F1 Winter Break
McLaren underline hesitation over Perez: “What’s the hurry?”
McLaren Honda
Posted By: James Allen  |  26 Sep 2013   |  1:52 pm GMT  |  295 comments

One of the more notable features of the Singapore Grand Prix weekend was the way McLaren dealt with the subject of their driver line up for 2014; especially in the face of the rumours about a dramatic reunion with Fernando Alonso.

On the face of it the team is all set to renew both drivers for next year, but it is delaying. In F1 any vacuum creates rumour and tension which escalates. Teams can take steps to avoid that and McLaren weren’t taking those steps.

As the weekend went on they made it clear that Button’s option has been taken up and he will continue, but they are in no hurry on Perez. Perez has disappointed in his first season as a McLaren driver on the whole and to leave the door open is good practice from McLaren as he is unlikely to leave so there’s no hurry to renew. Martin Whitmarsh responded smartly to a question from the media, “What’s the delay?” with the answer, “What’s the Hurry?”

It was 12 months ago that the pieces fell into place and Lewis Hamilton left McLaren to be replaced by Perez. The Mexican was evasive in the 2012 Singapore GP press conference on his rumoured McLaren move, but was confirmed soon afterwards.

His season to that point had been impressive, but his form dipped alarmingly once his McLaren deal was announced. He has not been able to pull his form back up since, not helped by a difficult car. Jenson Button has struggled with it too.

However it has been improved since the summer break and several engineers in the pit lane have observed wryly that had Lewis Hamilton still been in the car, McLaren might have had that first podium of 2013 by now, although Hamilton has been off form this month.

This is an emotive subject and one that insiders don’t like to be drawn on.

Instead they are going through a period of introspection, prompted by their failure to win. And for once they are not coming up with that well worn line of teams struggling for competitiveness, “The drivers are not the problem.”

The sense in Singapore was that the team is desperate to win again and it has much to look forward to with the return of Honda in 2015, with its turbo engines and its generous funding. It also has two very talented young drivers in Stoffel Vandoorme and Kevin Magnussen, who need to be channeled into F1 opportunities. The new Lewis Hamilton? Maybe, but the path in is going to be challenging with limited opportunity on the current grid.

Honda failed abjectly on its last F1 foray, as a chassis and engine maker, and it will be desperate to win on its return. So a top line driver line-up is essential and that again leads the team to look in the direction of Alonso.

He is clearly unsettled at Ferrari, despite his protestations to the contrary. He did seek an opening at Red Bull, which caused increased friction in Maranello. That does not mean he will leave Ferrari; he may stay there to the end of his career. Ferrari will certainly want to make it hard for him to leave.

But Ferrari couldn’t be sure and hiring Raikkonen was as much about an insurance policy against losing Alonso as it was about winning the constructors’ championship.

Alonso and McLaren has an underlying logic, however warped it may seem based on their history. If even Ron Dennis could be heard to say at the weekend, “Nothing is impossible” when asked about a reunion with Alonso, then you know that this desire to win again overcomes all prejudices and grudges. Whitmarsh quietly underlined that even if Dennis had a problem with it, that would not be an impediment.

When I asked a source close to Honda if they would like to have Alonso in the car when they return he said simply, “Of course.”

Perez is in a difficult spot. He got the dream breakthrough but not everything that glitters is gold and it’s not worked out. He’s dropped his manager and ally Adrian Fernandez and is on a tightrope. Even if he gets renewed for 2014, which is expected to happen, he’ll have to step up his game significantly if he’s to be a fixture of the team in the Honda era.

Perez himself was fairly open and honest in his appraisal of a “difficult car and a difficult year”.

He said: “My season looks worse on paper than it has been in terms of speed but I know very clearly that I have to improve and I am working to improve because once we get the car we have to be right in every single detail.

“Even though the car has not been there, we haven’t been good enough all together to maximise every single detail.”

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Right on the spot! All this smoke screen was set in motion when they finally decided that all resources were to be put on the 2014 car... It's better to talk every gp till the end of the current season of the little contract of the poor second driver of the team than not being on the podium fos the first time in thirty years...


Absolutely correct that Sergio is not being treated fairly by some fans. I remember that most people weren't expecting Jenson to outscore Lewis in his first year as his team mate because he had to get used to the car and his new team. The same consideration is not being given to Sergio against an experienced team mate who had been with the team for a number of years and who had a car built to suit Jenson. Sergio was criticised by MH for not being aggressive enough following which he started to hassle Jenson. He was promptly asked to calm down. Of course Jenson is a good driver, but I think Sergio should be given a chance of at least another season


On the tail is hot exactly ahead ?


Sorry I've been unable to respond , real life etc

Anyway I have to disagree David, it's easy to 'engineer' faults into a bullet proof car than it is to make a bad car good.

Today's race - Korean - proves the point, there was no threat to Seb today due to marks 10 place penalty hence Webbers car was competitive no thanks to Sutil I am willing to bet if Mark had started on the 2nd row his car would have developed a problem.

The sky team did touch on it but did not draw reference to the last few outtings. Considering all faults this far are out of Webbers hands.

Its so obvious.


It would be near impossible to design and prepare a car that is reliable for one driver and consistently unreliable for another. It's also counter productive. You might as well just field one car and save millions. Red Bull want 1st and 2nd every race, just like every other team.

If Webber has consistent breakdowns then it's more likely that he is harsher on his car than Vettel. Jackie Stewart has often stated that the smoother drivers have more speed and reliability. Plus despite better reliability in recent years, F1 cars are still fragile. I think it was Colin ChaOman who said that the perfect F1 car wins the race and then falls apart immediately afterwards. In other words no excess capacity as it's inefficient. IMO Webber is probably ever so slightly on the wrong side of that equation. It'll be interesting to see if Ricciardo is reliable or not next season.


James, ive read that and i think your a bit sour that you expertise didnt dig so deep! most of it adds up!


Thx, bob!


Please, someone, PLEASE tell me where this myth came from that Hamilton can drive around car problems????? SOMEONE!!!

The ONLY time Hamilton has had car problems was the first half of 2009.

Can someone remind me how well Hamilton drove around the car problems during the first half of 2009???????

Hamilton's results 2009

Round 6 - 12th

Round 7 - 13th

Round 8 - 16th

Round 9 - 18th

Is that what 'driving around' problems looks like???

What a load of crap!


Given that most people, inside and out of McLaren, are so far unconvinced of Perez winning potential there may be a reason for it.


The pattern being that when one driver fails it's the drivers fault and when another fails it's the teams fault. It's called 'selective bias' when you cherry pick details to suit your argument.


Thing is, its the F1 paddock saying so and they're experts.


I think you're the one forming a pattern, sir. Lewis drove alongside, Alonso and Heikki too in a long career with McLaren.


So when Button flunks it's Button's fault when Hamilton flunks it's Mclaren's fault? I think I see a pattern here.


But Bob, they know more than us. That's fact.



The article said 'a few engineers'.

Like a couple have said before - McLaren have a few engineers working for them and they built the MP4-28. Need I say more!

There were also countless 'engineers' telling us that the McLaren would be the fastest this year and that Hamilton was the next Shumi and that he'd be a multiple WDC by now!! lol

Yes, if a pit lane 'engineer' says it - it MUST be true!


Carl Craven

The experts were right, but McLaren flunked that.


hmmm are these the same experts that touted Lewis for a multiple world champion by now?


The article said a few engineers, and though they are undoubtedly smarter than me if you want to know just how wrong they can be look at what the McLaren and Ferrari guys were saying at the start of the year.


I don’t think the Telmex proposed sponsorship has much to do with the unsigned seat for next year. It could be a smart – clever move on McLaren’s part to keep the seat open for a number of reasons.

Right now, very big question marks are hanging over the state of the Enstone team, and Sauber. Will these two team be on the grid next year? I am very concerned about the Enstone team, as we have heard so many false promises of funding, which have turned out to be nothing but hot air, so far.

