see it any other way than a silly move on his part...sorry


You're just to the point, I couldn't agree more with your crisp analysis.

Now what's interesting is that Jenson Button's grown up to become the same kind of no-nonsense driver that we're seeing in Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg, and have seen in Kimi Räikkönen.

These are the drivers that take their positions at the grid, then go about their racing with only one thing on their mind: they want to win.

These are the drivers that make it worth looking at yet one more race...


Thanks, but I do have to disagree with part of your post.

One thing I love to watch in F1 is the different personalities and how they compliment each other. The world would be a boring place if everyone was hpapy to do their best and be done with that.

I love to watch Alonso go mad as he wins nearly unwinable races in that Ferrari or how he blows up when things dont go his way. I love to watch RBR self destruct and Webbers comments. Kimi was awesome, but I wouldn't want to see only him.

I wouldn't put Button in the same category as Vettel, Rosberg or Raikkonen. Vettel in public is a happy persona usually but in private he is much more determined and demands things go his way, hence why he see so much friction with him and Webber. Vettel clearly plays the I want no 1 game as much as anyone else out there does.

Rosberg is hard to say as he has smashed every teammate bar Webber to date. Even then he was a rookie. Nakajima wasn't exactly good and Schumacher V2 isn't as good as the original. So it's hard to comment.

Raikkonen spoke with his driving and never really faced a teammate faster than him. By the time a teammate other than in his rookie year out paced him he had got bored with F1.

Kimi Raikkonen I would class as no nonsense just wanting to win, Webber I would go similiar, as well as Kubica and Hiedfeld to name a few.

Vettel I would class more like Alonso is that they both really want to win and will play the team 1 2 game in order to get their success. They both know how to work it and both try everything.

That brings me back to Button. This is why he is such a great commodity. He doesn't have the pace to be causing an Alonso/Hamilton probelms and he wont spit the dummy if he is beaten in quali almost every time. He just goes for it and does his best job and if he wins, he is happy and if he finishes 1 2 to his teammate he is pretty happy. He doesn't need to be loved and pushed by a team and to feel everything working for him. He doesn't need to be the star, he is happy as the back up dancer knowing he will retire a WDC no matter what.


I don't think Button is or would be happy sitting back and being the backup dancer. He is there to win, and wanted to be in a top team and be challenged by his teammate. Button is an excellent all around racer. There is a reason why he pulls out victories and has challenged for others.


Vettel doesn't play the "I want No. 1 game" at all. RBR has clearly stated for sometime that who ever is leading in the title, or in the race, will get preferential treatment - ie: strategy, parts. It seems that Vettel completely understood what needed to be done in order to earn No. 1 status within the team - win. He has done that very well this year, placing better than his teammate in every race, earning more points and being a thoroughly better driver for the team.

If Button doesn't have the pace to cause problems with Hamilton, why is Button doing a better job this season? From Friday to Sunday night, Button knows how to put together a complete race weekend, something Hamilton doesn't seem capable of on a consistent basis.


I very much agree that Jenson has turned into a much more mature driver, by the way he handled himself, especially comparing with Lewis who seems a little rattled in recent races. I'm not trying to spark another Lewis/Jenson debate here, they're different style of drivers.

I think the championship in '09 has calmed Jenson down a lot, far cry from the days between the tug-of-war BAR and Williams for Jenson. I'm very impressed with Jenson this season, he seems to grown in statue in the team whilst Lewis have lost it struck somehow.


Wound he want to move to a team were 1) he will be a clear number 2 and not be allowed to out perform his team mate and 2) he'll likely be in a slower car than McLaren anyway? What's more important, the kudos of says you raced for Ferrari, of of having a real chance of winning another WDC? I for one hope he stay's with McLaren. I think taking a no.2 drive role would be quite damaging for self-esteem (unless he trounced Alonso of course 🙂 )


It must be of some comfort to the drivers in mid-field cars that a guy who struggled for so much of 2007/2008, watching a rookie Hamilton win all and sundry...could have McLaren and Ferrari fighting over him three years later!


Only a lamb would want to partner Alonso.


When team orders were a hot topic throughout last year, Button was very outspoken in his view that there should be no team orders and that teammates should be treated equally. I think he said something along the lines of if he wasn't treated equally to Lewis, he'd leave.

Sure, this was posturing to an extent, but I really can't see him joining Ferrari and being a clear number two next to Alonso.

Great post though James, and keep up the good work!


There are a lot of comments about number two status for Button in Ferrari. This can happen because performance reasons, but that shouldn't be a problem for Button, if he can compete with Hamilton, he can use his strengths to compete with Alonso. Probably Button is not the favourite in any of the challenges, but with the right circumstances he is showing that we can make the most of his opportunities. The other reason for number two status is political, aka team orders, but I don't think that is a problem either. Even with Massa heavily under-performing, in the last two years there has been only one case of team orders in Ferrari, admittedly a very obvious one, but it can be argued that it was a very desperate attempt at keeping a WDC challenge alive. When Massa has ended before Alonso in a race, both before Hockenheim last year or this year, Massa has choose his strategy and raced as he wanted, even when this has negatively impacted in Alonso, for example in China this year.

Anyway, it seems that all of this is just JB trying to get a better contract with McLaren.


Hmmmm For someone who till the McLaren stint ensured that cars designed to his need (effectively forcing team mates on back foot if they didn't like understeer - e.g. Sato & Barrichello) Button's talk about driver equality is mere humbug.

Even in 2009 Brawn team ensure that Barrichello lost initiative in first few races, by the clutch issues on race start that bugged only his car in first few races. Only when Button went off the boil mid-season, team supported Rubens, so if Jenson claims ignorance of not getting preferential treatment its mere humbug.

I am sure if Ron was running McLaren F1, Hamilton and Kimi would have been team-mates. So its not as if he not a preferred driver of Martin Whitmarsh.

After Ron's departure, Martin has has more than once thrown Lewis under the bus while giving glowing attributes to Jenson.

All this Button to Ferrari talks are mere tactics of Button camp to jack up his price before signing next deal with McLaren.


I think I enjoy posts by conspiracy theorists like this most of all.

Do you really think Ross Brawn is stupid enough to do stuff like that?


its interesting that Rubens seems to suffer a number of 'clutch issues' at the start of races for Williams too.... JB obviously still has powerful allies there even though it is over 10 years since he left ......


Could be. Also a way of putting himself in the frame at RB if Mark leaves.


So Brawn DELIBERATELY caused Rubens to suffer clutch issues, thanks for telling me this as i'd always thought that winning the constructors would be very important financially for a team that knew early on that they'd be having issues surviving into another season after the Honda cash ran out.

Marcus in Canada

Really good point.


Why would a driver of Jenson's calibre go to a team whose main non Tobacco sponsor pays for their countryman to be number 1 ? So keen indeed, that they paid Kimi to go and crash hatchbacks in Forests in case he beat their boy.

Can you really see Jenson wanting to drive an inferior car, just to make Alonso look good ? I have not forgotten the time at Renault, who never built a good second car anyway, regardless who Flabbio managed at the time....




Very funny comment Alan. Made me laugh out loud 🙂


Stay with mclaren, jenson. At least they'll let you win a couple.

I can see button reading the Ferrari contract now, and eye balling he small print: "Fernando is faster than you"


If Button goes to Ferrari and Hamilton to Red Bull.. McLaren will be in deep s**t!


They won't. According to BBC Rosberg has "let it be known" he would be open to driving for McLaren.

Hamilton and Button won't go, though.

Button knows he's not close to retirement yet (I think Massa's seat has Webber written all over it).

Hamilton, equally, knows the value of a "competitive" car versus a "light years ahead" car.

He won't want his legacy to be damaged like Vettel's.


I don't think Webber has anything to gain by staying at Red Bull next year. It's obvious they can only get one reliable car ready in time for each race, and Webber ain't driving it.


You could be right about Webber, based on the last two seasons he looks far more likely to leave his current team than Button does.


Thats a bit harsh. Mark Weber must be really really bad according to your logic.

Even what you said is true, which I don't think it is, Lewis and all the f1 drivers would LOVE to drive that "light years ahead" car, including guys like Senna/Schumacher.


di resta and rosberg i would suggest then if this happens.


Why does everyone forget KK? Amazing defensive and attacking driving, would love to see him in a top car.


as much as kk is entertaining to watch i just dont think he is a top line driver. he should be beating pedro de la rosa in q2 last week by more. i love watching him. just dont see a title in him. just my opinion.


Jenson should definitely stay at McLaren. He has 3 more good years left in him and if McLaren produce a title winning car then Jenson will have a fantastic chance of winning the title again. If he moves to Ferrari and they give him a title winning car, he wont be able to win the championship becasue all he'll be is Alonso's number 2!


He's also psyching out Lewis at the moment, so why leave ? Fernando would be a tougher proposition. But he's found a way to make his own niche at McL when all said he was mad. Don't underestimate him. Different folks, different strokes.


Haha don't make me laugh!! Button is good but the only person out psyching hamilton is himself!!


Hmmm. You're not wrong, but I'm not so sure it's just that.


Button has a good year ? this is extreme. The lad got lucky in the last 2 races ...

I am not from UK, something that can be seen in my eng . grammar . However, what i see as a foreigner,is that almost all the UK prefers Button over Lewis .

Button won 1 race this year .

Lewis won 1 race as-well . Lewis has one DNF due to Canada collision . Lewis lost Monaco due to the Qualy.

I wonder how your page and UK press would write now if Button would had not collide with Lewis in Montreal and if the Qualy. in Monaco would had not been wasted .

And yes for a foreigner, ALi-G comments looks real . Btw i am white .


Button lucky ..... Mmmmm I think you'll find he was genuinely the fastest man at the right time. If anything he was unlucky in Monaco.


OK - Jenson won 3 races in 'variable conditions' - respected, touch of luck here, a safety car there, a good strategy call here, take out your team mate there…….come on!!! Jenson’s best finishes have been when his team mate has been compromised in some way; there is always a grey area with mitigating circumstances…or through his mates – the safety car/rain…..never through pure pound for pound racing ability in my opinion….

Will Jenson win a race for McLaren in dry conditions and out class the likes of Alonso, Vettel, and Hamilton without his best mates – the safety car and rain?


First and foremost he didn't win the race in Monza - but he did beat is team mate on a different set up - fair play....

If anymore spring to mind Chris - let me know...


Monza last year


I sort of agree on the luck part for canada but in Monaco he drove pretty well and didn't really get luck. But there's no way anybody can say he wasn't extremely lucky in Canada. For starters making contact with 3 other cars and still being able to finish the race. Also after he hit alonso and should have had a drive through pen at least the safety car was called out which totally let him get back into the race and without the safety car he wouldn't if won. He did drive pretty dam well in the rest of the 30 odd laps though. Just imagine if alonso had of been able to drive off that kerb. Button would not have won so I think it's fair to say he was very lucky.


Snap out of it ... "Button getting lucky" is an old excuse .


I really wish this Button is lucky rubbish would stop! Just because he doesn't drive like his pants are on fire doesn't he mean can't win races on merit. He's actually a pretty decent overtaker and he's a thinker which many fans like. There's more than one way to skin a cat!!

I totally love the way Lewis goes about his racing but the guy seriously needs to chill right now or that trophys' staying in Milton Keynes:(


I agree. It seems like Button plans his overtakes while Hamilton just tries to pass because there is something in the way with no patience. The Mclaren this year looks to be top notch, and even possibly the best car in the race. Hamilton needs to take points when he can get them. This is what Button does exceptionally well.


Why can't people be allowed to support a driver. Does the fact that so many people like the guy not tell you that perhaps your opinion is unbalanced.

Try finding many people in F1 who have a lot of bad stuff (barring flav - see Monaco harbour incident).

I like both Mclaren drivers. But on a personal level I prefer jensons laid back team approach.


Lucky in the last 2 races? Are you high? How on earth was he lucky in Monte Carlo? I was asking myself had he ran over a black cat. Lucky? LOL


I would choose McLaren for one reason only, Ferrari is Alonso's team.

McLaren has a history of supporting two drivers equally, whereas Ferrari does not. Not even a question that they can, but they choose to fully support only one driver - arguably a better solution if you want only the WDC. They already have a "chosen one". + maybe Ronzo will kick him down a MP4-12C as a loaner? LOL


Ferrari is Alonso's team, just like McLaren 'was' Hamiltons team.

