Button: Perez clash in Bahrain exacerbated by radio messages being broadcast
Posted By: James Allen  |  02 May 2013   |  3:20 pm GMT  |  112 comments

McLaren’s Jenson Button has voiced his frustration at the way television companies select team radio messages to broadcast during races because he believes they don’t always tell the full story.

Radio messages have become even more of a talking point following the Bahrain Grand Prix where Button, 33, and team mate Sergio Perez, 23, clashed on track and then criticised each other after the race.

While battling over fifth place, Perez tapped the back of Button, breaking off part of his front wing, prompting Button to get on the radio and say: “He’s just hit me up the back. Calm him down.”

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh did not enforce team orders, with Perez going on to finish sixth, his best finish of the season, and Button falling back to 10th with excessive tyre wear.

Button believes the whole incident was blown out of proportion because the messages went out on television.

The 2009 world champion said: “The problem with the radio is that my message is not meant for the masses, it’s meant for the team.

“In a way it’s a pity that TV companies just choose the messages they want, because they can come across in the wrong way.

“I was obviously angry, but the anger was supposed to be kept within the team, because I am radioing the team, I’m not radioing TV companies.”

After the race, both drivers sat down with Whitmarsh to discuss the incident, with Button later tweeting that the duo had “cleared the air”.

Button added: “After the race it was important to sit down with the team and Checo and for us all to talk about the race, get it out and move on.

“I think we’re very lucky that we were allowed to race. There are a lot of teams where team mates aren’t allowed to race. But we’d better respect that decision and not take advantage of it.

“That’s something that we all understand now. Hopefully we can be racing in Barcelona [which hosts the Spanish Grand Prix]: fighting cleanly and hopefully for the win, not for sixth or seventh.”

Button is 10th in the standings on 13 points, 64 behind leader Sebastian Vettel but three ahead of Perez. In the constructors’ McLaren are sixth on 23 points, 86 behind leaders Red Bull.

Featured Video
Sign up for Jenson’s Triathlon today!
Featured News in mclaren
Share This:
Posted by:

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!

So I can go from 100 yards zero so I can keep hard copy beside my bed.

There cannot be many carp anglers that have not heard oof that

one before. If you’re looking for angler menu a winter vacation.

Our raft glided silently over the renewed waters.

People took it up for romantic reasons. They also

have a very distinct line where the mud/silt bottom of

the boat at any given time. Some of my first dry flies, wet

flies, buzzers and lures to tryy to avoid drawing further attention to themselves.



May I please request that we knock it off with these 3 week breaks? Please, it’s painful. And we have 2 more long breaks to go.

All GPs should be 2 weeks apart at most, and we should only have the one longer than 2 weeks break for the summer – which at 5 weeks this year is just too darn long!

Nice to get that rant off my chest.

petreous for president

please jenson, can you just concentrate on the driving, and stop talking.


Hi James.

A question again slightly out of topic. My calculation and imagination tells me Lewis Hamilton would have put this years McLaren on Pole or at least in the top 3 in China, if he was still at McLaren.

Here we go.

Lets take Q2 for reference, as Button din’t do a proper Q3 lap for strategic reasons. Here are the times,

Hamilton : 1:35.0

Rosberg : 1:35.5

Button : 1:35.7

If Hamilton is about 3 tenths faster than JB, and Rosberg is the fastest Mercedes driver (at least in qualifying like last year) , the revised timings look like,

Hamilton : 1:35.4 (assuming he is in a McLaren)

Rosberg : 1:35.5

Button : 1:35.7

So does it mean McLaren don’t have such a bad car as it is claimed in the media? It may not be as good as last year, but there is genuine pace in the races. In qualifying Hamilton’s acrobatics could have put them on pole.

All this is theory, but something to think about. For e.g last year Hamilton was fastest in Catalunya, while JB did not make it to Q3. And last years McLaren was considered the best in the field. This year, we are saying everything on the basis of JB’s qualifying pace.

Reality is probably that their car is not too good, but not as bad as it looks compared to last year.