If by a long chance, Renault goes to its rescue; then I would expect Alonso to jump ship. That of course opens up a whole new can of worms; regarding the silly season of drivers merry go round. If on the other hand the Enstone team fold, then it brings with it, a few drivers on the market, and of course some sponsorship, they currently have.

Plus there is still no news or even gossip on who is to be the new title sponsor at McLaren, and using this seat, could be a way to bring in their preferred driver. Telmex is not down as a title sponsor.

One would be interested to know what Massa has in the way of sponsorship, and who it is, plus how much. Currently McLaren’s name works very well in Brazil, and parts of South America. Put him for a year and see how it goes. Right now we don’t know which Massa turns up each weekend to race. Remember Honda had a great relationship with another Brazilian, and shifted a heck of a lot of cars in South America. Plus Massa is known for his feed back to engineers, so could be a lot more beneficial with the new engine – power plant installation. His name has never been in the frame for a McLaren’s seat, one wonders why?


It's true, Hulk proved he had a great skill to drive so well in the wet on slicks and I guess it was only his inexperience that undid him. The irony once again is that people are really happy to credit Hulkenberg for his wet weather skill and yet suggest that Button needs adverse conditions to ever 'get to grips' (excuse the pun) with the competition.

You can't have it both ways. .. . . . again!

That day both Button and Hulkenberg showed great driving skill and I guess Button won it with experience in the end. Something I am sure will come to Hulkenberg. I think they'd make a great pair at Mclaren with Button truly being a mentor and Hulkenberg genuinely succeeding.


I don't understand the hype about Hülkenberg, really.

Hulk was beaten by the "old man" at Williams (the same "old man" that beat Maldonado).

Then "The Hulk" went to Force India where he was beaten by DiResta. The same DiResta that was by Sutil before and who was beaten by Sutil after a one year break from Formula 1.

Now at Sauber, Guiterrez is getting ever closer to Hülkenberg, and he's for sure not the fastest driver around there and in his premier year. Come on, for a "Hulk" that's not exactly a strong performance. Two qualifying flukes in changeable conditions don't make a prodigy.

DiResta is as overrated and hyped by the British media as Hülkenberg, both may have been great before Formula 1, but we've seen that a number of times, the biggest example of them being Jan Magnussen, young prodigy, like Hülkenberg, not exceptional in Formula 1.

If there is a driver teams should take a real look at it's Sutil.


> that is when Hulk proved he can clearly race with the big boys

before of after crashing into Hamilton ?


McLaren have 2 cars, hence they want 2 great drivers.

McLaren have always tried to have 2 great drivers in their cars - they always have. Why is it because they want Alonso do you assume that they don't think Button is any good??

McLaren have never had a number 1 and clear number 2 - it's not their policy.

So by your logic if Mercedes got rid of Rosberg and replaced him with Kimi or Alonso they would simply be saying that they thought Hamilton was crap?


He seems to be quite highly rated by those who actually work in the realms of motor racing and its immediate environs, as opposed to those of us in the world of fandom who just have our favourites without knowing all the ins and outs. I know who I would say is in a better position to make the judgement call.

The fact that he's had a long career in F1 is testimony to the fact that he's highly regarded by the industry.

He may not be a charger like the real LH, but performance shouldn't be judged based on a quick lap, but by the ability to get the most out of your machinery and be in the best finishing position you realistically can be (which includes not crashing, not breaking your car, and not falling foul of the stewards).


There is nothing wrong with knowing you are the 4th or 5th fastest driver in the world, and getting paid millions for it. JB has his WDC - something that 6 years ago looked impossible for him - so he is secure that he has done what he set out to do. If Alonso comes and plays at McLaren, JB will do what he always does - score massive points if the car is competitive - and if he is one step down the podium from his pal Alonso so be it. McLaren will pay him well, and he can retire in a couple of years and go into management or broadcasting very happily. JB would clearly love another crack at the WDC, but he is also realistic.



How bout instead of just getting on the 'Hamilton is the best' bandwagon, you use your brain and actually look at the statistics.

Hamilton had more 'retirements' than Button, but why don't you go and see how many of those were his fault!

Just about EVERY SINGLE retirement Button had was not his fault - where as a large portion of Hamilton's 'retirements' were his fault.



Points achieved from Qualifying

Hamilton - 0

Button - 0


Mixing responses to last two comments... Hamilton has almost always been quicker over the single lap.. but is also always closer to the edge. Hence it is no surprise that the smoother and less impetuous of the two (Button) ended up with more points over the three years.


Quali relative performance over three years:

Hamilton 43-Button 14


What a total load of tosh!

I say again, if Hamilton is so good in a poor car, why is it that in a great car (the current Merc) has he 5 pole positions but only converted one to a win??????????????

C'mon then, why is it? Ummmm...wouldn't be because of the car would it?

I'm so sick to death of the whole 'Button is no good in a bad car but Hamilton is'. The ONLY time Hamilton has driven a bad car was the first half of 2009 and look how that went!!!


They are all useless in a poor car. Car is most of the total performance available ~80%. The rest split between team and driver.


"Jenson is great in a car that’s hooked up but with a poor car he is next to useless".

The same for VET.


‘McLaren would have had a podium with Hamilton by now’ – on which race? Hamilton would have been ahead of Button a couple of times, especially on Saturdays, but that cannot be automatically converted to positions and certainly not podiums. Hamilton’s unbequestioned racecraft shouldn’t be considered a kind of power-up on other drivers’ results, like “My first driver qualified 6th, so if I play the Hamilton card, the car is capable of at least 4th and probably even further up the grid.” It’s a tempting thought, but it simply doesn’t work like that, as seen in Singapore: when Nico almost caught Vettel, falling just short of his time, I was reasonably sure Lewis would take pole or at least beat Nico – and look where he ended up. Imagine Jenson taking second place just behind Vettel, with Pérez 3 tenths down in 5th. Everybody would say ‘Hamilton would have taken pole for sure!”


It's also a question of sponsorship money. Telmex may be bullied to pay a little more to "persuade" McLaren to keep Perez.


Come on. Hulk has been beaten by Barrichello and has been beaten by DiResta, DiResta has been beaten by Sutil, twice, even after a one year break. And If you have followed the last grands Prix closely you will have noticed that Guiterrez, surely not the greatest driver in the world, in his first year, is slowly starting to pressurize Hülkenberg.

Leading a Grands Prix for a few laps is a question of strategy, just like Winkelhock lead the field for several laps in a Spyker.

And his qualifying performances have been great, two times, as a result of good timing. Sorry, these are flukes, just as Guiterrez fastest lap in Spain.

Talking about overrating - rare events get overrated a lot, humans behave that way. But in a cold analysis, Hülkenberg is not so great after all, at least not in Formula 1.


Great observation re Hulk and 3 different teams. It does show that it's the driver rather than just the car.


McLaren is no Mercedes works team anymore and they have lost their main sponsor Vodafone for 2014. Perez bringt Telmex (one of their marks) as main sponsor to McLaren. So you might guess that Perez' seat is dead sure, if they don't find an alternative main sponsor. And now you can start to estimate: How many seconds is a main sponsor worth (think: R&D and two drivers profiting) and how many seconds would you get by a better driver than Perez?

How come so many people take the commercial side of the story out of the equation?


Perez was ordered to stay behind not Button.


I guess with the lower noses in 2014 we may see more front pullrods than just McLaren's and Ferrari's. Low noses do potentially create more space to get a better angle for the pull rods and an even lower center of gravity.

Rear pullrods have been widely adopted and I think we will continue to see them in 2014, especially as the rear has no more beam wing (demanding an even cleaner air flow over the diffuser) and a central exhaust taking space above the gearbox.

Even though McLaren and Ferrari share the the lack of success in the season that they introduced front pull rods, I think that this rather was a coincidence. The test rigs for suspensions and the mechanics are widely understood. From an aerodynamic perspective the front pullrods should even create a cleaner air flow.