Also ask DC about McLaren history of supporting both drivers equally.

I think both teams will support the faster driver (which Alonso clearly was last season).


A move to Ferrari would be career suicide, there is no equality in that team whatsoever.

We all saw what a brat Alonso turned into when Hamilton gave as good as he got during his McLaren days, I cant imagine Ferrari ever allowing that sort of equality to their teammates, they have staked far too much already on Alonso (understandably so)

I have never been a big Jenson fan be honest, however in the last couple of years I think he has really proved what a skilled driver he is as well as having the ability to make the right call at the right time, he is driving better than ever at McLaren. I'm more than willing to swallow my pride and confess to being a bit of a fan now.


Agreed. I thought Button was way over-rated until he joined McLaren. He was thoroughly trounced by Fisichella... and I thought the same would happen with Hamilton. He certainly proved me wrong, and I'm happy to see that he's getting recognition and teams want him now.


If I was Jenson I'd stay put. He seems able to galvanise that team around him and appears to have a great relationship with the team which could lead to a post racing career as a member of the management team at Mclaren and a way to stay connected with his beloved Formula 1.

That said, with a stint at Ferrari he would become a true legend of F1 and to be honest I’d fancy his chances against Alonso who like Jenson was only very slightly slower than Lewis at Mclaren.

It could be a fascinating partnership but I doubt Jenson would knowingly sign a No.2 contract just to get his hands on one of the Red Cars which in all honesty have not shown any signs of a return to the heady days of the Brawn/Byrne era.

In short I don't think Jenson would leave Mclaren whilst he still intends to win more races/championships because they currently represent a better opportunity than Ferrari. However, if Jenson is thinking of winding down anytime soon, a few years at Maranello by way of a retirement waiting room would be very pleasant indeed I would imagine.

I personally think that Jenson is in the form of his life currently and it's partly due to him being such a perfect fit at Woking. He's also thrived from being paired with Hamilton, clearly raising his game and genuinely getting on terms with him. Lewis is possibly a bit rattled that he hasn't been able to issue the drubbing he expected to give Jenson and I think Jenson likes the mental high ground that’s given him.

Ultimately, if you drive for Mclaren and you're any good, you're going to win races, guaranteed. I don't feel it's as easy to say the same about Ferrari these days. They struggled last year and this year seem to have taken another step back whereas Mclaren seem to always be able to pick themselves up and run at the front. Ok Mclaren have thrown titles away because they haven't been operationally sharp enough at times but I believe Jenson is Sharp enough to make that difference if the car is to his liking.


'Lewis is possibly a bit rattled'

How do you work that out David - please explain?

In 2010 Jenson got schooled by Lewis in all departments - poles/fastest laps/podiums/race wins/points (even with an extra dnf) – fact…..bottom line ‘all departments’ – do your research!!! And come the end of 2011 it will be the same again.

When you have been beaten in every department how is that doing a good job?

How as he matched Lewis?

Lewis has got bigger fish to fry - he doesn't fear Jenson Button imo - what is there to be rattled about?


Well he clearly is rattled, hence the poor performances and unrealistic moves of late. Don't misunderstand, there's no animosity towards Lewis here at all. He's great, but all is not well with him at the moment. Lewis Hamilton is expected to do the business by everyone but the mistakes are writing a different story and his team mate has been quietly minding his own business and doing a good job recently. That is bound to be an extra pressure that will eat at him a bit, he is only 26 after all. Many people like to see Hamilton as some sort of superhuman which always makes this sort of debate biased. Also, because his barmy racing style inspires such passion it leads his supporters to attack the slightest suggestion that things aren't going as well as they could or should be for Hamilton at the moment and the merest suggestion that he isn't coming up with the goods as well as some others leads to all manner of vitriol. Well let's be pragmatic for a moment hey? Button had a average to poor start to the season for someone in a Mclaren, now it appears to be Hamilton that is running into problems and it's generally been down to a lack of circumspection on his part.

Jenson Button 2011 Finishing Positions

6th, 2nd, 4th, 6th, 3rd, 3rd, 1st. Average finishing position 3.57

Lewis Hamilton 2011 Finishing Positions

2nd, 8th, 1st, 4th, 2nd, 6th, DNF Average Finishing Position 3.83 (not counting the DNF which is officially classified as a 24th place finish and would skew the average to 6.71)

There is little doubt that Hamilton has a couple of tenths in his pocket over Jenson in terms of ultimate pace, especially over one lap. However, they are a lot closer in the races, close enough for Jenson to genuinely beat him on pace on occasion but Jenson is also very consistent which as you can see is paying dividends at the moment. My concern for Hamilton is that his eye is not on the ball: too many things to distract.

Entourages of the Beautiful people at races

Thoughts of moving to Red Bull

Showbiz Management

A team mate good enough to capitalise when Lewis is out of sorts.

I just think that Lewis is putting pressure on himself unnecessarily and it's having an effect on his performances. He's not the first and he won't be the last. Lewis being rattled appears to be giving Jenson the elbow room to go about his racing his way which is when he is at his best. I think Hamilton just needs to exercise some mind management, upset a few of his uberfamous chums by telling them not to come to races anymore and not try to win the race in the first few laps.

Canada for example, as the lead McLaren Jenson was always going to defend the racing line. Any racing driver that didn't wouldn't be keeping his job very long. Lewis must have known that or maybe he expected Jenson would just roll over and let him by like a patsy. I feel certain he would have got Jenson on the following lap with a similar opportunity. In fact he probably would have got Jenson if he'd have gone to the right and around the outside into turn one but instead he opted to take to the grass and try and squeeze between Jenson and the pit wall. It was a badly judged move and he got a DNF instead of a win. I don't care who you are, putting half of the car on wet grass during a move which was never going to work was just weird. Totally unnecessary!! He would have been in the DRS zone next time round and breezed past heading into the final chicane. He may be the fastest cheetah on the plains but he doesn’t appear to be the wisest owl in the forest at the moment. The facts and figures don't lie.


Great post! It seems that Hamilton is over pressuring himself to be the next great driver and win championships. I also believe Button has integrated well within the Mclaren team, perhaps better than Hamilton. Button seems like a much more likeable character than Hamilton, so this is not unlikely.


Well, thanks for your passionate response.

I made no predictions about the season as a whole, merely commented on the progress so far and you’d have to say that based on results alone there’s very little in it so far with Jenson slightly ahead at the moment in the races and Lewis winning hands down in qualifying, just as I said.

I have no loyalty to any driver over the sport itself which is why I am able to remain objective. At no point in my comment did I claim to favour Jenson over Lewis which is the impression you appear to have gleaned.

I assume you are a Hamilton supporter from your tone which, probably lead to you taking my comment as biased towards Jenson which is a common trait in Hamilton fans I have to say. There really is no reason to leap to his defence as he was never under attack. If anything my comment merely offers a possible explanation for the errors we have seen this year, some would say I was defending Lewis by virtue of this. I wasn’t, nor was I bigging up Jenson.

Also, to answer your question as to whether having glamorous friends at trackside is a distraction great enough to prompt errors, possibly yes. It’s merely a suggestion not a definitive reason. However, if you are correct and it is making no difference to Lewis’s performance then perhaps we should conclude that this sort of error is a characteristic of Lewis’s style that he still hasn’t managed to shake off since the beginning of his career which, has been littered with this sort of incident throughout.

I personally felt Felipe Massa would have been a deserved champion in 2008, every bit as much as Lewis, perhaps more so. Lewis did make hard work of winning the title but if clinching it at the last moment by one point because Timo Glock made a mistake letting you take 6th place is heroic then my instincts must be wrong. Sure, it was a nail biter but it was hardly the most convincing championship victory in history and I felt for Felipe and his family.

I agree, Jenson did a great job in the first half of the season last year but Hamilton’s pace ultimately won the day over the season. This year, thus far appears to be a slightly different story as the results would suggest.

Whilst Jenson is not as ultimately quick as Hamilton, neither is Lewis the complete package. Jenson is undoubtedly the superior driver in changeable conditions which is why he has won the last 3 races in such conditions. Lewis is ferociously quick, quicker possibly than anyone but there are elements missing from his make up that prevent him being No.1 race after race. The big gamble moves are more likely to pay off at the end of a race because the guy you’re attacking is thinking, “maybe I should settle for the points and let this guy through before he takes us both off”. At the start of a race it’s not so wise. It’s this sort of thing that Jenson seems to be better at, for the moment at least and by that I don’t mean Jenson is better at overtaking, I mean he seems to use his noggin better as things currently stand, just to be clear.

Something else you need to consider is that there is nothing wrong with finding fault in even the most perfect thing. Only that way can it be improved. Sure enough, Lewis arrived in F1 and it was like a bolt from the blue. Aggression, raw speed and loads of heart make him a tantalising prospect for us all but I just feel like he hasn’t progressed much since 2007, hasn’t really addressed the areas of his racing where he is weak which is why we see him repeat the same mistakes.

To describe Lewis as taking Jenson to school is over egging the pudding a little, they’re closer than you are clearly willing to admit despite the results that are on the board for us all to see. 4 Podium finishes a piece including 1 win each seems pretty close to me. I don’t care about romanticisms, results matter, nothing else and I am glad that Lewis and Jenson have paired up so well and are doing a great job between them for Mclaren. I don’t mind which one wins, but I do want them to give each other a hard time which, they are so thumbs up from me!!

Whatever happens it’s a fascinating comparison of styles and I agree that more often than not history has shown us that the guy with the outright speed wins but not always. Look at Prost Vs Senna. Also Keke Rosberg took the title with a single win and by being consistent.

Also, if it came down to the wire between Jenson and Lewis at the last race of the season I’d be concerned that Hamilton might be the one to bin it so I’d have a fiver each way just to be on the safe side.


Rattled because of Jenson or rattled because Vettel is moving further ahead in the championship? imho it’s neither, just a couple of bad races, but if anything it’s the latter……

If I remember correctly didn’t Jenson have a great start to last year’s campaign winning in Australia and Chinese….but we all know what happened come the end of the season, he got outclassed in all departments – fact…..not emotion, not opinion…..fact…..

Lewis achieved more poles/fastest laps/podiums/race wins/points (even with an extra dnf)

Every on track duel between the pair...Lewis as been dishing out lessons on each occasion.

I remember last year when Paddy Lowe made it clear to the whole F1 community, this idea of Jenson been a tyre management specialist is just a myth, that’s the word he used – myth……

Paddy Lowe has been in the game a long time, but still Jenson gets praise has been this tyre management specialist...why?

Why do we feel the need to tell porky’s...just to try and boost one’s self esteem when he’s no better than anyone else in that department.

Like I said before there is nothing Jenson can bring to the table that can rattle Lewis in my opinion especially when you beat someone in all departments over a course of a season including tyre management.

Also, if you want to call his racing style barmy – fine…..that’s your opinion!!!

The same barmy racing style that showed maturity and mental strength of the highest grade in beating Alonso in his rookie year on tracks he’s never raced on, along with supreme driving and race craft skills....putting the heartache of 2007 behind him....he then showed the same barmy racing style with mental strength, and more heart than 2007 to put himself in the same position again in 2008 to win the WDC in his 2nd year - maturity of the highest order in my opinion in the history of F1……..far from barmy!!!

If you want to judge them after 7 races you can….that’s entirely up to you and put it down to xyz…..but we all know there is more to a season than 7 races. I like to judge the whole picture, not half of it.

What makes me chuckle is this word 'slightly' and ‘very slightly’ when referring to the pace between Lewis and Jenson.....bottom line he never has and never will be as quick as Lewis from the evidence we’ve seen since they’ve been together in the same team with the same equipment, this so called smooth style which when it comes down to the crunch is 2/3/4 tenths slower depending on the circuit, for example in Canada last year he was 4 tenths slower – fact.

This issue with his management all of a sudden, when he won the wdc in 2008, we saw Puff Daddy, Pharrel Williams, Will-i-am and many more other beautiful people as you say - was it an issue then?

This so called showbiz management looks after Andy Murray and David Beckham…..if it can look after them and raise their profile…..why not Lewis Hamilton? They are all sportsman.

Why is it down to the people around him that Lewis has had a couple of bad results – Simon Fuller doesn’t drive the car for him does he.

In Monaco – imho the moves he tried were over ambitious – no doubt….. But we’ve seen it many times over the years from drivers apart from Lewis – that’s racing!!!