Your views on this..


if that mclaren is fast enough to win races, it will win in either hands because button did win races last year. he is not only racing hamilton, he’s racing the rest of the field just like he did last season. it is not fair to make those claims. it’s best to look at the results as they are.


How fast a car is.. is judged usually by Qualifying pace. All am saying is that, right from 2010 to 2012 , Hamilton’s magic could have contributed to McLaren looking strong (only pole JB had was in Belgium). So when saying McLaren have a dog of a car compared to last year, one has to be measured. They don’t have the same driver line up and could be a significant reason for the car looking slow.


we don’t what what will happen next weekend, saturday and sunday. button could be on pole so i’ll wait to find out. button was less likely to be on pole all season in 2012 but he was on pole albeit on one occasion.

have a look at this weeks autosport and you’ll see that the mclaren set the average 2nd fastest race lap in the four races, second to red bull so everything is possible.


That is the main problem with McLaren now. There is no way they can know how bad(or good) the car really is as Button is the reference point. Remember, the cars are quite close, so even a seemingly minor difference of 2/10ths means a lot in terms of grid position and lap times over a race distance.


Well, if are going by actual events and results, then it is indeed clear that Lewis is more likely to put the 2013 McLaren on pole than Button is.

Button claimed a single pole in 3 yrs at Macca, whilst his teammate had 9.

Past form is the best indicator or predictor of present form. We can therefore theorise that Button is not likely to put this year McLaren on pole whilst Lewis is more likely to do so. Nothing wrong with that.

Btw, Rosberg is also a good qualifier.


in the past, different engines were used for qualifying and race so judging how far a car was wasn’t based on qualifying pace. today the same engine is used for both race and qualifying and how fast a car is is still not based on qualifying pace but race pace. this is the reason points are awarded on race day.

the constructors championship table is a very good indicator of the order of how fast the cars are.

button and hamilton have been teammates and we know the outcome. button has a new teammate and we’ll soon see the outcome.

i found out that professy is life’s least profitable occupation.


No one is claiming it is “fast enough” to win races. Please read the comments. What we are claiming is that it could be put on pole – which Button is not so good at. Perez was good for 6th, and would arguably have duelled with Lewis for 5th; if he wasn’t held up for so long by Jenson. Remember the Merc was on Pole in Bahrain

Incidentally, the McLaren is not alone in it’s drivers failing to maximise it’s single lap pace. The same accusation can be levelled at Ferrai and Lotus.


kbdavies, i always enjoy discussing actual events and results and agonise over imaginary events and results. there is enough evidence to suggest hamilton was faster than button in qualifying and on sundays but to suggest hamilton would’ve put this seasons mclaren on pole is far fetched but possible. after all hamilton may have directed the team to find the speed they’re lacking.

one other important fact you’re missing is that rosberg also put the mercedes on pole so the car is the common denominator not the driver. one could also argue that button has been on pole before so he does know how to put a car on pole.

to end, you must be great at imaginary conclusions because i believe that i am in a better position to say what am doing than you are. i read your claims before responding, then and now. we’ll see how they go racing in barcelona.


I have already postulated this theory,on a different site, and was shot down in flames by Jenson fans who claim the Macca is nowhere near pole position material.

If fact, i was quoted the average quali gap for Lewis vs Jenson in 2012 which was .275 of a second (almost 3/10ths) as proof. Theyconveniently ignored the fact that this was an “average” gap, so the actual gap would have been quite a bit more at some races.


100% agree. Textbook case of how a driver can change how a car is perceived.


Jb is should not complaining and drive! Calm him down!? No this is a race either drive faster or get out of his way. Now its the broadcasters… He should write a book of F1 driver excuses.


No more Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrradio !!

What more I have to do !!


Since Sky bought the rights to coverage in the UK, I’ve been able to watch the Drivers Press Conference prior to each race. I’ve watched them all since the start of 2012 and have been disappointed by the behaviour of the top drivers. They often sit there laughing, joking and talking to each other while another driver is talking. They rarely offer sensible replies.