Does that include Vettels days at Sauber and Toro Rosso?


Proving himself against a more capable Kimi.

Hopefully Lewis/Alonso will cross paths him in the near future and all will be revealed.



Fortunately for Vet he's safe from being exposed, as long as Newey is by his side.

Many fans boo Vet primarily because they feel his many victories have very little to do with his skills, a frustrating anomaly in F1.

Now he's missed out on a chance of salvation in p a more cappable Kimmi


Nokia has not been bought by Microsoft.

At the moment there is a proposal by the Board of Directors to sell the Devices & Services division of Nokia to Microsoft, but this is pending shareholders' approval.

Here in Finland it looks strange to many people as the Nokia Lumia phones with the Microsoft Windows Phone operating system are gaining market share rapidly in many regions of the World and it looks like Windows Phone will be a strong 3rd ecosystem alongside iOs and Android within a few years.

It makes little sense to sell the business just before it's taking off... so we suspect a conspiracy by Americans to take the phone business away from the Finnish company. It is either that or Nokia was just running out of cash and belief in its products.

Nokia is still the #2 in all mobile phones sold so they are certainly not a small player. Apple and others are far behind of Samsung and Nokia in terms of number of mobile phones sold globally.

Sony is a small player, only really strong in the home market.


Blackberry the company is in a death spiral.

They missed a cycle or two in the evolution of smartphones, and they're paying for it.


That's a great statement - Magnussen seems like a really quick guy and the best of the next generation drivers!


I'd say McLaren would have had at least 2 podiums with Hamilton still there. BUtton & Perez are unable to drive around car problems and lost when it comes to set up a difficult car. The results we see this year. I don't think the MP4-28 is really that bad, but they don't have a driver as a real reverence there what the car is really delivering. Brawn said it was one of the reasons to hire Hamilton to have a real reverence now, wich they had missed the last few


IMO Lewis would be in the top 5 at the WDC with the McLaren


They should have kept the real Hamilton, bUt McL got too pride, did not value him, and now it bites them in the a**.

It serves them well IMO!


Hulk is far better than Button. He can qualify well and has the sort of aggressive race craft that only Lewis and Alonso have. I'm not sure what his technical abilities are, but both McLaren drivers are very far from being technically gifted.


Really? If Rosberg is a match for Hamilton I say hulkenberg is faster than Hamilton, only question is consistency and the pressure of being at the front.


2014: Button & Hulkenberg (Perez to Sauber/Lotus)

2015: Alonso & Hulkenberg (Magnussen in a lower team to get ready for Alonso's retirement)


I still think that Button and Hulk would be a killer team. Experience and fresh blood, both really quick...

Perez seemed like a good choice last year, but this year he has done a lot of damage to his - and McLarens - image. He is too aggressive and drivers who get out of his way just to not gettig hit (Kimi and ? in Monaco, Hulk in Singapur...) get punished.

I really wish that they take Hulk - he deserves a financially stable and fast team where he can stay for more than a year.


To be honest, there's a lot of wishful thinking here around driver moves. Let's be serious and try and summarise what's actually happening.

Perez has had a poor season, which in fact started once he signed his McLaren deal last year. Will McLaren drop him? I'm 95% sure they won't. He brings Telmex money and in the short term that's too attractive. If the Alonso to McLaren had a any real legs then it would be very interesting. I think McLaren would take him like a shot if there was a genuine chance, esepcially as he'd bring serious Santander money.

Whitmarsh is doing the right thing, politically: throw a few comments out to stir up the Ferrari situation, and at the same time keep the pressure on Perez that he isn't at all safe. But apart from Alonso, what other options are there? Di Resta? No chance, his big team opportunity has long gone. Poor run of form, no better than Sutil, always criticises the team in public. Hulk? Good option, but they should have taken him last year, and I suspect he's still angling long term for Ferrari. Massa? Hmmm, maybe. Competent, experienced, would bring Brazlian money.

But McLaren are sorely missing a proper top-line driver. There are 3 absolute nailed-on superstar drivers who have everything a top team needs: speed, race craft, setup, experience, marketability. And sorry to disappoint the Kimi fans but he has all but the last of those, which means I'm not sure he will ever be a No 1 driver at a top team again. The other three are Seb, Alonso and Lewis. McLaren would have had a podium with Hamilton by now.

They need a superstar by 2015 when Honda arrive, so I would suspect Alonso to McLaren in 2015 is very likely, alongside Button. Perez to stay for one more year. Vettel to Ferrari for 2015, with either Raikkonen or Hulk as his team mate. Which would leave Red Bull looking for their new superstar...


I still think the car has potential, it just needs "switching on" - the 2009 car could've won the WDC if it had started the season how it ended.

Perez is not allowed to overtake Button in a race since the earlier incidents in the season he has caught Button and held station but he still makes unforced errors.

I still say they should promote Paffett offer Perez development dutys, give Perez time to settle and develope


James, do you think is a coincidence Lewis leave McLaren and the team be struggling like this?

Do you think is a coincidence Mercedes with Lewis Hamilton fighting for second on the WCC?

McLaren did change the car this year, but don't you think that "maybe" last year's pace could be some driver skills and not "just" the car?

Seems like we are forgeting that Mercedes had a pretty "bad" car ladt year, and everyone was saying that would be almost impossible to make the car better... and right now the car is "way" better?

I remember Lewis with really bad cars, like 2009 and 2010.. but he alwasy had poles and victories. Do you think this year he would not have at least a podium this far in the WDC?

Rosberg is on Mercedes for how long (years)? And Lewis is for how long (races)? Ho many poles? Points? And wich position on WDC?

Really, all this is coincidence? If Nico was the driver some people think he is, he NEEDED to be smashing Lewis, as he knows the car. Next year? Forget about it, I bet will be 20, 21 or even 22x0!

James, do you think all this is coincidence?

I don't think driver over perform a car, because that is impossible, but I do believe drivers extract the most of the car, and that is what I think Lewis did last year with the McLaren and that's why I think SV needs credit, because there are two RB cars, but just one with poles, victories and miles ahead.

And for the ones saying that Rosberg had two many DNF, remember that this is part of the game. Last year, who was the champion? Lewis Hamilton or SV? It was SV, because the DNF's from LH is part of the game, and even we knowing that the WDC could be different if LH was not crashed vy NH at Brazil, the car have not failed at Singapore, AD, Korea, and PM have not crashed into him in Valencia.. Etc, etc... the champion was Vettel.

Don't forget that LH was leading the Silverstone GP and Rosberg has that victory...

So James, do you think is just coincidence and engineers from one team like "Eureca", and the others with amnesia, from night to day?


They took the wrong Sauber guy in 2012. Simple as that.

The current one has neither skills no passion or charisma. Yes, money talks to Martin louder than someone else


No driver should be put in a spot as Perez. For a guy with just 2 seasons under him, he was offered a drive from one of the greatest F1 names out there. He cannot refuse such an opportunity, but if he accepts and things dont work out, his career is over. And unfortunately for Perez, it increasingly looks like the later scenario is about to come true.


Nico Hulkenburg should be driving for Mclaren next year, he always delivers and outpaces his team mates. A sure bet.


McLaren will be in transition next season and I just cannot see them being any closer to the top than this season. Everything should be focused on 2015.

Either one of Stoffel Vandoorme and Kevin Magnussen will need F1 milage soon and it will cost McLaren alot of money to place them in with a backmarker team. Perez is showing no sign of being a race winner never mind champion and I would argue it makes financial sense to blood one of their young drivers next season.

If they come in and they are a sucsess then they have an interesting few options for 2015.


There's been some rumours from a very reliable source in Italy that Vettel is goiing to drive for Ferraru in 2 years time. It'll be really interesting to see what Alonso does. If it's true, then that's what unsettles him, not Kimi's arrival.

I think next season he'll keep an eye on McLaren-Honda to see how it does.