All I know from the evidence we have it was Jenson doing the apologising not Lewis in Canada – that speaks volumes to me, regardless of what anybody tells me…Jenson is a top bloke and he showed a lot of class regarding that issue - apologising….great driving performance, which to me was the most aggressive driving performance of his career…..

We need to stop elevating Jenson's ability onto a pedestal it doesn't deserve……… He’s had plenty of time to prove him himself since 2000…..he has never been regarded as a man who had the skill set to lead a top team……not like Kimi, Alonso or Hamilton…..just a good wing man, number two status all the way, which match his abilities imo….that’s why Ferrari or McLaren have never taken a punt on Jenson before 2009, at a time when he could of lead the team…..

I just look at the evidence and it tells its own story – comprehensively imo…..I look at the concrete facts that tells us the full picture without bias – that’s all I’m interested in.

And that picture tells us Lewis Hamilton is superior driver in every department to Jenson Button when matched in the same team, with the same equipment.

Great site James – enjoying all the thoughts and views……..


Of course, forgot about the DRS restrictions under wet running. Still, I bet Jenson would have used up his KERS supply trying to keep Hamilton at bay in the first half the lap and perhaps Hamilton could have saved a bit of his for the long back straight?

I agree it's a fascinating situation at Mclaren because whilst both drivers have very different styles they are achieving very similar results. Looking at qualifying, the average gap between JB and LH over the first 7 races of the season has been a mere 0.014s.

JB LH Diff Faster J or L

Aus 1:24.779 1:24.307 .472 L

Mal 1:35.200 1:34.974 .226 L

Chin 1:34.421 1:34.463 .042 J

Turk 1:25.982 1:25.595 .387 L

Esp 1:21.996 1:21.961 .035 L

Mon 1:13.997 1:15.280 1.283 J

Can 1:13.868 1.13.565 .303 L

Admittedly, it mostly goes in Lewis's favour and Monaco was a bit of an anomaly due to Hamilton's unusual qualifying session. That said, the why's and wherefores are something of an irrelevance because once you cross the line and pick up the points it can’t be undone and there are no points for qualifying as we all know. All the drivers have misfortune in race weekends such as penalties, caught in traffic, car failures to mention a few so we should maybe ignore these things and just accept them as part of racing.

It just shows that all these guys are so close to the ultimate pace at all times that when it all boils down there isn't much between them at all. I'd still put my money on Hamilton in qualifying but in the wet Jenson is the safest pair of hands. In the dry, both drivers have tracks they excel at but Hamilton's small margin of extra speed should win the day overall. In light of that, if Jenson manages to finish a season ahead of Lewis we must accept that he has done an exceptional job surely rather than berate him as undeserving or lucky?



I think this has to be the most coherent and persausive counter argument that I've ever read on this forum. Accurate, too, which is also quite rare!

DRS wasn't enabled during that phase of the race, of course, but I agree that Lewis would probably have got by on the right hand side, or somewhere else around the lap. Whether he would have been as quick in the second half of the race (when JB simply had astonishing pace compared to everyone else in the field) remains to be seen - if we think back to the laps after the final tyre stop in last year's Chinese GP, JB pulled the best part of 7 secs over Lewis in 4 laps.

Lewis will definitely bounce back, however, and I'm really intrigued as to how the rest of the season plays out for the two McLaren drivers.

Great comment.


"Alonso slower than Lewis at McLaren" ? Nonsense. Devalues the rest of your comment.


Your comment is nonsense as you fail to justify it. Without backing it up it's just an opinion and opinions are like ...[mod], everyone's got one.

In 2007, as the season wore on young Lewis was getting up to speed but from the off was a headache for Alonso. By the last third of the season, Lewis was gaining the upper hand on pace which is why he entered the final round of the Season as Mclaren's best hope of winning the title. All this despite inexperience tolling heavily for Lewis during the season which, meant he lost an armful of points due to errors and the gearbox glitch at Sao Paolo putting paid to his championship ambitions.

The reality is, Lewis had the measure of Alonso after half a season which is why Alonso had to get out before his stock fell and understandably so. What double world champion would relish the prospect of being forced to play second fiddle to the new hotshoe because had he stayed at Mclaren he would have had no choice. Lewis did end up being quicker that him in the end, only by the tiniest of margins but it was enough to rattle Alonso and make him seek refuge with uncle Flavio, even though it meant driving a dog of a Renault.

Fernando legging it to Renault speaks for itself as does the vastly more experienced double world champion being matched punch for punch all season by a 21 year old rookie. Had Lewis not made his inevitable rookie mistakes he would've convincingly beaten Fernando and probably taken the title to boot.


Alonso himself doesn't think he is faster. He just thinks he is more complete. You could say he has less speed than Hamilton but more brains?


Absolutely spot on.


actually, check this site to bring a rest to 2007 season already: http://f1-facts.com/statistics/team-mates/LHamilton

You can statistically see that these to guys were very similar altough Ham was a rookie and Alo was with a team which (arguabally his own fault) did not want him in the second part of the year.

sorry for typos.


I have to say, that actually in the last 10 races of 2007:

Ham beat alo twice (including hungary, where alo lost pole:))

Alo beat Ham six times

other 2 races were DNF for either Alo or Ham.

Hamilton had a remarkable first year in F1 and it caught Alo off guard. I hope we will see the two man go head to head in equall machinery, albeit not the same team


Yep JB would be good fitting at Ferrari as Alonso knows him pretty well. Sounds like Jenson is quite happy at McLaren though. But would love to see how well he goes at Ferrari. What about Massa? He has been one of the most loyal drivers Ferrari had. The problems with Massa not doing too good is car as well as lack of natural talent like Alonso. In my view Massa is as good as Kimi. The current rules doesn't also suit his driving style much I recon. Would McLaren take him? He'll still be a fool to drive along side Lewis regardless. Lewis needs Fisichella type drivers along side him who will drive only to support his faster & aggressive team mate, not to win races. Contract market sounds exciting already!!! Can't wait to hear more! My head says JB will certainly stay at Macca, but who knows what happens in this business!


McLaren should bring back Heikki if Button leaves (which would only happen if Ferrari throw piles of cash at him)


And why on earth would they do thet?????


My bad, 'Lack of natural talent unlike Alonso'


The problem Button has, is that he's still consistently 2-3 tenths slower than Hamilton everytime out.

He will be there or thereabouts and he may even nose ahead in the points table from time to time, but can you ever beat your teammate (and therefore win a championship) when you're consistently off his pace?

In his defense, probably only Vettel and Alonso have a chance of matching him for pace, but this is the level you've got to be at to win. Perhaps Button is happy enough to come second?

I think, if McLaren see it this way, Button is the best kind of #2 to have. Non-abrasive, capable of coming in second when there's a one-two on offer, capable of winning when the other car is out of the race, fast enough to keep the other guy on top of his game.


Well said, I agree completely


"...but can you ever beat your teammate (and therefore win a championship) when you’re consistently off his pace?"

Haven't followed racing for very long, have we ?

A driver who is slightly slower is quite capable of beating a driver who is slightly quicker, when the quicker driver has a habit of making mistakes which result in either a DNF, a penalty, or a lower finishing position. Quickness alone doesn't win championships.

Just ask any of the drivers who have actually won one.


Wasn't the battle Damon Hill vs. Jacques Villeneuve for the 1996 WDC exactly that?


Is that a fact in the race as well as Quali?

Conrad M. Sathirweth

The problem Button has, is that he’s still consistently 2-3 tenths slower than Hamilton everytime out.


Last time I checked their quali head to head was not 7-0 to Hamilton.

Perhaps Button is happy enough to come second?


Second in the WDC maybe but he is beating Hamilton at the moment.


Quali is 5-2 to Hamilton actually.


Aus 1:24.779 1:24.307 .472

Mal 1:35.200 1:34.974 .226

Chin 1:34.421 1:34.463 .042

Turk 1:25.982 1:25.595 .387

Esp 1:21.996 1:21.961 .035

Mon 1:13.997 1:15.280 1.283

Can 1:13.868 1.13.565 .303

Race Results:

Jenson Button 2011 Finishing Positions

6th, 2nd, 4th, 6th, 3rd, 3rd, 1st. Average finishing position 3.57

Lewis Hamilton 2011 Finishing Positions

2nd, 8th, 1st, 4th, 2nd, 6th, DNF Average Finishing Position 3.83 (not counting the DNF which is officially classified as a 24th place finish and would skew the average to 6.71)

I think because Hamilton's performances are so much more dramatic the Jenson's, people have a false impression that Hamilton is thrashing him but the facts don't support this.


Not that my post has anything to do with last year but for your sake I'll entertain it for a moment. I think it would be fairer to say that Button showed well against Hamilton for the first year, especially when the expectation was that he would be ruined by him. With a year under his belt against Lewis I think we're going to see JB run LH a bit closer this year. He might not beat him overall but I think its going to be a lot closer than last year, again as the results suggest.

Again, it's the race results that matter, not qualifying but as you insist on dragging last year up, over the same 4 races last year Jenson out-qualified Lewis 4-3.


Lewis is beating Jenson 5-2 over 7 races, it could change, due to there is many more races to go - but very doubtful imho on the evidence the we've seen from last season to this.....

Why? becuase Lewis as more ability than Jenson - plain and simple.....

Some choose to accept this, some don't.....

'people have a false impression that Hamilton is thrashing him but the facts don’t support this'

David what false impression are people getting?

Next your going to tell me that 2+2 doesn't equal 4.

Lewis did this to Jenson last year on the whole, why can't you accept one driver being more superior than the other - that's the way life is.


Button must be wise and immediatly sign for McLaren. If he signs for Ferrari it would be a bitter end for his career. Remember Prost, Mansell, Alesi, Berger, Capelli, Irvine even Michael in his first years in Ferrari.

Alonso will never be a World Champion again.

Ferrari is on descent line after Brawn, Todt and Michael era.

Off the record, my favourite driver is: Fernando Alonso!!!

Oxford Bullnose

We know Alonso likes a clear number 2 beside him, so does this mean Jenson accepts this?

More than anything I'd say this story shows Mclaren pretty much know Lewis has plans to go elsewhere...


Always enjoyed Mansells years at Ferrari and have to say the thought of Button there is great. Difficult to see how the team and Fernando would handle it and not sure Button could realistically get a fair shot at it but what a way to finish his career.


He'd be the the first British driver since Il Leoni to drive for them, 20+yrs ago! The Tifosi adored Our Nige:). I could see JB driving for them for maybe the last couple of seasons before he retires but i don't think he's given up the idea of another title shot yet.


Er...... a Mr E Irvine seems to have slipped your memory!


I found it interesting to go back and skim the comments from Button's decision to to McLaren. In retrospect it was a briliant career move by Jenson.



My thoughts precisely - Button said he went to McLaren to test himself against Hamilton. Incidentally - I'd like to know how he thinks he's doing on that. Forget all of *our* arguing. What does *Jenson* think?

As James also said in that article - "I admire him for deciding to take on one of the greatest challenges imaginable in F1, the other being to race Alonso in equal cars."

If Button thinks he's there-or-thereabouts with Hamilton, or if he thinks Lewis is going to leave, then he might decide that the next challenge is precisely Alonso/Ferrari. If he thinks he's still progressing, and can catch Lewis' speed (and not just beat him in the WDC).

Personally, I think Button is more suited to McLaren (and vice-versa) mentally and in teamwork.

And, frankly, Ferrari aren't really there in providing 2 cars.

Conrad M. Sathirweth

It really was an inspired decision; he could of been stuck at Mercedes probably not adding anymore wins, but he decided to move into Hamilton's 'team' and has won another three races to date, challenged for the 2010 title is in this years WDC race and has improved his reputation no end.


Yes, first to admit I thought he was nuts. But he's made it work for him. Hats off to Button


James, can you please explain how Jenson has made it work?


Made it work by getting beat by his team mate in all departments.....

How does that work?

How is it working?


Now there are two lines you'd never heard from mr saward! 😉


I'll try my best to keep Mr. Saward aware of his mistakes !


Button is a great fit for McLaren, I can't see him being happy at Ferrari. Not even counting the performance problem, Alonso doesn't want another driver, he wants another bitch.


the same as every driver in the world. no driver wants a team mate who could beat them. its just the way it is. same way lewis nvr complained when heikki was his team mate.