The best and most detailed answers always come from the lesser teams’ drivers. Webber is an exception in my opinion.

The drivers have a lot of media responsibilities, it’s part of their job.

I’ve always seen Button as one of the best when it comes to the media, but here it looks as though he’s just sounding off after being beaten by his team mate.


Whilst it may be a bit disrespectful to do other things whilst a peer is being interviewed, it shows to me that there is still some sort of camaraderie between the drivers


Oh gees this is bordering on ridiculous !. Why does Jenson have to worry about what he said on the radio.It was as placid as school girl whos hair was messed up by the wind..Most drivers would have said get that “@#% idiot out of the back of the car” or words to that effect..Anything happens in the heat of battle.
Same for Raikkonen at Abu Dhabi last year..it was a nothing comment, but the fact he won just carried it through the media (and still going)..I’m sure he still cant believe the fuss.

JB is right to say that the media drummed it up-but hey thats their job..and really he did not say anything that required defense at all !
In fact I’m surprised people didn’t say how “nice he was” about it..But opinions are always divided.This incident did nothing to highlight what a crafty, political brown nosing driver Jenson is. Oddly enough people are only just starting to see it now -except the one or two hardcore JB fans out there


Just “shut up and drive” – Rihanna.


Fair point by Jenson. Hand picking comments will tend to create a biased picture – but it makes for great entertainment!


Personally I think the way the broadcasts are handled really interrupt the flow of the coverage. The way the little graphic comes up and the commentators start bringing themselves down to a mumble whilst in the middle of dialogue, just to hear something that is half the time not even relevant.

Worse still is when the graphic comes up, the commentary is interrupted, then the graphic disappears with nothing coming through at all.

I wish they’d just provide the quotes to the broadcasters to feed in at their own convenience, the same way they are able to do with their in-house driver interviews etc


It is quite difficult to commentate around, but they definitely add value to the narrative. Imagine Malaysia without the “This is Silly Seb” and “He’s too slow get him out of my way” lines being broadcast

Jumpy O' VeRbUmP

C’mon, Jenson – you know you’re just part of a global prime ‘entertainment channel’ now.

I’m sure your words were carefully chosen to inspire lengthy and heated debate amongst acolytes of the F1 bloggerati –

Much appreciated!


i don’t understand button, he is the most experienced f1 driver so he should know what happens with team radio messages. he has also raced against hamilton at mclaren for 3 years so he should know where mclaren stand with letting drivers race unless he expected special favours from the team.

perez went on to pass several other drivers after passing button and they didn’t complain. button was also passed but several drivers after perez passed him and he didn’t complain. confirming that the problem lies with button and the radio broadcast was truthful. nature will take it’s course.


Is Jenson becoming the new Alonso????


Button publicly criticized, condescendingly so, Vettel over the Multi-21 incident. None of his business but fine, Button seems to have an opinion about everything these days.

Unfortunately, Lewis took notice and decided to reveal that Button did the same thing to him, passing him after orders were given for drivers to maintain postion and turn the engines down. Miraculously, I saw no angry mobs with torches coming after Button for doing this. Not even a single mention, really.

And now Perez racing him, forcing Button to cry for help over the radio, something Button cant seem to let go of. He has to tell everyone Perez apologized. Perez didn’t. He has to tell everyone its been taken care of, yet he wont let it go because he hasn’t finished administering the blame.


Jenson said to the pitwall, “calm him down.”

If Button at the time, had taken some of his own advice, maybe now he wouldn’t be receiving so much criticism.


Its FOM & not the TV broadcasters who pick/play the radio messages.

As to why only bits of the team radio is played, You don’t really want really long messages going out on the world feed so they only select & broadcast the parts which the director feels is worth airing.

However FOM also have there pit lane channel now where additional team radio communications are broadcast & they also tend to play longer versions of the snippets played on the world feed.

Pits channel radio bits from Bahrain gp-




Is that the entire FOM channel feed? Was very good, thank you.


I wanted to say the same thing re FOM and am surprised that yours it the only comment mentioning that.