James, do you think Red Bull would be an option for him once Vettel lands in Maranello?

Personally, I would love to see him stay alonside Vettel.


Mclaren have been outwardly more critical of Perez than I expected this season. The car hasn't been good and to work through that with a new team, new engineers etc is not easy. I'm not Perez's biggest fan but I thought he might get a bit more support from his team at this stage of the season.


They should put Stoffel Vandoorne in the car. Look at his results, this is a possible new Vettel in the making, if given the right opportunities. Stoffel has an enormous amount of talent. Perez isn't the right man in the car. Put a young real talent next to Button, give him time to mature and Mclaren will win again.


We could see Mr Ron Dennis during the Singapore qualifying session watching Lewis Hamilton driving his lap. Mr Ron Dennis nod the head of satisfaction after the lap. It safe to say that he is proud of him.

I add this information to the talks because we all know that when someone leave Mclaren this person is dead to Mr Ron Dennis. He doesn't apply this to Lewis Hamilton.

This shows also that to Mr ron Dennis the driver lineup isn't worthy of Mclaren for the moment. He is not satisfied.

To end my remark. Jenson Button is the closest Japan has to a driver and I believe that this is good for Mclaren-Honda. Honda and Jenson have a long lasting history together.


James, any idea whether McLaren try to sign Kimi before Ferrari seals the deal?

I thought Kimi & Jenson will be an interesting pairing.

Tornillo Amarillo

Anybody knows if the doubts about PEREZ is because SLIM-TELMEX is not paying to McLaren as sponsors?


One can't help thinking that driving for the most prestigious team in F1 must mean absolutely nothing when it's not the winning team in F1.

Alonso is caught between a rock and a hard place. The very public patronising 'tweak' of the ear from Montezemolo would surely make any world champion reach for their hat and coat with utter contempt.

One wonders what Senna might have done in the same situation back in the day?


I can see why McLaren would want Alonso, but why would Alonso want to go back to McLaren? It's obvious the only thing he wants is a fast car to take on Red Bull.

Including this season, only once since Red Bull's first WCC in 2010 has a McLaren driver finished ahead of him (2011, Button by 13 points). All other times Alonso has been 2nd in the WDC driving a Ferrari.

What makes him think that McLaren can build a faster car all of a sudden? They haven't won a WCC since 2007(I know they were penalised that year).

To me it looks like a step sideways at best but you'd be going to a team that wouldn't ask their 2nd driver to move over for you.

I do feel for Alonso though. He's the best guy out there but the Red Bull is just too far ahead for him to make up that ground.


The News of Button's Option being Taken up seemed to slip right under the radar over the Weekend, which I found a bit Strange.

I'm not entirely sure what McLaren are trying to achieve, if they another Driver to replace Perez, then any of the Potential Candidates must also surely be in Line for the Lotus Seat, and while I'm sure more must be going on behind the Scenes, they do seem to be sitting on their Hands.


Surely any continued speculation about ALO jointing McLaren could be quashed by the simple fact that it would be very unlikely that Ferrari would contemplate starting 2014 with two new drivers


This article is really fascinating because of the way it looks at reputations of the drivers involved.

Firstly, there is an implicit assumption here that Alonso is a top name driver that the team must have because they currently lack such a driver. Additionally, it is implied that Raikkonen and Alonso are two top drivers in the same team at Ferrari. How must this make Jenson Button feel? The line of thinking that this article follows is essentially calling him deficient relative to Kimi and Fernando. In terms of outright speed, this may be right; I too have certainly had my doubts about Jenson over the years. But he is a former world champion, his race management is actually very underrated and it was playing to those strengths that saw him keep Lewis Hamilton (usually seen as one of the Top 3 drivers on the current grid) very honest (he even out-pointed him) during their three years together.

With Sergio Perez I think the issue is that not everyone was fully convinced when he got the drive and it seems to have rubbed off on the team too. I'm not really sure what miracles he can be expected to produce in an MP4-28. I agree that his move was a surprise but I thought McLaren would have played a longer game on this one as seen as an investment not only for 2013. Perez isn't the finished product but he has been quicker than Jenson at times and kept him honest at most races. I agree he will need to improve for 2014 and I think he'll be disappointed he hasn't made the tyres last this year the way he did at Sauber (this has often been the way Jenson has got on top of him I think - by making one less pitstop). But I'm amazed that the team in particular have been so forthright in criticising him in public, particularly when their own car has not been quick and their own errors have at times cost Checo this season (most recently at Monza). Maybe it's a motivating tool to help him dig deeper but surely they need to be looking closer to home to address their problems, not just towards their Mexican driver?


Hi James very interesting reading but if Mclaren were to drop Perez wouldn't it be like them admitting they hired the wrong man to replace Lewis? Guess Alonso would soften that blow.


The title should read ' How big a cheque does Does Sim's have too sign on the dotted line too keep Perez at McLaren?' Carlos has been financing Sergio just like Chavez was financing Pastors paid ride for Williams. I wonder if the Venezualan government signs cheques for 2014? Maybe McLaren have decided enough is enough and unless they get paid in excess of over 80 million for Sergio's ride next year, they would prefer too try somebody new or experienced. Lets face it Perez isn't a tactician when it comes too race day. One just needs too look at Monaco 13 as an example.


Life is not easy in the F1 world

Fans may love you one day and hate you the next one: Sauber podium, he's great; slow Mac start he´s a "paydriver"; passes Button on the edge, he has guts; bumps into Kimi, he's reckless

Checo had a good if not outstanding career through the GP3, GP2 ranks and got a good break to drive for Sauber F1 at a fairly young age (look at Van der Garde or Bianchi or Maldonado), which I think might not work in his favour in the future

I think he did a good job at Sauber in terms of delivering when the car/strategy conditions permitted, and that is what got him the Mac seat, not the sponsorship

He has not been able to do the same this year and his seat is at risk because of it

I agree with LH posting above, even if the points don't show it, he has more or less given Button a run for his money on a couple on occasions, being a newcomer to the team and 10 years his junior it does not look too bad

So Signore Luca might be proven right that he was too inexperienced to be in a top team yet, and if he is released by Mac he might be out of F1 altogether because he is unlikely to be taken by other teams at this point


Ninth paragraph should say that Honda comes in 2015.


Bit of a wildcard suggestion, but perhaps if another driver is being considered for the second McLaren seat for 2014 they should put Perez in the reserve seat? There's supposed to be an increased amount of testing for next year compared with previous years, and they could run him in Friday sessions as well (subject to the rules permitting this, of course). It would amount to a demotion for Perez, but I think back to Felipe Massa stepping down from a race seat at Sauber in 2002 and testing for Ferrari for a year and the difference it made to him as a driver in 2004. It could be a good example to follow - it keeps the faith with him, but takes some of the pressure off, and it also means they could bring him back for 2015 with the new Honda engine (with which he could have some useful testing experience as well).

Might bruise the ego slightly, but it could work if they feel they need someone else in the car for next year.


If McLaren can get the car right for next year, Alonso will be knocking urgently on their door.


I didn't think Perez was all that special anyway - he was flattered by a pretty good Sauber and some good tire strategies, usually after a poor qualifying left him all new tires for the race.

They should have signed Hulk then and should do it now - he deserves at least one decent shot in a top team.

As for Alonso, forget it - he surely can't be that daft. Ferrari have had a separate team working on the 2014 car all year along with Byrne. Now they've added even more muscle to that team, are due to open a new wind tunnel in October and I can't believe their power train is going to be any worse than the others. For him to leave there for McLaren just because of a couple personal differences would be crazy.

James said it himself - Allison is the guy you hire if you can't get Newey.


Gotta feel for Perez. It was almost inevitable that he would find himself in this situation given his jump from Sauber to a Mclaren.The trouble with such a transition so early in your career means, if things dont go well while at a top team, your career is pretty much over.