I don't think he's ever complained about Jenson being his teammate and beating him occasionally either.....unlike a certain Spaniard.


But the problem you fail to see is that Ferrari are very quick to fully back one of their drivers so early in the season....certainly much sooner than most other teams....and that creates motivational issues for Ferrari's second driver IMO more so than at other teams.


"[...] creates motivational issues for Ferrari’s second driver [...]"

Martin Whitmarsh would tell you that you are talking about execptional human beings here. It would take a little more for Massa (or whoever else in his position) to be demoralised.

I personally think Ferrari were quite slow last year in recognising Massa's pace issues. It was quite clear from Australia onwards but only acted at the German GP. Let's remember that Alonso flagged this issue in the pitlane in China. =D


thats nonsense that your talking there mate. apart from 2002 at austria which even ferrari admit was wrong you cant question ferrari's decisions. last year in germany made perfect sense. massa was never going to have chance in the championship so why keep him in front of alonso. if massa was clearly the number 2 why did ferrari pit him first in china when he was in front of fernando when doing the extra lap on old tyres costs u seconds this year not tenths. they have been nothing but fair massa.


I'm a huge fan of Jenson, and I think he is exactly the type of driver needed by Ferrari.

The obvious sentimental aspect of driving for Ferrari is probably on most drivers career checklists behind closed doors.

I hope to see him stay at McLaren however (as a McLaren fan and a JB fan first and foremost), but I suspect Ferrari will be more than happy to up the ante to take him to Ferrari.

If Massa is on 10M + (as I understand he is), financially that would be a nice little topup for JBs pension fund as well. I'm sure he'd like a couple of additional company cars 😉

I still can't see Lewis staying at McLaren (I think he'll go to RB), so it may actually turn out that Jenson leads McLaren for a couple of years.

I'm sure this article will make some fans cringe (the ones who steadfastly refuse to acknowledge the talent that JB has), but it reconfirms again how high in regard he is within F1.

The simple fact of the matter is, that McLaren cant afford to lose Jenson. As I'm pretty sure barring a large turnaround in fortunes, Lewis will jump ship.


Nicely put.

If you add Pat Fry to the Ferrari equation, it would make a lot of sense to have JB in the team to manage the emotional effect that prohibit the latin from succeding there (aside from Domenicali who seems pretty grounded).


I wish he goes to Ferrari, he and Alonso will be a great combination


Hi James,

Regardless of Ferrari's interest in Jenson, can we safely assume that Fernando is going to have a new team mate next year?

I've read in certain circles that Massa’s seat will become vacant if he fails to perform this weekend, but surely a decent performance at one race cannot paper over the cracks that have been there for all to see since 2009?


He was on great form in Canada, but didn't get the result.

Fulveo Ballabeo

Romance aside, easy decision: McLaren.

At McLaren, he'll be allowed to win.

At Ferrari, he'll be #2 to Alonso (despite all the proclamations otherwise).

McLaren wins, and Button's happy there. At this point in his career, why risk that?

Still, a savvy negotiating ploy from the Button camp.


I think this is tricky as F1 changes so rapidly. Ferrari are out-of-touch as a constructor at present, finishing 4th in Button's championship year, 3rd last year and are on course for a 3rd place finish this year.

McLaren have beaten Ferrari four out of the last five seasons and look to be on course to repeat that this year.

If you were a betting man those odds would point to staying at McLaren, but I have a feeling Ferrari are on the up with Alonso in the team.

I think if it were me I'd stick with a British team and try and sign up with Red Bull. Hehe 🙂


I think Jenson Button in a car as sorted as the RB would beat Vettel. And I'm (knowingly) in the minority.

I would love to see Newey back at McLaren to end his career. If only....


you've been one of those who thought Jenson wasn't a great driver as I did. Remember he was beaten by Fisichella !

This Fisichella has been destroyed by Alonso and humiliated in his late stint with Ferrari as a replacement for Massa.

In the same time, Button is proving a respectable opponent to Hamilton who beat Alonso even if it was very close.

It is completely illogical, isn't it ? That shows just how sensitive are some drivers to the car they have beneath them or the psychological atmosphere around them.


"you’ve been one of those who thought Jenson wasn’t a great driver as I did."

I task you to find a bigger JB support on this forum Jo! 😉

Ross Brawn touched on it at the start of the brawn WCC season. He said with a great car, he (Jenson) was on a completely different level.

It is always very interesting to me that you have some drivers that can drive around a car, and some that if you give them a great car they can be untouchable.


Yeah while button has went up in my eyes since he joined mclaren he still isn't a great driver in my book. A great driver is alonso and michael and the likes of them guys. I think if you put button up against alonso, vettel, Lewis, kimi, kubica, Michael, mika and the likes all at there best button wouldn't beat any of them. He is a very good driver. Not a great one. As mark webber said last year if it's dry 4 drivers can win and if it is wet Jenson can win also.


he would never ever out qualify vettel and vettel seems to make the tyres work for him better than anybody this year so i very very doubt that. after all despite buttons meant to be easy on the tyres he destroyed them in china more than lewis did.


I don't disagree about Quali, but in my view jb is (at this stage) a better racer.


Last year Fernando was almost world champion !

I cannot believe people saying Ferrari have done a bad job the last five years... It is simply not true !


The title could have been theirs, however their lack of early season form cost them. Red Bull's evident inexperience was also plain to see last year which allowed Ferrari to be in a position to pounce in the first place.

David Ratcliffe

I've voted McLaren. While I'm sure that Ferrari will have their day again soon, as it stands it seems like Button would be better off staying where he is. Maybe it depends on how things pan out for this season, but if I were Jenson I think I'd be keen to stay where I was for at least one more season. I can certainly see him more able to beat his teammate as things stand.

As a Button fan though, I'm just pleased to see his name attracting attention like this.


If I was Jenson, my heart would probably rule my head and I'd be off to Ferrari. But of course it all depend on the contract on offer. No way would he want to go off and be Alonso's bag carrier for a couple of seasons, but which F1 driver wouldn't want a crack at driving for the Scuderia at some point in their career?

Plus the tifosi have fond memories of Il Leone Mansell, so I think they would welcome Button with open arms......


I hope JB stays at McLaren. At Ferrari he'd be a clear number two to Alonso. At McLaren he can fight his team-mate with equal equipment and, if Lewis does go elsewhere, end up leading the team at the end of his career.


James, you big stirrer!! How dare you start rumours!! 🙂


Maybe he gets 5% of the pay rise jb is about to get 😉


You could be correct Andy C - ha ha! I just found it funny that James "suggests" (as a personal opinion) that Jenson would do a good job alongside Fernando in the [cue Murray Walker] "scar-let Fer-rar-ree's".

Next thing we know there are rumours (of exactly that) doing the rounds. Mind you, Ferrari have denied it. Mind you, that means nothing. 😉


All I'm saying is that if I was Domenicali, Button is the guy I'd go for. for some very specific reasons. I don't know anything about whether they feel the same nor whether they've even spoken. Just that it's the right thing to do from a racing point of view.



Button is not doing well because of the pirellis - Infact pre-season talk from all you guys were that button will run away with the championship thanks to his tyre-master skills which is also another deluded hype. Infact jenson has shown that his tyre-managing skills are nothing special - even his team mate who has a reputation of being a tyre-shredder has shown to have just as much skill if not more.

jenson only does well when his team mate has taken himself out of the race. Whenever Lewis is still in the race...button is usually languishing behind him with below average performances.

I think we should be thanking Charlie Whiting and Bernd Maylander for deploying the safetycar out evertime button fell behind.

Also welldone to jenson's management for their campaign to shmooze the media - It shows that having friends in the right places will greatly help jenson to overhype his career and sprinkle plenty of sugar ontop.

Come on james...dont line yourself up alogside the lynch-mob press.


Jenson is not doing well? Have you checked out the WDC table recently?

Your post is one of the most one sided I've seen on this forum for quite some time.

And by the way, Jenson had plenty of adverse press when he was younger (he had a big playboy image in his early years). He has actually learned a little about life, as most of us do as we get a little older.

Did Jenson Button pick on you at school or something?


Table represents 7 races - not a full season Andy C....

The problem with you Jenson Button fans - to much emotion, not enough reality.....


Yeah I have checked the standing after 7 races - is 7 races a full season - no it's not!!!

I like Jenson - he's a nice guy....but i refuse to get carried away from a win which was helped once again by his mates - the saftey car/rain not thru pure pound for pound racing imo.....

He caused 2 accidents - Lewis and Alonso and he got away with his reputation all in tact - all wrong imho....whilst Lewis is left getting a battering from all corners of the globe....

Andy C - what part of the e-mail don't you like mate?


Did I say it was a 7 race season in my post?


Reading the posts and articles since the Canadian gp, and watching the media and other corporations @ work, trying their best to elevate Jenson's basic ability onto a pedestal it doesn't deserve, it's laughable and embarrassing to say the least, only in the UK I might add, we love good underdog with limited abilities.

This notion that Lewis can learn a lot from Jenson somehow, due to Jenson’s 'mature' approach complied with better race craft/tyre management/strategy etc - it's just plain silly in my opinion, but funny and entertaining at the same time.

How we forget so quickly - so I’ll just remind you!!!!

Lewis showed maturity and mental strength of the highest grade in beating Alonso in his rookie year, along with supreme driving and race craft skills....putting the heartache of 2007 behind him....he then showed the world his mental strength and heart to put himself in the same position again in 2008 to win the WDC in his 2nd year - maturity of the highest order in my opinion in the history of F1……..

How Lewis Hamilton’s maturity and race craft are being questioned after a couple of bad races are just incredible and typical of this countries mentality in my opinion.

Before Jenson came to McLaren he wasn't even 1st choice for McLaren, Kimi was the man who got the phone call first and when he decided he wanted to race rally cars, Jenson picked up the scraps that were left behind…..at the time we were talking about a current world champion who was no longer wanted by Mercedes and who was McLaren’s plan b - loll!!!

Why didn't Ferrari or McLaren take a punt on Jenson before 2009, at a time when he could of lead the team?

He’s had plenty of time to prove him himself since 2000…..he has never been regarded as a man who had the skill set to lead a top team……not like Kimi, Alonso or Hamilton…..just a good wing man - number two status all the way which match his abilities…..

In 2010 Jenson got schooled by Lewis in all departments - poles/fastest laps/podiums/race wins/points (even with an extra dnf) – fact…..bottom line ‘all departments’ – do your research!!! And come the end of 2011 it will be the same again.

When you have been beaten in every department how is that doing a good job?

How as he matched Lewis?

OK - Jenson won 3 races in 'variable conditions' - respected, touch of luck here, a safety car there, a good strategy call here, take out your team mate there…….come on!!! Jenson’s best finishes have been when his team mate has been compromised in some way; there is always a grey area with mitigating circumstances….or through his mates – the safety car/rain…..never through pure pound for pound racing ability in my opinion….

Will Jenson win a race for McLaren in dry conditions and out class the likes of Alonso, Vettel, and Hamilton without his best mates – the safety car and rain?

What makes me chuckle when I read some of the comments from Jenson fans on this forum and other websites is this word 'slightly' when referring to the pace between Lewis and Jenson.....bottom line he never has and never will be as quick as Lewis - just accept this and move on. This so called smooth style which when it comes down to the crunch is 2/3/4 tenths slower depending on the circuit – come on!!!

What exactly is Lewis supposed to be learning from the mature Jenson and is smooth driving style?

I remember last year when Paddy Lowe came on the BBC after a grand prix, can’t remember which race and told the F1 community straight – this idea of Jenson been a tyre management specialist is just a myth, that’s the word he used – myth……

Paddy Lowe has been in the game a long time, but still Jenson gets praise has been this tyre management specialist….. but if you have the media on your side anything is possible……it’s called propaganda – in this case of the highest ilk…..ha ha lol – please!!!!!

Why do we feel the need to tell porky’s…..just to try and boost one’s self esteem when he’s no better than anyone else – unbelievable.

Before Monaco I think it was – Jake and Eddie clearly stated that in every on track duel – Lewis was dishing out lessons on each occasion, I suppose Jenson had enough in Canada and thought he’s doing me again, this is getting quite embarrassing now, sorry you’re going in the wall Mr Hamilton – then proclaims he didn’t see Lewis……and then Lewis gets all the backlash – lol…….not to mention the Alonso take out…..