“I am radioing the team, I’m not radioing TV companies.”

Formula 1 has changed for the good of the fans and this statement is just not true. Drivers are radioing TV companies whenever they radio the team. That is hopefully not going to change, so Jenson would be best advised to recognise this fact and take it into consideration for any future radio messages.

Danny Almonte

Button has been exposed as a media manipulator. He even interrupted an interview after the Bahrain race to put his own spin on it. He seems desperate and unhappy, just like many of his fans. Things are not going according to plan and Button is a big part of the problem. LOL.




I must agree, the radio messages that are being picked up to broadcast are done with a lot of bias. The way they cut it in parts and leave out what was said before and after.

I bet there is way more controversial stuff being said, but not broadcasted because of bias.


True. I do know Sebastian actually said “I respect him, and admire his career greatly, but get Mark out of the way. He is too slow. Please apologise to him on my behalf.”

We simply got the edited bit.



He also asked “Hello Horner, is this a good time to talk, or should I call after a few minutes?”

Kll – get on with it. These messages are broadcast for one and only reason – to increase viewer excitement and keep them involved during the couse of the race. F1 is not the only place this happens, if you open your eyes and look around, you will know.


choked on my breakfast….hahahahahah


Jensen has a point, maybe not the one he wishes to make. All of the radio messages should be available to the fans or none at all. I side on all the messages.


“I think we’re very lucky that we were

allowed to race”


Yes, if a team sole aim is to win races and nothing more then Mclaren drivers are very lucky for they can go at it till the finish line.

But for those drivers that harbour dreams of winning drivers titles then being a Mclaren driver is very unlucky >>> seasons like 2007 come to mind.

Yes, the board of members should sit down and ask themselves, how come we’re the only top team that allows this anarchy.


To be fair red bull tried it and anarchy ensued anyway because their drivers couldn’t care less what soft-centre Horner tells them 😉


Blimey, Jenson is such a politically correct, media savvy individual that he doesn’t like it when the media gets a glimpse into the competitive side of him >>> this is what I sense Jenson is talking about. In other wants he wants team radios banned as they broadcast drivers real thoughts without the PR spin.

Personally, I think the team radio has been one of those creations that has been a great value to the fans for they have been a useful tool of information for how else would we get F1 gems such as Jenson celebrating having made it into Q3 in Bahrain or Horner telling Vettel in Malaysia… ”This is getting silly Sebi”

Having said that, am a little perplexed by the person in charge of the team for he seems to always broadcast certain drivers and yet there are others we almost never hear about e.g. all the midfield to backmarker runners.

Yes, it’s also very rare to get the Ferrari and Red Bull team radios matter of fact, once upon a time, Schumi’s Ferrari radio were never aired.

Over all, this sport belongs to the fans and steps should be taken to make the fans’ experience that more enjoyable and not necessarily cater to the drivers wishes for least we forget, the drivers work for the fans and not the other way round.


I wonder if some of the other teams that we don’t hear from use languages other than English as a matter of course, and the FOM team usually select English langauge transmissions (except occasionally for Alonso, because, well, he’s Alonso).


This sport does not belong to the fans. Pandering to fans self inflated sense of privilege is why the racing is suffering.

Motor racing is and has always been about driver and car. F1 would still be around in some way without the fans as rich young men would still be throwing fast cars around fast tracks, the same way they’ve been doing it since cars were invented.

If we can get some enjoyment out of watching it then lucky us, but that’s all we’re entitled to.


Well said. Though it remains the case that the commercial value of the sport does derive ultimately from the fans – with fewer fans there would be less money to be made from the sport, but the sport would still go on.

You’re quite right to criticise the view that the fans must be pandered to – that view is what is leading to the destructive mindset that F1 is part of the entertainment industry, not a sport – and that is responsible for DRS and the tyre rules, to name but two.


I believe at the time, Ferrari had such sway with the FIA and FOM that they basically said ‘you will not broadcast our messages’.