To his credit, he has been very close to Jenson's pace off late, and sometimes been asked to hold position. If i were Mclaren, i would certainly give him another year and plenty of support to prove himself. The guy is talented and has a lot of speed.



James i came across this article! pls pls can you comment on it, its incredibly interesting.


Perez has not shone brightly. Maybe this is first year and poor car. 2nd year performance like this and he may be replaced.

Somehow feel hulk is better but then nobody has seen him operate in top team environment.


This is tricky, Perez shown something last year, but since he arrived in 2011, he has been inconsistent, some races good, the next he crash alone, the next goes involved in some race incident, it makes too difficult to judge him as a driver, I have heard some interviews and he seems to always find some excuses, I think he has to learn how to admit his mistakes and learnt about them, but the image I have is that he can't admit a mistake. Then we have the Slim money, will some of his companies replace Vodafone? they are currently sponsoring McLaren with Claro Video, so although many would think that McLaren is not the one who hires a driver for money, well, anything can happen and Perez is highly rated in Mexico. I think they will continue with Button and Perez next year as Perez results are not good but is not a bad driver, then McLaren will have a deeper evaluation for 2015 for the whole line-up.


Jenson has 54 points - Sergio has 22 - not really "on par"


What I find most fascinating is that Whitmarsh holds a job with absolute immunity at McLaren. Surely any other Team Principal with the same track record would've been sacked by now?

The decision to hire Perez was made in a panic and in an attempt to overshadow Hamilton's news of signing with Mercedes. Ultimately, they should have gone with Hulkenberg, which most fans are still echoing now. Even Button was excited by the idea of him joining the team. Fast-forward 12 months and we see why...


Another great article! I was not even thinking about a possible change of drivers for the McLaren team and here we are having an open discussion on the possibilities. This is truly a larger view of the sport that can only come after 20+ years of experience.

Things are constantly changing and I find myself getting caught up in the day to day rumor mill. Now I must find a way to consider yet another dream team being born in the McLaren garage. What will Honda want and what will they get? Money does not seem to be an issue here.

Is there any chance that Red Bull will drop the ball next year forcing Vettel to another team such as a mighty McLaren/Honda group? Will Ferrari drop the ball and Force Alonso to make the move? Will Mercedes make the final step to the top giving Hamilton all he needs to be dominant?

I guess that’s the nature of the sport and why I enjoy it so much. Thanks again.


Perez was meant to be the new young hotshoe. If he was that good he should have been faster than Jenson from the get go even if he made mistakes(like Grosjean), that is the whole idea(Lewis was up to speed immediately which shows his talent). He hasn't delivered and probably won't now ala Kovelinen. Sometimes stuff doesn't pan out. As soon as they get someone who kicks Jensons arse they will know that they are onto something special.


In post #5 LH wrote "Then how come Whitmarsh signs on Button, but not Perez?"

I thought Perez was a mistake last year. I felt Sauber was as responsible for his success as he was. I can understand McLaren wanting a winner. Keeping Button is probably for continuity. He's probably more helpful giving feedback. He's probably also nearing the end - one or two more years. His help with feedback will be useful especially next year with a whole new concept. But who should take Perez's place for next year? I really don't think Alonso will come for 2014.

I look forward to reading what the rest of you have say.


So the message here for poor Perez, is:

"Sorry son, you not so good we are desperate to sign you up before any one else does. In fact, we are so sure you are not that good, we are willing to bet no one else of any significance tries to poach you before you sign for us. We know we could do better. But if we cant, you'll do."

Not very motivating.


I don't know, but I read "What's the hurry" as "Where's the money?"

Clearly, there's no performance reason to sign Perez, and I'm sure they're waiting for financial guarantees this time around, instead of signing him on hope and a prayer.


"When I asked a source close to Honda if they would like to have Alonso in the car when they return he said simply, “Of course.”"

But I imagine the response would have been the same if you'd substituted Vettel or Hamilton for Alonso in that question. All three of these drivers are under contract through the end of 2015, if I'm not mistaken.


Button isn't good enough to lead a team like McLaren, they need one of the top 3 drivers, Vettel, Alonso or Hamilton (they should have given him whatever he wanted - I think they didn't truly realise what an asset they had when they had him - a bit like Williams when they could have kept Newey - has any team made a bigger mistake)? Me thinks not, just think how any cha,mpionships Williams would have won if Newey never left.......


I would love to see Alonso in a Honda/McLaren. Could be epic!


Perez will become the next Heikki, only this time, that is a good thing.


Peres should've stayed for a little bit longer with Sauber, to mature. As expected he burned his fingers at McLaren. Put it this way if Lewis couldn't make something more in that team how on earth Peres expected to succeed. I think his career most probably would be finished before it even started. Something similar like Petrov.


Hamilton will most deffinetly have raced to at least a podium if not a win by now. We saw him outqualify JB consistently and always dragged the car further up the grid. He has that sort of speed. Mclaren though are too clinical, stale, how can i put it? Too many resources not enough real races in that team. The game has changed, midium sized budgets and quality people are getting results, not just the ferraris and Mclarens any more. I think in the long run LH took the right descision.

Now, Alonso is much more suited to the Mclaren team than Hamilton. Mostly because LH has a spoilt childs mentality (like an air to a kings throne and not wanting to fulfil his 'legacy') ok i might be watching to much games of thrones lately but you get my point.

I think Alonso and Mclaren are a great fit. Alonsos fire beds well to spurr the poms into high gear. Im sure he's letting the cards play out while hes at ferrari, he will asses the Mclaren / Honda situation. Mclaren will do well to have him back and with Honda being one of the best companys to copy and make their engine better, who knows it looks like there is a good chance we might have ALO at Mclaren in 2015.


McLaren should be asking itself how they realistically expect to win the contructors/drivers titles in '14 with Button & Perez.

Looking at different scenarios: If Renault has the best engine package, Vettel will dominate quali and races again(ugh)and if Ferrari has the dominant engine, Kimi or Alonso will be out front. In either case I'd say Button/Perez would be in about the same position as last year.

However, if Mercedes has the best engine package, it should be between Mercedes & McLaren in terms of car design and if they are close you'd have to favor Hamilton and probably Nico too over Button/Perez in terms of qualifying.

So best case scenario with the top engine package in '14, would Jenson or Perez be able to use that advantage to consistently beat out Lewis or Nico in quali and for podiums? I'd say probably not, but who knows. Alonso's quali pace this year has suffered, but if I were McLaren I'd feel a lot better about having Alonso to battle Lewis & Nico if it becomes McLaren vs Mercedes. And worse case scenario if Red Bull or Ferrari dominate then Alonso will drag the 5th-6th place McLaren up to the podium several times.


Stubble and film star looks apart, Button's a proven race winner and a World Champion. Although he operates in a narrower bandwidth in car set up terms than Hamilton, Raikkonen, Alonso and Vettel, he is the best driver with the best proven track record readily available. He's only outqualified Perez 8-5 but has outpointed him 54 to 22.

Alonso going to McLaren is a red herring, he's contracted to Ferrari until the end of 2016 and recently went on the record as saying he wanted to finish his career there. Whether that happens or not any move prior to 2016 would have to be with the consent of Ferrari and you can't see them sanctioning their star driver moving to one of their closest rivals.


F1 goesback to the future. Kimi back to Ferrari. Alonso and Honda back to McLaren. We just need them to steal back Hamilton for 2015 to make an explosive full house.

McLaren might not be able to win but the sponsorship value would eclipse everyone. Would anyone be watching Vettel's sixth championship bid?


Quite pathetic to see how McLaren and Whitmarsh are trying to influence the driver market without actually having a lot of weapons at hand: first some wishful thinking (Alonso), then an overdone delay in confirming Button and now putting some questionmarks around Perez, as if they can afford it...


This is a slap in the face for some "experts" here saying that ALO is a "slow bus driver". McLaren is trying everything to hire him. They know how good he is. ALO + McLaren + Honda in 2015 will be the dominant force in F1. I bet they have an agreement in place. It will be funny to see Ferrari's plunge.