If I were McLaren I’d trade him in sooner rather than later and build towards the future – Di Resta, Rosberg etc………there are many drivers who have more ability than Jenson….in fact I’d go far to say this guy is the biggest fraud in British motorsport history in my opinion……

Bring on Valencia…….


.....or the lynch mob fan(s).

Marcus in Canada

That's crazy.


Who can resist a call from Maranello?

Put yourself in Buttons shoes. You have one title, your life's ambition. He seems hungry for more but happy in just racing and driving. I don't think it will be the end of the world for him if he doesn't win another WDC - unlike, say, Lewis who wants to be Senna.

You are in the last 5 years of your career.

Ferrari come knocking. You know you will get a good car, if not the fastest.

Which driver can turn down the attraction, the emotion of driving for Ferrari? Very few ever have....


As I said, very few. I didn't say "no-one"


I wonder what Fisi thinks about it now, in retrospect ? He gets to wear the uniform at the weekends and be a member of "the family". Was it worth it to finish his career on an all-time low ? James, if you ever get the chance to ask him (not in quite those words, of course ...)


Adrian Newey apparently.


"Who can resist a call from Maranello?"

...well at present, I would say anyone with a brain!!


Caroll Shelby resisted a call to Ferrari. 😉

Michael Prestia

I can see Jenson finishing his career with Ferrari.


Did he not say earlier in the season that he would be likely to finish his career at mclaren anyway? Not sure he'd like to be a No. 2 driver, not sure he's been put in that situation for a very long time. If he's (almost) equal with Hamilton, why would he not want to stay there. Given they're looking for a number 2 driver, I think they'll have to look a bit further down the grid than looking at a team that's ahead of them.

Brandon Merrell

Pragmatically, Jenson should probably stay at McLaren because he already knows the environment, knows the people, and knows that he will be both comfortable and successful there. Moreover, with Hamilton potentially leaving he has the opportunity to lead the team and reap the rewards of their obvious technical development.

However, Jenson has long maintained that he has achieved his goal in F1 of winning a world championship and that from here on out everything else is merely icing on the cake. It may not bother him to step into Ferrari against Alonso's challenge. He's proven his ability at McLaren to quickly integrate within a team, and has matched up well against Hamilton, who may be quicker than Alonso over a single lap. The allure of the Scuderia may be enough to draw Jenson there for a swansong.


I'd fully expect Button to stay at McLaren, not only has he had a good time there results-wise, I think he has also improved as a driver. I couldn't help feeling last year that Button added an extra bit of fight in his driving, possibly as a result of seeing data from Hamilton and seeing how to improve. Likewise Hamilton last year seemed to gain a bit of calmness, knowing when to push and when to bide his time (unlike this year where he seems far too distracted - result of celebrity management maybe?). I do not see Jenson going to a team where he is expected to play second fiddle, not when he is driving so well and has fitted so well into his current team.

On the subject of tyres, is there any clues how the loss of EBD will effect the tyre degradation? I'm curious to see how it effects the bottom of the pack as much as the top.


Ferrari implies team mates with Fernando, and almost certainly guaranteed 2nd among equals status. I don't see that appealing.

This may be a significant problem for Ferrari going forwards if they seek to replace Massa. It's not as if they can offer the almost certainly fastest car as they could in the Schumacher era.


Jenson would have to think long and hard about this and if I were him the thing that would swing it in Mclaren's favour for me is tyres. Jenson's gentle style has caused him issues when the car is also quite gentle on its tyres as he has been plagued with problems getting tyres up to temperature over the years. 2009 especially! Struggling to heat the tyres has been a characteristic of the Ferrari for the last 2 or 3 seasons so Jenson may be fearful that a switch to the Scuderia could revive the same old problems


Competitive equal status or Fernandos lapdog? Easy choice. Stay put.


in other words you are asking him to stay put as Hamilton's lapdog is it? 🙂


That lapdog is producing better results.


Yeah I have checked the standing after 7 races – is 7 races a full season – no it’s not!!!

Lewis achieved more poles/fastest laps/podiums/race wins/points (even with an extra dnf)in 2010.....no emotion, no opinion - facts...

Every on track duel between the pair…Lewis as been dishing out lessons on each occasion.

Why get so excited over 7 races? did't Jenson win Australia and China in 2010 - look how that turned out!!!

Sheer hardwork and discipline are great, but eventually it all comes down to ability....and Lewis as more....

Poetic Justice? Enlighten me?

The problem with Jenson Button fans imho - too much emotion...not enough reality....


He is indeed... Poetic Justice I must say... He is suppose to be Hamilton's Lapdog n' indeed he is second in the world championship n' the person whose lapdog is supposedly is.. is going around barking stuff about everything and biting everyone by driving into them.

Strange eh'?

But, I must say.. I'm happy for the situation Button has put himself in through sheer hard work and discipline 🙂


Yeah a lapdog - that's about right.....he's a number 2 driver - plain and simple...


I've gone with McLaren. I think he needs to look at how long he has left in F1. As James says, he has the chance to extend his time at McLaren to the probable end of his F1 career. He's now comfortable at McLaren; he knows the team and car well and he can win races. At Ferrari he'd be starting again plus he'd be up against Alonso! At McLaren theres half a chance he'll end being 'number 1' driver if Hamilton leaves.

Brandon Merrell

Might McLaren be attempting to sew up one of their drivers into the long term as a result of Hamilton's apparent interest in Red Bull?

Perhaps Lewis is actually pushing to leave much more strongly than we assume - maybe even to the extent of abandoning his 2012 contract - and McLaren now wants to ensure some degree of long-term stability. Assuming Hamilton did leave, do you have any thoughts on who McLaren might look to sign as his replacement? When are di Resta, Massa, Rosberg, and Webber's contracts set to expire?


That's a good point. As we've seen with Kimi's contract, if you throw money at a problem it might just work. I think there's a high probability of LH going to RBR in 2013 but who knows maybe even in 2012 if D.M. pays off Lewis' contract with enough of a kicker for Ron Dennis to say..yes. Perhaps, Lewis' complaining about Macca is an intentional ploy for R.D. and M.W. to say enough - we'll let you go to RBR in 2012.

If Lewis leaves, I don't see Ron and Martin going for Webber or Massa. There's no upside and a lot of downside. I say they will go for di Resta or Hulkenberg who are both in the Mercedes stable after Ross Brwan has made his first pick of the two to replace Schumi.


I'm sure the lure of the prancing horse is very tempting, but Jenson will have seen the way Felipe was treated last season and will be well aware that Ferrari treat Fernando as the number one guy within the team, Jenson has stated in the past he wouldn't be happy as a number 2 driver to anyone. Right now he is at the top of his game, Mclaren love him and he loves being there, I'd be more than surprised if he was to jump ship to Ferrari. I'd be very interested to see him in the red overalls, but only if he was given equal status with Alonso and i can't see that happening somehow.


I don't agree. After his terrible accident, the scuderia stood behind him and gave him a second chance. I don't if all the teams on the grid would have done the same thing...


Button is not subject to the same emotional hold that McLaren has for Hamilton.

Let's face it, every driver would like to drive for Ferrari at some point and, like Mansell before him, when the time comes -- and with a big cheque waved in front of his eyes -- Jenson will succumb. Wouldn't you?


I have always thought it a bit silly how quickly the tides change in F1 regarding driver talent.

Button has been regarded in the press as an up and coming talent, a mid-pack jester, an undeserving champion and now a surprising and under-appreciated super star.

His move to McLaren was pure genius on his part. He has proven himself the measure of Lewis Hamilton. Perhaps not as fast, but not too far off either. His calm, measured approach to racing has served him well. His affable demeanor and pleasant public persona makes him a sponsor's dream.

In my opinion McLaren would be well served by signing Jenson for the next few years, as would Ferrari. Although, I for one would love to see Ferrari sign a driver like Kobyashi.


Worth noting that I think JB has learned from his previous mistakes (both in life and in racing, the Williams/Honda wrangles), and probably had better advice in recent years.

I'd love to see Kobayashi at Ferrari. A sort of Japanese Jean Alesi character. He'd develop into a legend at Ferrari. The fans would love him. And what a marketing opp as well for expanding demand into that part of the world.


A lot of people, myself included, would love to see Kamui in a good car. Problem is, his team mate, Sergio Perez, seem to be performing decently so far in his rookie year and is a Ferrari development driver I believe.

Kobayashi may be trumped by his own team mate unfortunately, despite soundly beating him, being super consistent (points at every race before counting Australian exclusion) and being exciting to watch.


A title at Ferrari, would be a fairy tale ending. Beating Alonso at Ferrari in a Ferrari would be brilliant. Highly unlikely though.


A title at Ferrari, would be a fairy tale ending.

And would not be allowed. Period.


JB is the perfect Number 2.

I dont think Jenson will win any championships with either Alonso or Hamilton as a team mate, i do think its perfectly realistic however to think he could win half a dozen races with either team over the rest of his career.

Ferrari would be a great team to finish his career with.

However if Hamilton jumps ship to Red Bull, Jenson could find himself the lead driver at Mclaren, which would surely be his best chance of another title.


Jean Alesi, great driver, huge potential, won nothing because he thought a dream drive at Ferrari would be a ticket to the title (probably).

Desperate to drive for Ferrari Fisichella abruptly ended his Indian summer drive (excuse) the pun with Force India and he spent the rest of the season at the back of the grid and then lost his Formula 1 ticket.

Button alongside Alonso equals a distaster end of career drive blocking competitors and giving into team orders to see Alonso take the big prize.

Ferrari may be the dream drive but I doubt Button would gain any satisfaction from driving for them.


Hi Carl,

Great post (and pun) even if I don't subscribe to your view (see my posts above).

As a Jean Alesi fan, I was at pain in the 90's. =D


The temptation of Ferrari must be gigantic. For all the bile that's thrown around, the cache and mystique of Ferrari blows Mclaren, Williams et al out of the water to anyone outside of passingly interested F1 fans.

I think I'm right in saying Buttton's stated he's comfortable with what he's achieved already. Th WDCs on the CV, the race winner Mclaren is as well. A couple of Ferrari wins would look nice on wikipedia in 10 years time.


I think he'll win more races in the next 2 years if he stays at McLaren.


Red is not longer as strong as it used to be...and soon it will not a color that is going to be associated with the potential to win.


Even if Ferraris finish last... They are still Ferraris... we watch F1 strictly coz' of them... if they leave F1 tomorrow... we shalt follow them 🙂


Button is better off with McLaren. Alongside Alonso he will inevitably be forced into a supporting role whatever he/Ferrari will say initially. I can't see him wanting to end his career like that, even if it is for the Prancing Horse. Maybe two more years at McLaren, then a year or two at Ferrari, I dunno?

But his better chance for another title would Be at McLaren I would have thought. Ok, he's unlikely to beat Lewis over a season (if he stays there) but I think he stands a better chance on, what I believe, will be a more equal footing than being at Ferrari ever can be.


While I think Jenson is a decent well meaning guy... The hype (lets face it ... British press can NEVER pass on a chance to ogle a British driver ) has always been greater than the results... You want to see what a great driver Jenson is in equal machinery, notice he's been beaten soundly at the ROC every year! Give him better machinery than his opponents and watch him shine! No one thinks that Brawn would have been WC without the double diffuser that took more than half the season for other teams to copy! And his latest perf in Canada? Multiple accidents, pentalties, and a mistake by the race leader... sounds like WC material to me!


Heikki beat Micheal in the 2004 RoC. Your point proves nothing, really, Eric...


And lost to Michael a couple years later.... Michael has been to the ROC final several times... beaten by Ekstrom in a DTM like car!


Ergo, results in the RoC can't necessarily be used as a means of determining respective drivers' talents. Just my opinion, of course, and you are more than welcome have a different one!


Don't the vast majority of drivers win the WDC because they've got the best car to drive?

Has Button ever lost the WDC to a team mate driving the same car? No -- so nothing proved.


Button has been on a championship team ONCE and won by a whisker So, your argument is rubbish! You don't honestly think he has a prayer against Hamilton, do you?


I do this year eric.


Ferrari for me. I can't see Button winning the world Championship with McLaren.


Can you see him winning a WDC with Ferrari?

Next to Alonso? Not a chance, if only because of unbalanced team status. The reds never treat both drivers fairly.

Doesn't this thread feel like a complete spoof?