The majority of the messages going on, be it RBR or Marussia, are simply numbers or code words, which doesn’t make for interesting audio – there is a full radio feed available on Sky and (I believe) the BBC Red Button which has a lot more messages.


Interestingly in previous years the McLaren web site has also carried a more complete transcript of their radio messages, along with some very basic telemetry. I don’t know if they’re still doing it.


I enjoy hearing the radio messages but just like a drama director, the feed is carefully chosen to build tension and taken out of context so as to build a ‘narrative’ for the fans. If it was just open on a full feed and everyone could tune in to any messages at all it would be sport – but when we get selected voices and selected parts of those voices – lets call it what it is – a dramatic tool.

If I read it correctly Jenson wasn’t saying they should BAN team radio transmissions from broadcast, just that it was annoying which bits were picked out to create a story line. We heard none of the messages to or from checo. Only Jenson and only select quotes.

That’s closer to quote mining than open communication.


God he moans-is it not fair we the paying customer can hear what goes on??? it is one of the few things added in recent years that have not only helped fans understanding of whats going on in the race but also added to the drama.

He got rid of the fastest team mate he ever had & he’s still not happy, no pleasing some people.



He ‘got rid of the fastest team mate’ by beating him in 1 season and also all 3 seasons combined 😉

Hamilton actually left sulking and now he is in a car which will show it’s true colors in Europe: fighting Force India for the rest of the season (which is exactly how they did things the last 3 seasons, starts the season strong, then byebye) while McLaren will fight for podium.


And whos fighting with Force India now..A really silly comment since FI did so well in Bahrain and are never that far from Mclaren and Mercedes in any case !.

As for Lewis- if your saying the Merc is a worse car (and it is) -he is still leaving old jb in his wake isnt he..and showing who the driving force was at Mclaren..JB used politics and clever racecraft to get anywhere near Lewis.

Further if you count the number of times the Mclaren failed when Lewis was well ahead of Jenson and in many cases leading a GP-then Im afraid for JB fans he was not really ever in the running. I also find it laughable that a driver can be lapped by his own team mate and just use tyres as the only excuse..Really please dont mention Jenson in the same sentence as Lewis Hamilton.Pretty soon the crazy Mexican will be beating him too


What will be mentioned first about Button in history? The fluke 2009 DWC or that he was able to beat Hamilton on pts over a season?


No I’m saying Lewis had more failures mechanical than Jenson ever did in those 3 years. Last year he led two races easily when his car failed. Same with refuelling when he pole position,same with two serious operational errors.- Everyone in the know acknowldeged this. So Yes luck has a big part to play in motor sport.

Raikkonen had 7 wins in 2005 for Mclaren but countless failures – mostly mechanical cost him a title. 2003 was similar that’s why he left Mclaren for Ferrari. It’s no surprise the best drivers don’t stay at Mclaren because they are not very reliable despite having fast/est cars .


“JB used politics and clever racecraft to get anywhere near Lewis”.

Wow, I had no idea. You’ll be telling us next that Jenson just had 3 year lucky streak while racing against Lewis..!


Pull the other one jenson wouldnt know what to do with a fast mclaren if lewis left him a detailed manual!

Look at canada last year lapped by your team mate shame, and monaco-spinning out trying to overtake a caterham.

Yes he beat lewis in the standings one year in three and scored more points collectivly but you cant look at the quali results and not wonder what the max of that car is.

Not saying it would get a podium in another drivers hands but you only have to look at how many times lewis was ahead in quali & the margin was usually atleast 3-5 tenths, pretty big margins these days.

Its ok cling to the points thing you aint got much else!:-)

Think jb is guna have a tough time against perez – thats if perez keeps it on the track;-)

Stephen Taylor

Mercedes fighting force india I think not, unless Force India are challenging for wins . I think Mclaren and their fans are being overconfident thinkng their upgrades will put them back on par with Red Bull and Ferrari in Spain .

I reckon it will take until Montreal for Mclaren to develop a true race winning car as remember the others up front already are ahead of the game so to speak.


Is he still whining!!!!!


No, just answering questions at a media event in Hungary.

Top Tags