Perez has an unusually late turn in driving style, so maybe that has something to do with his performances this year. It would be great to see an article on the different driving style approaches of the top drivers. The driving guru Rob Wilson has discussed such things in the past so would be cool to hear from him about Perez specifically!


Well, one thing is sure... of all the top teams, McLaren have the worst and least glamorous drivers line up currently. But then again, one might argue they are not a top team this year.


With the Mexican GP in the horizon, it doesn't seem wise to drop Pérez for the coming years, I would first worry about making a competitive car, then worry about the drivers.


couldn't believe they chose perez in the first place with his inconsistency and a far from great cv. drop him and grab the hulk


"and it has much to look forward to with the return of Honda in 2014,"

I thought Honda were not returning until 2015? Or did I miss-read somewhere..?

Tornillo Amarillo

McLaren replaced a 1st driver (Hamilton) with a reserve driver (Perez).

But the driver is the 25%, 75% is the car. They need to work on the car...

PEREZ was not so bad in comparison with BUTTON, same speed, sometimes PEREZ is faster, but Checo did not get finish and he cannot show the points in the standings.

James, you do not mention Carlos SLIM here and the significance of a big sponsor.


Personally, I think it is unlikely Alonso will leave Ferrari for McLaren for 2014. Ferrari looks to be the better bet (logically) for 2014 even if he certain preferred they didn't sign Kimi to be driving the red car next year. But I can see how 2015 could be a possibility. Certainly also depends on 2014 will look like for him.

I know it is probably not an exact comparison, Luca di Montezemolo opens the door to Kimi, may be Ron Dennis would be willing to do so. McLaren wants to win. Alonso is one of the best on the grid and certainly has greatest possibilities (among other top tier drivers racing today) to drive for them.

Just some interesting scenarios and imagination:

- RedBull lost their superiorities due all the changes in 2014.

- Alonso comes close to winning the title with Ferrari but lost out to Hamilton in the siver car.

- Alonso's relationship with Ferrari turns sour

- Sebastien realizing Ferrari is the future and decided make his drive-for-Ferrari dream come true for 2015 or even 2016

- McLaren still can't move up the grid and decided to shift their resources to 2015 for the coming Honda engine

- Alonso ends his contract with Ferrari on mutual terms to join McLaren


In preparation, and good faith, before the arrival of Honda, and the need to try a different approach, McLaren should try the other 2012 Sauber driver, Kamui Kobayashi!!!

I must admit, I expected Perez to beat Button early and regularly through the season; in tribute to Button, he's had the upper hand, and Sergio is the leader in going into situations where the other driver is forced to give way or be crashed into, (incidentally, way more of a continuous hazard than, say, Grosjean ever has been).

I liked Sergio's style in 2012, but I can't say I like it in 2013.


It feels like McLaren wants to give Magnussen a go. Button could be a great mentor for him.

Alonso is fully focused on Ferrari right now. The Euskatel deal is off and he made it public he wants to extend his contract with ferrari. Re-hiring Kimi has been a great move by Monte. Alonso is going to shine in the intra team battle.

It looks like Hulkenberg won't have a drive at all next year. Unless he replaces Di Resta at Force India?

McLaren: Button x Magnussen

Sauber: Sirotkin x Bianchi

Lotus: Grosjean x Massa?/Hulkenberg?

Force India: Sutil x Di Resta?/Hulkenberg?

Marussia: Chilton x Stoffel? (McLaren)


Haha!! Perez was always on Ferrari's radar! Could we see an exchange with Alonso?

It might happen. Button and Alonso in a McLaren Honda.... I can so see that happening. 😛


Hulk has been dragging average cars into points... Consistently and with character... McLaren needs him + James Key (look at the steady rise in performance of Toro Rossi)


I think it's safe to say that Jenson has met or even slightly exceeded McLaren's expectations when they signed him on 3 seasons ago.

OTOH, it's a fact that Perez has disappointed in his performances (both as Sauber and at McLaren) ever since the move was announed a year back.

McLaren appears to have signed on Perez in a fit of madness or desperation, call it what you will, after Hamilton announced his Merc move. Is it really a surprise then that they've chosen to continue with Button but have second thoughts about Perez?


I bet Whitmarsh is kicking himself over not getting Hulkernberg who in my opinion is probably the most talented of the new breed. Di Riesta has a sort of Hamilton fire but needs to know when to shut his mouth. Bottas to has shown that in tricky situations he has some fire in his belly.

However Mclaren have a habit of bouncing back, they did so after they went winless for 3 seasons between 94-97. What they need is a good technical director. I would not be surprised to see Pat Symonds wearing a Mclaren uniform within 2 years.


Alonso to McLaren, Schumacher to Ferrari. You heard it here first.


Let's face it, Perez is a pay driver. Once Telemex hands over the cheque he will be in again . If Telemex does NOT hand over the cheque or baulks on the amount Perez is out and Hulk will be in.


My theory.

Lewis raised the bar for young drivers in top cars. Unless we find another Lewis in a top car will always be disappointed.

Next year give Perez another chance. If he fails to deliver then take a risk and try one of their young drivers

Juan Fernandez (The Spanish Inquisitor)

A discussion about overrated drivers will be very interesting. Is an "official ranking" available?

After Brasil youweall can discuss who was the overrated driver of the season?

A little introduction: this year Alonso has lowered his level.


One wonders if the reason that Perez hasn’t been signed up yet, is because they are looking to apply pressure on him to up his game, which is widely talked about, but also there appears to be no real news on the new title sponsor at McLaren, and this second seat could be the one to help swing the proposed sponsor to come onboard.

The flip side to this, is that the sponsor may wish to hold back a year and wait and see what McLaren does with the new reg’s and where they may fit in the pecking order, as it is all change for 2014. Then they have a new change in power plant, coming the following year, so change again and we know from Honda’s last engine, as you have pointed out, wasn’t that great. Who is therefore to say that they have cracked the engine problem? Yes they will have 12 months or so to look at what Renault, Mercedes, and Ferrari have produced and make any changes in the back ground before showing what they have. Maybe a smart and calculated move on their part.

Plus we have the drivers merry go round again - mid 2014 season to look forward to. When major drivers contracts are up for renewal.

I think if I was a sponsor, I may want to hold back and see how the new reg’s pan out, and who has gone from hero to zero, of the other way from zero to hero. A title sponsor is big money, and into days climate, you really don’t want to waste a single penny of it, as you have to answer to shareholders these days, and they are becoming pretty vocal in how their money is been spend.


Perez is in something of a tight spot, after Button and Hamilton proved so evenly matched (672 vs 657 points in three years respectively) Perez has failed to assert himself against Button this year. Whilst the car hasn't helped, it's capable of reliably scoring points and if it were Hamilton driving the team's tally would probably be double what it is now. Being put up against the known quantity of Jenson Button has really hurt Perez' reputation.


If it were my choice I'd be pursuing Hulkenberg to take his place. Hulk has put a Williams on pole, led in a Force India and put a Sauber third on the grid, three teams, three cars, three years of good results. He's proven it's not a fluke or being flattered by a good car/conditions/luck. His constructors points alone would surely be worth more than Telmex's contribution.


I think hes deserves another year, this is the worst Mclaren car by a long way in the 25 years I have followed F1. I have a feeling with a years experience with the team under his belt and probably a quicker car it could be much better for him.

I have to say as well that I think Jenson Button has been a Mclaren driver one year to long already as well, perhaps Hulkenberg and Perez would be a better pairing?


Does this mean Ferrari were right in letting him go?


For sure, something has gone amiss in Perez's mind for just last season, he was putting in strong performances leaving Kobayashi in his wake.

At Mclaren, he has been there abouts Jenson's vicinity during the race but were he has majorly disappointed is in qualifying.

Yes Jenson isn't a particularly stronger qualifier and if he can make it to Q3 whilst Perez can't, this becomes a very bad sign.