Yes, I'm half expecting Leslie neilsen to pop up in the comments soon 🙂


He should go to Ferrari especially as you say he's closer to the end of his F1 career than the start. He's won a title, he's won races, he's made more $ than he can spend. It would be a great way to end his career especially when he sends Alonso into a tailspin by beating him. Don't forget that most figured that Hamilton would leave him in the dust. Didn't happen. Button is messing with Lewis' head and despite them appearing the best of friends I'm sure Button in his private moments smiles about his success against Lewis the racer.


McLaren no doubt. why? because in Ferari contract, he'll be no.2 beside Alonso. It has proven that Ferari is keen on making One of its driver the favorite.


Jenson won't accept being a No.2 driver, even at Ferrari. He's a WDC. He'll only go to Ferrari if they give him equal status. Whether ALO will accept equal status is another matter.


Surely, it depends on how Jenson views his career prospects? Any driver worth his salt thinks he can be a Champion and Jenson has already proved he knows what that takes. So it boils down to whether he thinks the glamour of the Ferrari name and the challenge of fighting a team-mate like Fernando is better than the comfortable niche he has carved out at McLaren - and which marque he thinks can provide him with the most competitive drive.

He may even feel that "I've had a go at Lewis, let's have a stab at Fernando now!"

I would like him to stay with McLaren myself, but I'd be happy to watch him drive, wherever he is.


Fisichella followed his heart to Ferrari, and it didn't turn out too well.

For me, it's a no-brainer that Jenson should stay where he is - in a team where he is comfortable, doing well, has an equal status and appears to get on with his teammate (Canada pitwall notwithstanding ;p). How many of those things would he get at Maranello?


Jenson getting along with Hamilton is purely down to Jenson's Personality and Etiquettes. Even if he moves to Ferrari he will be well received and appreciated for the person he is.

Marcus in Canada

At Ferrari he would only be a number 2 to Alonso, at McLaren he would get a fair shot at winning. The only reason to go to Ferrari would be to wear red.


if you've not worn red.. you've worn nothing 🙂


Wonder what Ayrton thinks of that, from whatever vantage point he now has ?


Tell that to Alain Prost. I dont believe he particularly enjoyed his time there.


I'm a big McL fan and think that Button has been a real asset to the team. However, I have to say that if he went to Ferrari it might well be a positive for a number of reasons.

From a McLaren point of view it might allow them to concentrate on just the one driver for a season. I know they are after the WCC but a WDC will do just as well.

Ferrari will get someone who will push Alonso without threatening him too much. They, more than McL, want the WCC and two WDCs will give them an excellent chance.

The benefits to Alonso are a bit less obvious. He could, one might assume, block the move but that would be a confession that he feared the man. On the other hand, he gets nothing from beating the likes of Massa. He has few detractors but what better way of silencing them and enhancing his reputation than putting a recent WDC in his place?

Mind you, he gets little from beating Button. Unless, of course, the latter shines in the balance of the season.

Button has proved that his 2009 win was no flash in the pan. He has taken on one of the fastest drivers in the sport and equalled his performance. Indeed, at the moment he might even have the upper hand. So why move?

There’s the money of course. Perhaps that means a lot to him. (No criticism intended. Considerably less means a lot more to me.) However, he’s got little to lose. He will be putting himself up against a driver who is widely regarded as the best in the current pitlane. And by some distance according to some. No one will expect him to put up a decent show.

He will get plenty of kudos for the attempt but just imagine if he did as well against Alonso as he has against Hamilton. More money, nothing to lose and a chance to go up against the best in the field: what’s not to go for? I’ve got to say that I’d be straining at the McLaren leash. On top of everything, it is Ferrari. With Williams and McLaren he would have complete the grand slam.

Further, and an important consideration, although I accept it is unlikely, if he gets the drop on Alonso and gets a lead in the championship, Ferrari, at least in the past, has never shown itself to favour any driver merely because of contractual obligations.

And for us, the fans? I’d love to see the pair of them in equal cars. Out of all the drivers on the grid I’d put Button second to Vettel as the driver that Alonso would prefer not to have in the same team. I know I wouldn’t want either.

Will he jump? Dennis might well make him an offer that he’d be a fool not to accept. I know I would.

It is the start of the silly season. However I do hope this is more substantial. It would enliven the sport.


Out of all the drivers on the grid I’d put Button second to Vettel as the driver that Alonso would prefer not to have in the same team.

Lewis hamilton? I'd love to see them back together. Absolute fireworks guaranteed.


Thanks for commenting on my post.

I left out Hamilton from the top two. I'm not sure Alonso, from his position of strength within Ferrari, would not relish the thought of putting the pretender in his place.

Mind you, I'm not sure I'd like to see a re-run of the McLaren fallout, especially given the repercussions.

I'm unsure of what Button's reactions might be if he were treated unfairly by the Ferrari. Whilst the persona he presents seems to be laid back I'm not sure this is what was apparent to the Williams team.

My feeling is that we would be less frustrated with Button against Alonso in the red cars. And Hamilton would be as well.

Let's hope we see.

And Damien - you have mail.



Great analysis, great read. Thanks for this.


Interesting story and shows what one win with this scoring system can do for a driver. Like Webber up till this win he's not really shone, but Button as a team mate for Alonso?

If the Ferrari interest is real, do Ferrari see him as a soft option a non challenge for Alonso or a contender for a championship - consider Alonso's need for No.1 status in a team.

Button should stay at Mclaren. I can see a Rosberg/Hamilton swap in my tea leafs.


Possibly something in it. Maybe they think that they could use his natural strategising. But by leaking it Ferrari also put a spike up Lewis Hamilton - someone who has none-to-subtley been advertising that he 'might just be available'.


the fact is if button stays at mclaren he will be beaten by hamilton and if he goes to ferrari he will be beaten by fernando. if he gets an offer from ferrari he should bite there hands off. i think he would be crazy not to finish off his career signing for the biggest,most famous and most supported team in world sport. and he would likely make more money driving for ferrari and less dopey pr days. a no brainer if u ask me. he will be remembered most as a ferrari driver rather than a world championship. why stay at mclaren.


I don't think many people outside of the tifosi would think 'Nigel Mansell Ferrari driver' before 'Nigel Mansell world champion'. I don't think many sportsman would want to remembered that way either.


When we think of Mansell the Ferrari Driver... We think Passion, Red Mist, Attacks n' Wars. When we think of Mansell the World Champion, we think of Active Suspension-ed Williams, which was from another planet compared to the competition.

So, Mansell the Ferrari driver who won a world championship driving that unbelievable Williams 🙂


Why not stay at McLaren as one of the world's best F1 racing teams and then retire? McLaren is one of the best F1 teams and they produce some stunning cars!

I suspect that Jenson would still be expected to do "dopey" PR at Ferrari to earn his fat check which is not everything when you earn x millions....especially if they can't get their act together with producing a half decent car compared to their rivals!


why stay at one of the best when you can go to the BEST.


You are so right... If you haven't driven a Ferrari you have not driven anything 🙂 I can say that since I own a 599 🙂


I voted Mclaren. I think it is his best chance of winning the WDC.

I think that JB has proved two things in going to Mclaren:

1. He is slower than Lewis over one lap, but not by as big a margin as was expected.

2. He is a brilliant racer in terms of strategic thinking and overtaking as well as tyre management.

At times he has beaten Lewis on pure pace and racecraft, and I think that Hamilton is finding that hard. If LH were to leave Mclaren it would leave JB as the Defacto No1 and with a good shot of another WDC.

If he were to go to Ferrari, I think he would be as close to Alonso as Hamilton is. That could be a very interesting prospect. It would be a good place to end his career.

But what about Red Bull? When Webber goes, surely if Lewis doesn't jump ship JB would be a good partner for Seb.


Absolutely. JB to RB. That's what I suspect this is really all about.


I think quite a number of us recall similar comments were made in 2009 when Jenson decided to jump ship to McLaren and everyone thought he was nuts, completely out of his mind 😛 Turned out it was a very bald move.

Personally I prefer Jens to stay at McLaren, for his own sake. Who knows?! If he does decide to switch to Ferrari, might turn out to be another bald move maybe? Though it definitely goes against his thoughts on number 2 drivers.

Not that I think he'll win another WDC, to me he's not in that calibre yet. He won't won in 2009 due to a loophole found by his engineers and designers, not his driving. Put him into the same machinery as his team-mate and he'd be left trailing in the tracks.

Just to say, I do like Jenson though, he's a good driver and nice person, only my personal thoughts on his driving level/ability.


It all depends on what he wants to get out of it...will Ferrari pay him more?

More money would be the ONLY consolation from a move to Ferrari.

Massa, another good driver, lost the title by one point to Hamilton and he is a nobody there now...


Stay with McLaren, where they have an equal drivers policy. Ferrari have official driver favouritism policies.


I think JB being a number 2 to Alonso is a moot point as I don't think he would move there unless he was given equal status in his contract. Either way, unless the balance of power shifts towards Ferrari in the next 12 months, he would be better off at McLaren.


I think a lot of you people need a reality check.. McLaren always had a favorite drivers within the team. Think back to times of:

Senna/Prost, (McLaren complainned to the FIA about their driver(Prost) winning.

Hakkinnen/Couldthard (David move over so Mika can win..x2).

Alonso/Hamilton("Lewis we are not racing Kimi, we are racing Alonso").

Hamilton/Kovalinen.. enough said.

Hamilton/Button v2010("Save fuel Lewis"."Is Jenson gonna overtake me?. "No". "Jenson save fuel, its critical!".).

Now this year it look like Button may get the "favorite" treatment if Hamilton continue to crash on anyone how doesn't move over for him.

I think McLaren are just a lot better at seeming to treat their drivers equally and Ferrari is very bad at it.

I would also like to remind everyone of 2008. Kimi the reigning worldchampion was move to the no2 driver position. Why? Because he was slow compare to Massa. You cannot have a better argument that Ferrari will have a No1 and No2 based on ... speed and achievement!! So If Button goes to Ferrari and gets the job done, he has nothing to worry about. The same thing can be said about most top team in contention for the title.

If Button goes to Ferrari, he will get the same treatment as with McLaren.


Absolutely spot on.


Finally some writing that's worth reading, thank you !


Tell me more about Massa being threated equally with Alonso 🙂


A lot of people are saying that Button will be a no.2 at Ferrari, or he will get eaten up by Alonso,..... but you know what, a lot of people said that Button would get destroyed by Hamilton, which did not happen. I'm not a big fan of Button but I think people are quick to under-rate him, I think he is a class driver and I think he has a like-able personality.

Dear Mr Button, please go to Ferrari and beat Alonso.



I think Webber will get that seat at Ferrari, Button will not being going anywhere soon. Hamilton to slot into Webber's seat at RBR and Massa back to Sauber....


Why Sauber? KOB would be #1 there. They love him at the moment, unless Massa brings money with him. Then...

If Kubica can't recover, which is a serious, serious possibility, considering the state of his arm, why not Massa at Renault? They would love to have him.


One in the eye for Jensons critics...the top two teams in F1 historically both after his services.

I would imagine driving for Ferrari would be a tempting offer as it would for any driver, but i think it is likley that Hamilton will leave Mclaren sooner rather than later for Red Bull or Merceedes and that would leave Jenson in a even stronger position as the clear No1 driver at Mclaren.

On balance


I think the same, I do hope that Robert Kubica comes back fully fit. If he does, and drives well next year I suspect he will be goign to McLaren if Lewis leaves.

That would be excellent to see.


I just want to say firstly that I am an Alonso fan...

I hope Button doesn't go to Ferrari, not because he'll challenge Alonso but because when Alonso beats the pants off him, everyone will claim it's because it's "Alonso's team".

Funnily enough these are the same people who claim Mclaren wasn't Lewis' team when Alonso was there.

For the record, Mclaren are equal at the moment as are Ferrari, its just Massa is getting beaten by a better driver (as last year also proved). Lewis has also been wild lately (losing points).

Just as an aside, seems Lewis is the one throwing his toys out lately hey? I'm not trying to bait anyone, all I'm saying is a lot of people have their goggles on when it suits them


LH is a very, very frustrated driver. He just needs to chill and get his act together.


I take this question as an opportunity to savor how gutsy and strong in himself was Jenson to move to McLaren in the first place.

Be honest, how many of you with a strong opinion about what Jenson should do next, thought he was crazy to leave Ross Brawn?