Also difficult cars are a very important barometer that help differentiate the special drivers from the good ones so the 2013 Mclaren car was the worst thing to happen to Perez.

Anyway, maybe the delay announcement is due to the fact that Mclaren are trying to lure Hulkenburg to the team.

According to German's publication, Mclaren has entered the arms race to sign the Hulk and worse still for Perez, apparently his sponsors Telmex haven't yet paid Mclaren.

So yeah, if Mclaren can scoop the Hulk, they would be back on the straight path for unlike Alonso, he's young enough to forge a future with the team for future success whereas Alonso's age requires him to have a rocket from the get go.

As for the Mclaren Honda partnership, unless Mclaren get back the domination from the 80s, I don't see how they can make in-roads with the kind competition we have on the grid.

It's very difficult seeing anybody the Kimi/Alonso/Vettel/Lewis era other than themselves of course.



After what we now know about Kimi's situation - McLaren seem rather reactive and half a step behind or indecisive in building up a strong driver team.

To now say "what's the hurry" - AFTER Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull have locked down their 2014 to 2015 drivers - seems . . . . quaintly relaxed and lacking urgency?

I'd love to see McLaren back as winners. So my comments are more in puzzlement - rather than being critical. I personally could not have built an F1 organization like McLaren - so who am I to be critical.

The "what's the hurry" tone just strikes me as being out of character with the urgency and highly competitive F1 environment. Hence I'm quite puzzled to understand exactly what's happening in such a world class competitor.


I thought Honda were coming back in 2015, not next year...

On the Perez subject, it does make LDM and Ferrari look smart when they said Perez was not ready for them. Car has been difficult, and Button didn't do much with it too, but Perez didn't show anything special and I believe that's where the problem lies.


Perez and Jenson are looking like Alonso and Kimi. Both are on par, both have ups and downs and both are pushing McLaren to their limits.

Then how come Whitmarsh signs on Button, but not Perez?

I am quite surprised to find Perez consistently out-qualifying Jenson. And constantly coming ahead of him in the races. If you tally who came first (never mind the actual positions), you'll probably agree that both are even-steven. That is, both came ahead of each other an equal number of times.

But then, you take into account that Perez had never been in a winning car, has never been a world champion and has never been guided on how to move around in a top team, he seems to be doing quite well. Better than Jenson, dare I say.

So how come people are after Perez?

Or are the fans in love with Jenson's stubble and film star good looks so much that it translates to free get-out-of-jail cards for Jenson as a blind eye to his performance?. Year after year. Race after race?

Gee, look at how gorgeous he looks! Golly, he can do no wrong! -- probably how a million of his fans think.

I wouldn't be surprised if Whitmarsh announced Jenson is marrying his daughter, the way he looks after Jenson these days.

Sorry for the rant, I just had to get this off my chest.


Hi James.

Technically why is McLaren so far behind? Couldn't they solve the ride height issue by now?

I have a suspicion. Take an example of Spain last year. Jenson Button failed to get into Q3. Lewis hamilton was fastest in Q3 by half a second. Can we extrapolate this gap and say Lewis would have qualified higher if he had been in the car?


Great story. Let's hope McLaren get out of this slump soon.

Williams is a good example. Once you lose touch with the leaders - its extremely difficult to build a team up and make a breakthrough. That's the tricky thing about managing human talent - and where the game moves on so quickly. It's all in the people. Money can only do so much.

Blackberry and Nokia are recent examples of a long list. The game moves on, the team loses touch with the market leaders - it's so difficult to catch-up.

Samsung, Sony etc reacted to the game changing iPhone and are still keeping in touch.

Just my 5 cents.


What would you do James? Would you give Perez another year or maybe try Hulk or DiResta even?

I seriously doubt Alonso would go back...If anythings possible dare i say it what about Schumi? hehe



James. I've heard Dennis called Alonso's manager right after the 2007 mayhem which ended leaving the team. In fact, it's said it was the week after the press announcement, asking to forget everything that had happened and have a fresh start.

How much do you know about that story and how much truth is in it?


NickH... You are becoming boring, mate.

You are clearly a rose-tinted Lewis fan and good luck to you on that.

If Hamilton hadn't stuck it in the wall at least twice, through no one's fault but his own... then he would have beaten Button on points over the 3 years.

Had he not rammed several other cars, then he etc,etc, etc....

Faster, undoubtably.. but a better racer, maybe not.


yes, behind, but he wasn't asked to move over ever like some others.


he also crashes more, as is evidenced by his reaching a similar points tally over 3 racing seasons as teammates with a 'slow' driver...


You guys have fallen for the con- Button is a very competitive animal don't be fooled. His antics with Hamilton whilst smiling to the camera is most likely the reason Hamilton left macca.

Time as a way of blurring the fine details

Within an f1 season.


I must be the only person who feels Seb is being looked after even protected at RB - Webber does not have the same equipment and on the rare occasion when he does and is competitive over the weekend you can guarantee his car will fail during race day.

Its painful to see. One bullet proof car one brittle car and no one pulls Horner up about it. It's so obvious.

Maybe James could say something in the next TM brief meeting next race


'Equal points over 2 seasons' BALLS!! If you actually have any knowledge and insight to F1 and still think Jenson 'gave Lewis a good run for his money' you are a[mod] Button is a slow driver, end of. Cue endless posts of.... 'With his ideal setup Jenson can beat anyone' ...which happens maybe once every 2 seasons. Plus his 'amazing' Canada win where he rammed Alonso and put him out and got no penalty!


the pullrod took Ferrari to the botton of top teams the first year they adopted it, specially in Massas car. But they could understand it at med season.

It looks it has been the same with Mclaren.

I have read that Ferrari will use pullrod next year in both in front and behind weels.

they say it would be a good point next year with less aerodinamic downforce


Vettel could win in that McLaren?!?! Don't be silly. They'd have to be far more unusual circumstances than Monza 2008, and in that case Button or any of the top 4 drivers could win.


His race craft? You mean letting other driver past without making contact? What a class driver...not.


And Raikkonen


Quade, I'm a Lewis Hamilton fan, I think he's got more raw speed than any other driver out there. However to say that Button beat Lewis with politics implies that Lewis had his car hobbled by McLaren. This is not true. Button was quick enough in races to apply pressure on Lewis & he found that hard...because he's used to giving pressure not receiving it!

Button's problem is that he drives the way he drives & lacks the flexibility to drive round problems...Lewis & Alonso have this ability. If the car is perfect though, he's as quick, if not quicker than anyone out there!

This years McLaren is a dog, but I agree, Lewis may have pulled it round to a 3rd place..but over the entire season, there would have been nothing between the 2 of them on points.


Button only beat Lewis with politics, that's why they started out as friends (with a welcoming Lewis) and ended up near enemies (with a sniping Jenson).

The F1 paddock is whispering the Lewis would have put the car on the podium by now, because they know best. We should listen to the experts.


Personally I think Alonso is edging past his prime. But yet he's been a WDC contender for the last two years, and has finished 2nd in the last 3 races.

It'll be interesting to compare Vettel and Alonso back in his prime. But that's the trouble with the sands of time - they move on.

I think that's why Alonso was reacting with the urgency and frustration over Ferrari's car development - because he feels his window of peak performance is closing.

To me Alonso today may not be the fastest over a single lap, but his racing skills are right up there.

A bit like Federer in tennis - not the strongest or quickest or fittest tennis player today - but his high skill level allows him to stay in touch with younger ones in their prime.

That said - while I think he's one of the top drivers, I'm not a fan of his cloak and dagger behaviour.


"a prime Schumacher (1994 – 2002), Raikkonen (2003 2005) and Vettel now would decimate both of them"

Let's talk again next year then... Oh wait, that would not be a prime Raikkonen (2003 2005), if he get's beaten he will be a decadent Raikkonen (2014). I think a prime Hulkenberg (2010 Brazil last Q3 lap) would decimate them all...