I think that Ferrari is not going to win for many years to come. McLaren seem to be a better place for Button. He knows how to fight Lewis...he knows Lewis is faster, but when conditions are right, Button knows what to do.


I stand to differ. Last year Ferrari were dusted, yet they came back, so it would be unwise to conclude that Ferrari is not going to win for many years to come. After all its Ferrari take em' outta' F1 n' see how the sport will be heavily less watched 🙂


I would continue to watch F1 without Ferrari and I suspect many Ferrari's would also. I don't think F1's core support watch F1 only to see red cars go around a racing circuit IMO.


Many people would continue to do so, but just not as many.

Ferrari are the benchmark and part of the F1 DNA. Imagine Monza without Ferrari? It just wouldn't be the same.


no trust me... you yourself won't 🙂


I am not at all questioning importance or popularity of Ferrari. I am a Ferrari fan. But...a driver is not thinking about how many people are watching TV because of a certain team. He is thinking about which team is going to give him the best chance to win the title. I do not see that Ferrari...lead-by "ex-McLaren- not-the-best-guy-technically" is going to win titles.

Ferrari is really lost and they do not have leaders that are ready to take it to the next level.


Alonso is ex-Mclaren and besides, there is a point in what you are saying Alex, Stefano has not delivering the Results which Brawn could have (and has had delivered) if he was with Ferrari with those limitless resources 🙂


If Jenson has got the car setup how he likes he can beat anyone in a race but he really needs the car under him for his style of driving.So I think he can beat Alonso just like he has beat Lewis.His drive at Canada will go down in F1 history as one of THE great drives of ANY era of F1.I cant belive more fuss has not been made over it.As for Ferarri Jenson has said before (cant remember when) that its one of most drivers dreams to drive for the red team,but would Jenson be better staying where he fits well and has a car thats capable of winning GP.Unless the Ferarri gets faster soon then hes much better staying where he is.He wont get equal treatment at Ferarri no matter what they say Santander wont want it and Alonso will soon start throwing his toys out if Jenson was to start beatibg him.I think any of the Mac drivers leave they will regreat it.They should both wait till this time next year before even thinking about moving when we know how the Redbull is without the off throttle downforce and to see if Webber retires or Shumi what about Di resta and Kamui and what if Kubica comes back will Ferarri want him???


I agree with you, esp. on the car setup to Jen's style.

However, it's worth pointing out that due to his style, his "working and performance window" is extremely narrow, unlike Alonso and Lewis who can adapt to any car setup and brutally drag the car to the line to do a pretty astonishing lap (most recent of which is Spanish GP, Alonso).

So if Jens does move to Ferrari, he'll still generally be in a 2nd driver role, not by contract or anything binding (if Ferrari, Santander or Alonso allows it), just pure performance difference between Alonso and Button


In my view, jenson is in a great position whatever happens. Imagine you are Jensons agent having a chat with Martin Whitmarsh about extending his contract. All he has to do is a "Hamilton" ie walk over publicly to have a chat with Ferrari. I am sure they will bid up and up, one team too scared to lose him because of uncertainties about their other driver(Hamilton), the other team needing a replacement to compliment the existing driver (Alonso).

A couple of points from the past;

Whilst I am sure Jenson is not exactly poor, he did I believe have to buy himself out of his Williams contract for his move to Honda at a pretty penny. If Maclaren offer £10m per year and Ferrari say £15m, if you were his agent which would you recommend??

I think it was last year, Jenson held up Alonso at some race lap after lap after lap, if I recall correctly, Alonso commented admiringly of Jenson not putting a foot wrong lap after lap rather than complain that he was held up, I think Alonso likes Jenson and could live with him within a team.

Finally Jenson confounded the critics including James by making a success of the the move to Maclaren, imagine if he did it again at Ferrari, now that would be a fitting legacy with plenty of ££££s attached, who would not be tempted and his Dad would be proud ( even more than he is now), he might just do it for his Dad and no other reason.


It's clear that if this is true, then we shall consider not only Button aims but also the intention of Ferrari of getting him. I think that if there is an open negociation for the move, Ferrari have asked Alonso about that. And if Alonso has said yes, it's because he has some data wich proves he is faster than Button.

So in this terms, I think Button is the great option for Ferrari, qualifying slower than Alonso and being the conservative one in each race, means many points to Ferrari without interfering Alonso's races (we all know the way Button wins, different strategies, conservative mind and minimal overtaking), less danger to Alonso (compared with an agressive one, like Hamilton) and a perfect option when Alonso is KO. And of sure stronger than Massa in quali and in race!

The other part of my opinion is how Alonso/Ferrari knows Button is slower than him, because his is almost on par with Lewis (1-2 tenths maybe?) if Alonso was on par also with Lewis at 2007. By qualifying in this way Button would be dangerous to Alonso. So does this mean Alonso has some relevant data of the 2007 seasson, maybe that kind of information McLaren and Alonso decided to hide about the conditions in which he had to dispute qualis and that who prevents us of knowing if Alonso was clearly faster than Hamilton but a third part (e.g. McLaren) modified that.

PD:this is very hypotethical, but remember that when Ferrari decided to get Raikonnen to replace Schumi they known he was 3 tenths faster than Schumi. This kind of information is analyzed by teams prior to any move.


Button and McLaren seem a perfect match, so I wonder why there is any speculation at all about his future, especially after his stonking performance in Canada.

He's made some odd moves in the past, some not his choice. When he first came into F1 as a young rookie at Williams he had a quite brilliant year only to be pushed out to make room for Montoya who never really delivered. He demonstrated considerable loyalty sticking to BAR/ Honda/ Brawn resulting in his championship. It seemed most odd that he moved on to McLaren, but clearly when Brawn morphed into Mercedes being English didn't fit.


Much as I'd like to see Button at Ferrari,I think Mclaren needs Button more than Ferrari do. Button consitently performs when Lewis' day comes a cropper. They need him to keep the team in the points, and they need him should Lewis decide to move on. Things are not all that well at Ferrari these days, and I suspect it will take another season before they can get Alonso into a solid position to win a championship. Really Button is better off staying at Mclaren he gets on fine with Lewis, is treated fairly has good opportunity to win.



There is something special about an Englishman in a Ferrari n' no one extrudes true Gentlemanly dignity of an Englishman as Jenson Button does. The combination of Ferrari and an Englishman is legendary, going to Mike Hawthorn to Peter Collins to Surtees and Ofcourse Mansel.

Strictly from the passion standpoint, Button will invoke a special legacy between an Englishman and a Ferrari.

Ofcourse, Passion is now a thing of a Past and F1 has become a Corporate Juggernaut, so different principles apply.

As far as Alonso's position is concerned, I think its mainly due to the fact that he got behind the team and led from the front and by example as Schumacher previously did. So, obviously favouritism by Ferrari to Alonso will be there.

But, it takes a man to take on the odds and excel. Then again its a matter of heart and not of head, which is absent in today's F1.

Whether you like it or not... If a driver hasn't driven for Ferrari, he has not experienced the completeness Formula one has to offer to a driver. Then again its a matter of individual perceptions.

Ferrari drivers are a special breed.



"Ferrari drivers are a special breed."

yes they are. Just look at Eddie Irvine. 😉


Fact??? There are other teams in F1. I doubt Alonso would say that Ferrari's current car is anywhere near "complete" compared to the Redbull!


There were teams that have come and gone, some soared and faded into Oblivion but Ferrari remains... FACT 🙂


Nothing more special than seeing an Englishman in an English car winning Silverstone....

That's why I want to see Jenson stay with McLaren! Being realistic, Jenson will probably have more chance of winning in McLaren than a Ferrari if you look at where both teams are in the WCC.


Hi James. Everybody is willing to make predictions on the upcoming driver seat moves. For one I have seen in the past a few surprises and at this stage I have no idea. Perhaps you can start the ball rolling and make a few predictions on what you may see happening in your opinion, if you are game?


The number 2 seat at Ferrari is F1's greatest career killer. How many drivers have come in at number 2 full of promise, and have left Ferrari disappointed with their results, and leave F1 altogether, or drop right down the grid.


This will be the team changes in 2012:

Webber to Ferrari/ Alonso

Kimi to Red Bull/ Vettel

Ricciardo to Toro Rosso/ Buemi

Hamilton to stay McLaren/ Button

Massa to Sauber/ Kobyashi

Kubica back to Renault


I'd imagine better to stay. McLaren may continue to have the better car, and he seems to get on well with the team. Better to stay with what is bringing success I'd think. If he was with Ferrari instead of McLaren would he have achieved as much since Brawn... Glad to see him getting some appreciation. And the clincher might be what if he found himself in the Massa situation of last year? (Which I do not see happening at McLaren.) Though I'd like to think he'd just say pooh on that and keep on driving, letting the chips fall where they may. (Which I wonder if Massa does not wish he had done, esp. given his bitterness about the Singapore/Piquet/Alonso memory.)


I think Kubica deserves the Ferrari seat more than Button.

Not that I dislike Button, he's a nice driver and above-average in terms of skills, just there are some drivers out there who's better and yet under-rated in comparison.


Joining ferrari would be treason, Button is British and should stick with McLaren


Send him to the tower! 🙂


The problem is, Ferrari have invested too much into Alonso for them to take Button and give him equal status. If they take Button, his role will be trying to be the fastest back up to Alonso that he can, helping develop the car and improving race strategy.

Saying that he will be a number 2 at Ferrari is not a slight on Ferrari. It is their ethos and it has been very successful over the last decade. There is just no way Alonso would want a driver in the team that would challenge him. Again, not a slight on Alonso. He works better where he is regarded as the number 1 driver.


"The problem is, Ferrari have invested too much into Alonso for them to take Button and give him equal status."

And there it is in a nutshell.... the difference between the two teams.

It was very successful at Ferrari, predominantly because they tested so many miles at Ferrari, that they had the time to absolutely perfect the car for Michael (which was fine under the rules at the time).

Whether any team will be able to dominate like Ferrari in the MS years will be very difficult.

what they wouldnt give for Todt, Brawn and Byrne sitting on the pitlane wall again I bet..


Byrne on the pitwall ?


Are you telling me he never was at any time Jo? Pedantic 😉


Many folks here imply that moving to Ferrari would make JB a "number two" driver. Here's why that is not necessarily true:

1. If all Ferrari wanted was a number two - they wouldn't look to replace Massa. So if in fact they do want to replace Massa because he is underperforming, I don't see the logic in replacing him with another "number two" driver driver.

2. If Ferrrari are looking to replace Massa, it is with a view to win the Constructors Championship, which recent years point to having the two strongest possible drivers in a team. The era of winning multiple championships because of a vastly superior car (and the performance of the second driver in the team was largely irrelevant) is over. The field is too competitive (both in terms of cars and team driver pairings) to be able to focus on only one driver.

3. I think Ferrari tried the clear "number two" concept last year, and realized that while they nearly won the drivers championship, they ended up so far behind in the Constructors -- not even runners up. And Ferrari more than any other team, I believe, places tremendous value (not just in monetary terms) of the Constructors Championship. Again, in prior years, winners of the drivers' championship almost automatically won the constructors - but this is not true anymore because of the increased and more even competitive levels among the top teams (car and drivers).

4. So if Ferrari wants to get back on top - they need to have two strong driverss. And no strong driver likes to be a numebr two.

For the reaons above, JB will know that he has every opportunity of succeeding in Ferrari so long as he is not lacking in the skill department vis-a-vis Mr. Alonso.


Are you the press officer for Maranello at all? 🙂


Or it could just be a ploy by Ferrari to unsettle Jenson & McLaren while they're performing well together, raise a few doubts about his commitment to the team. Jenson's been around the block enough times not to get draw in though, same goes for McLaren. Wasn't it Vettel en-route to Ferrari not so long ago?

Driving for Ferrari is something all drivers aspire to (whether they care to admit it though is another matter) but with the new regulations being introduced in 2013 and comparing the recent rate of car progress/development between Ferrari and McLaren, I'd guess that McLaren would be better equiped to provide Jenson with a more competitive car than Ferrari for at least the next couple of seasons.

Didn't Jenson say part of the attraction of moving to McLaren was to race against Lewis in equal machinery? If he ever beats him over the course of a season I could see JB considering a change of teams for another fresh challenge, racing Alonso or even Vettel for example, until then I think he'll be happy to race a competitive car against one of F1's fastest drivers in a team with impressive resources and commitment to racing.


More like a ploy from Jensons management team to feed off the uncertainty about Lewis to get their man a better deal. Seems to be working doesnt it 😉


haviing just signed his new deal for next 5 years, and with all the reconstruction at ferrari, this is alonso shaping the team up with the people he wants to work with, shapping the team for the next 5 years, at least. ferrari would be tempting, but when you think about it, not a good move


I think Button should stay at where he is.

We all know that every top team has a top driver. Of the top three namely Alonso, Lewis and Vettel, he has a better chance of beating Lewis than the other two, simply because Lewis is a "passionate racer" and he will crush more often than the other two.


It would be unwise to think that every racer in F1 is not a 'Passionate Racer'. The Degree of Passion may vary, having said that, the passions of Michael, Alonso, Vetel Hamilton, Kubica and Kobayashi are on equal. The Distraught on Vetel's face on Canadian GP's Podium was all there to see, its just that He and the rest choose not to advertise, Hamilton on the other hand chooses make mountains out of every mole he encounters.


Oh man I was trying to be polite. Please replace that 'passionate racer' with 'crash kid' instead.

I know exactly where you are coming from. In last race, Michael went from p18 to p2 in 16 laps window or something like that. And he didnt touch a single car because he wasn't a 'passionate racer' like Lewis.


Ferrari has a massive emotional pull for any driver. My view is button as long as he can guarantee the status that he gets at mclaren should move. Ferrari if they want him can't have any of the "fernando is faster than you" and I think this would also apply to webber.

If Ferrari want a serious number 2 then they have to offer equality if this happens the button should go and don't forget button has a history on moving teams as he wants!!


Is it me or is Jenson a much bigger part of the Mclaren MP4-12C progam, in terms of marketing?

This to me is critical to the discussion we are having.

Its very strange that Lewis is not the focal point with the road car business as he is considered that very "rare" talent and was meant to be one of the greatest sportsmen of his era - i believe the term was "the billion dollar man".

But this seems to have shifted alot - most probably a case of Mclaren reaching their target market with the use of Jenson in the road car business.

Ferrari would love to have Jenson prancing (no pun intended) around in a Ferrari road car in the next year or so.. it would really upset the apple cart.

I personally feel Mclaren need to commit to Lewis and if they do that he will stay there but at the moment and judging by many comments here fans seem to think they are "equal" which would make Lewis very uncomfortable as Mclaren is his home and Jenson is just a guest.

But that seems unlikely at the moment with Lewis being all over the place and Jenson doing his job.

Is this a factor in discussions do you think James or not really?


I think that Button is given more of a billing on certain advertisements than Lewis for a couple of reasons:

He was the more recent WDC and had the "1" on his car.

Lewis has had some unfortunate publicity in the last couple of seasons from the liegate incident in Australia to Monaco this year, whereas Button has been squeaky clean.

Button is in some sense that rare thing. A team leader who doesn't need to be the equal on the track of the "callow youth" he is racing with.

In terms of Mclaren commiting to Lewis: it isn't the team talking about his future with caveats about performance. I think their actions are reactive to his comments.

Either way they are a great pairing and both excellent drivers. It will be fascinating to see how this unfolds, even if that is only that they hold station!


Both jenson and lewis have been used in the marketing vids I've seen on the MP4-12C.

Jenson has shown that he can get the team behind him, and at times I sometimes see Martin W as backing him (as his pick) in press situations.

I think what is most important to Lewis is not the money (as he's on a massive contract at McLaren already dont forget). He wants to win multiple additional WDCs to be compared to the best of each generation.


at times I sometimes see Martin W as backing him (as his pick) in press situations

It's interesting that you say this, because for a while (since early last year, actually), I've got the impression that Lewis is Ron's man and Jenson is Martin's man.

I also agree about Lewis's motivation. I think he's dead set on winning 3 titles, like Senna did. He's said something pretty similar. I think that will be some feat given the strength of the opposition.


Its clear martin was pivotal in going for JB, and hes always happy when he does well. Almost more so than when Lewis does well (IMHO).

McLaren run a fair team though. I like the teamwork and ethics they display (now)


I think it would be best for Jenson to stay at McLaren, for two reasons:

(1) The strength and depth of engineering/development at McLaren is currently greater than that of Ferrari, and has definitely always been consistent through the years even with bad cars.

(2) At Ferrari, Jenson will be capable of giving Fernando a run for his money but will probably find it extremely hard to do so, given the Spaniard is extremely focused, motivated and has his priorities straight.

At McLaren, even if he isn't initially on Lewis's level in terms of raw talent and sheer speed, Jenson is always able to get the better of him whenever Hamilton has off days - and at the rate the '08 champ has been going lately, it looks like Jenson will have more opportunities to capitalize on.


looks like F1's 'silly season' of speculation over driver transfers is going to be just as entertaining/competitive as the on track action this year!

I'm sure the agents/managers of drivers such as Hulkenburg, Rosberg, Di Resta etc will be seen around the McLaren motorhome this weekend as increasing possibllity that either Lewis' or Jenson's race seat could become available.

Although could be interesting if Anthony Hamilton (as Di Resta's manager) tries to get Paul into Lewis' seat at McLaren!


I believe Jenson recently said that if he retired tomorrow he would not retire an unhappy man and that he now knows how lucky he is to be doing a job he finds fun.

Wouldnt it be fun to retire saying you are a world champion and drove for Ferrari? He knows his career maybe only have two / three season at the top. Tick a few more boxes while you are there Jenson.

Ask any driver on the grid. They would all like to be at Ferrari bar probably Lewis Hamilton who would happily change over if Alonso left.


Just to make it absolutely clear Jenson is in no way a bigger part of McLaren marketing strategy than Lewis. Lewis has a massive international following while Jenson's appeal is more or less limited to the UK and Japan.

Didn't Jenson finish a full 45 points behind Lewis last season. His win in Canada, which although it included taking out his two nearest rivals, was certainly impressive but I cannot yet see any justification for the fawning blog and the posts above claiming that McLaren would be mad to let him go.

I think Jenson could quite easily be replaced by the likes of Paul Di Resta and it would make little material difference to the success of the team or the company. The loss of Lewis Hamilton however would be a hammer blow to both the racing team and McLaren Automotive's international profile.


Not sure about this. Last year's form was down to the Bridgestone perfomance. This year is a diferent ball game with Pirelli. See how Webber is struggling. The same applies to Hamilton.


"Lewis has a massive international following while Jenson’s appeal is more or less limited to the UK and Japan."

I would really like to have some numbers to back up that bizarre statement. Sounds like you just made that up.

From the massive roar that the crowd let out in Canada when he won the race, and talking to fans at the race clearly suggests you are wrong. While a lot of people think Lewis is faster, Jenson is a very well liked driver and has a considerable following.

Also, McLaren has a very considerable following independent of their drivers, matched only by Ferrari. Any driver who drives for them automatically becomes a superstar in the press.


Abhijeet Rather than judging marketability from the "roar of a crowd" perhaps you would like to check out Sports Promedia's recent report - Lewis is considered the fifth most marketable athlete in the world and this is three years after he last won a title.


Why not? The people at the races are highly likely to be devoted F1 fans. Please provide a link to whatever source you're quoting. Also, does the report also say Jenson's appeal is limited to Japan and the UK?


I agree with one of the previous posters, don't think Button is going to Ferrari, this is simply his managers leveraging of Mclaren. I also do not think the ideal team-mate for Alonso exists, anyone who does end up in that position will have to work under a shadow, just as Mark Webber currently does at Red Bull. It has nothing to do with results or ability, it has to do with the light of popularity and fame. Just as Michael draws more attention for his 6th place finish than Nico's 4th place finish, so it is with Alonso. Kubica/Alonso would make the most amicable pairing of drivers but Kubica aspires to lead a team as he was doing with Renault prior to his accident. The harmony between Lewis and Jensen is a credit to them both, and can be attributed to each man's amiable personalities.



not a jenson fan then???? good to see a level headed, subjective take on the matter. I personally think He should stay at McLaren, i can see why Ferrari would appeal...most drivers would love to spend sometime driving for them, but i think life for Button there would be a lot more 'political'. McLaren are happy with him, hes happy there, lets hope he doesnt make the same rash decisions that he made earlier in his career. I think Jenson is past that, but you can never tell..


Thank you Marcus - obviously I am not a great fan of Jenson Button and I have every right to post my opinion. I find it bizarre that you should accuse me of subjectiveness or lacking a "level head" - unless you happen to be a Ferrari or McLaren insider your comments are just as subjective and speculative as any of us posting on this site.


The notion of Jenson moving to the red car has a two edge sword scenario IMHO. what happens if the mighty (and over-hyped) Alonso does not perform at the team over the remaining 5 years of his contract?? Whilst he does show flashes of his old self occasionally, I think he may not be as comfortable there, in racing terms, as a lot of people imagine. This might pave the way for another "quick" driver to come into the team as a Number 2 , but in fact trounce the Number 1. I am not saying this could or ought to be Jenson, just musing......


In my opinion a move to Ferrari doesn't make sense. Neither for Button nor for Ferrari.

For three years RedBull have been making much better cars, and there is no reason to believe things will change soon.

With their top engineering plus a very fast and reliable Vettel,and a team that looks extremely competent in every aspect, they look like a real "Dream Team" .

Ferrari has in Alonso the kind of top driver they need. Their problem is not about drivers, it´s just about making cars which are consistently quicker and better than the RBs and MLs.


Have I been prohibited from commenting?


He should be. It's identity theft!


Button will stay at McLaren for what he's achieved so far. He might not be like Lewis but he knows how to stay cool and is certainly matured.

What's the point of being aggressive when one can't finish the race. Jenson brings the meat back most time when needed. We'll always want a winner, but there's a business going on and points is money at the end of the tunnel.

Button will be in demand as he's experienced, level headed and trouble free. Kudos to Jenson.


Gets crystal ball out and ponders...

JB moved to McLaren from Brawn because he saw a better chance of a WDC and a new challenge in LH - as well as a few other issues. He likes to challenge himself. He has yet to win a WDC with LH as team mate but might do so this year.

I think if he does, then he might consider Ferrari or someone else as his next challenge. Partnering SV would be interesting or [erhaps back to 'Brawn'. But in FA he would have a headgame merchant - we saw that at Mclaren. I don't think JB would want to be part of such nonsense. He seems too nice a person to want to join a bunch of cheats. LH is not a headgamer - he just wants to race.

Of course, if he does win a WDC he might simply stay at McLaren and go for another. There's a lot to be said for stability as a platform for winning.

My guess is the latter. He suits McLaren as does LH.


So James.....why have you not updated this article to announce that ferrari have totally rubbished this story??

-ferrari have used very strong words to deny this move.

Usually you are quick to update stories and considering that this article has been confirmed as false - why is it still the site's leading story?

Is this yet another attempt by certain british media groups to overhype and provide positive press for their poster-boy - button??

-It seems like it...again!

It seems like button's close friends in the media are trying to keep him in the fore-front of F1 news...by trying to capitalise on jensons win and use it to help increase jenson's profile/status.


Yes Supa - respect!!!


No, it's because the database was transferring to new site so there was no new content during that period. I'll update shortly


Ok thanks james. Sorry if I sounded flippant but as a veiwer and fan of F1 - Its getting very obvious & infuriating that the media (the beeb f1 team inc radio 5 f1 etc) show alot of bias towards jenson and it seems as if they are always doing their best to blow too much smoke up jenson's u know what - and at the same time doing everyting possible to rip shreds from the other brit who is potentially our biggest sporting legend.

We know button has alot of his buddies in the media who do him alot of favours (i.e. positive PR always) but lack of impartiality from them will only damage their own reputations - I wouldnt want you to be one of them as you are sorely missed in the commentary booth - you're a top bloke...dont ruin it.

btw...the new look site looks great.


I don't think you insult James Allen - supa I think your spot on....


Another 'as long as they give inordinate praise to Hamilton, it's okay' complaint. So many forums have this nonsense that it amounts to a campaign to raise Hamilton's media profile... From the impartial side, it seems there's a fair number of articles on each of them and others. If LH or JB does well, then we get days of artciles and analysis about it. I think you insult JA and other good people here with your accusation of bias.


A related point. We are talking a lot about Jenson having to make moves before he retires at age 35 but could we be entering an era of F1 where the fitness level of the current drivers allows them to stick around until age 40-45 or more?

We are currently seeing Rubens and