And Vettel's the picture of grace??

"I'm faster than him; do something!"

"It's Vergne! And now I've hit a marker!"

"That was a stupid overtake!"

"Kimi gave me no room!"

The "what the hell?" hands in Hungary '10, Malaysia '12, Germany '12.

The thrown gloves at Valencia '12, questioning his own team in Canada '10 and Monza '10, thinking they were screwing with him.

To be fair, they're all like that somewhat, but Vettel's a bit more than most.


if my memory serves me right, a younger Ron Dennis, i think sometime back in 1998, approached a certain von baron Schumi (then in his third year at Ferrari), to leave the Scuderia and join the silver arrows... but young schumi said no.

schumi like alonso had had a tough few years... it was touch and go, but the german hung on in there said no the offer (and others i hear) and led the team from marenello into a revival era 2000-2004.


Lol, probably saw Heikki in the simulator, and promptly concluded that they better get Fernando back. 🙂

That probably took around a week, like you are mentioning. XD


Mansell, Hill, Villeneuve.


How many f1 races this season have you been watching and indeed are you watching the same season as everyone else?

JB is far quicker than perez.

JB is old school a gentleman racer and he plays the team game.

Maybe there should be a top driver super team all running the same kit the we would see how quick JB LH SV FA ETC ARE IN THE SAME CAR


Whitmarsh has yet to confirm either driver.

BUT, there is an option on Jenson for 2014.

The option is HELD by Jenson. It is up to

him to renew. Martin has no say. It is expected that JB will (naturally) renew the option. Perez is a different kettle of fish.


For the record, Ms. Whitmarsh recently got engaged to a very nice non-racing driver. No need to fear.


You poor man. Your inbox must be overloaded. Were you trying to break the record of most responses to a post? 😉


I think it was actually Button's option to take up.


How can you say Button and Perez are on par? The first has 54 points and the later got only 22.

Perez can be as fast as Button, or even faster, but one can't evaluate them by pure speed, specially when one is a senior smart driver that know how to keep a safe margin to the limits, and the other is a hot blood rookie willing to show his value, most of the time very near the limits, what leads to the amount of "bad luck" situations. IMHO, the 54-22 reflects their real value.


He's a British driver, world champion, in a British team.


You are[mod] if you believe that Perez is consistently out-qualifying Button and is even with him on races.

This year Button has out-qualified Perez 8-5 and outraced him 10-3. JB's average qualifying position is 8.00 and he's made it to Q3 on 10 occasions so far. Perez has an average qualifying position of 11.15 and has made it to Q3 5 times. Incidentally the same ratio applies to races; Button finished in the points 10 times compared to 5 for Perez.

The reality is that Button has convincingly outperformed Perez this year so far in the worst Mclaren for decades. It's blindingly obvious to anyone with a semblance of objectivity that Mclaren are way off the pace this year compared to Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari and Lotus. Before the tyre changes even Force India were competing with Mclaren on pace.

I think Button is doing a solid job this year at Mclaren. I'm willing to entertain the possibility that if Hamilton was still at Mclaren, he might have achieved a podium finish by now but the more important question is would he be ahead of Button on points? Honestly I don't think that's something that can be predicted with confidence.



Qualification 8 to 5 in Button favour

Race position results 10 to 3 in Button favour, including DNF's

Points 54 vs. 22.

Not a particular fan, by the way(except of his mesmerisingly lovely girlfriend).


There's just one simple reason.

Perez is 32 points behind Button.

The issue with Perez is not that he is inherently slower than Button, rather, it's that his consistency is terribly erratic. Yes, he generally matches his teammate on race-pace, but he's throwing away too many opportunities for points on unnecessary risks. Take Monaco or Spa, for example.

Perez is a young driver, but he is not a rookie anymore, and some of his errors cannot be excused solely on his inexperience. Teams are not so nearly as capricious and superficial to determine the merit of a driver based on their public appeal; merit is founded upon performance, and performance alone. The fact of the matter is, Perez has underperformed, even with consideration to Button's experience and his World Championship. He desperately needs to stabilize his consistency if he wishes to be with the team for the long term.

That's not to say that the Mexican doesn't have potential; he does. With a potential Alonso return and Vandoorne/Magnussen waiting in the wings however, he's running out of time to demonstrate to McLaren that he can get the job done.


Hi LH,

"I am quite surprised to find Perez consistently out-qualifying Jenson. And constantly coming ahead of him in the races. If you tally who came first (never mind the actual positions), you’ll probably agree that both are even-steven. That is, both came ahead of each other an equal number of times."

As far as I can make out, on GP finishing position alone so far this season it's Jenson 10 and Sergio 3.

So, far from equal (BUT has beaten PER 3:1) and I don't understand how you can say that's PER "constantly beating BUT in the races".

Also, PER got his 3 wins over BUT in the first 7 races, so was holding his own against BUT at that time. However, BUT has won all of the last 6. McLaren will be looking at trends as well as absolute figures (Jenson currently has more than twice as many points) - and it looks like Sergio started well enough but has since struggled.


That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever read! There's no way Jenson marries Whitmarsh's daughter - have you seen his girlfriend?!? 🙂


It's amazing how little scrutiny Button gets from the media and from McLaren. When McLaren had bad days most of pressure was directed at Hamilton to elevate the team or explain why they are underperforming. However, when the time comes to deliver praise or asses the drivers performance, Button always gets good marks and is included in the group of elite drivers. Its all because Button is a champion. Most journalist and Whitmarsh completely disregard the circumstances behind that title. I can't believe how much pressure they are putting on Perez. Maybe its corporate survival tactics by MW and Button. Perez is in a new team, dealing with a bad car, yet is right on Button tail. Is Perez the scapegoat?


sounds like you find JB very attractive and your rather bonkers suggestion is out of jealousy.


@LH "If you tally who came first (never mind the actual positions), you’ll probably agree that both are even-steven." Please explain, a quick look at the standings shows JB on 54, SP on 22. JB has scored 71% of Mclarens points so far this season. Your comment obviously highlights your distaste for JB.


Dont worry about it, if I had that much rubbish on my chest I would want to get it off as well......


Ha ha ha this made me laugh. I agree with you about Perez he needs another go at it just to see whether or not its down to the shitbox of the Maclaren. I feel some people are being too critical of young Sergio.

Maclaren maybe just seeing how serious Alonso really is about joining them in 2014! if he does bonus! However if they cant reach a deal then sign him up for 2015 with Honda.

Certain bridges are being built.....


Excuse me, in what dimension Perez is consistently out-qualifying Button? He just did it 5 times out of 13 races.

And by the way, Jenson has 71% of the points Mclaren have in the championship.


I imagine that the team is in fact quite interested in the relative number of points they have scored, as that is the idea of the game is it not?


When last did you check the score board ? JB 54 / SP 22 points. He earned less then 1/2 vs. his own team mate. It speaks volumes. I do not know for Whitmarsh's daughter but if I was her would be definitely more interested in that guy with 54 points in the Championship.


Err maybe I was just too blinded by Buttons fabulous film star good looks but I thought he was thrashing Perez pretty much completely. Course I'm just going off the scores and you know how us ditzy Button fans are when he flashes his playboy grin etc...;)


I agree with you entirely. Jenson is one of the most overrated drivers out there and yet nothing can tarnish that image for some reason. The fact that the team have openly shown their desire for Alonso proves that they don't consider Jenson on the same level. If I were Jenson I know I'd interpret it that way.


i agree what you say about jenson, even though im a fan he s done really badly this year.


Well to be frank, Button has nearly 150% of the points that Perez does, whilst losing a number of places in races trying aggressive strategies (and them not working out) and has generally got a lot more out of the car than Perez. Button is also a world champion, one of only three drivers currently racing to have won at three different teams, and is low maintenance and high reward in terms of sponsors.

Perez is young, flighty, has had chances to win and missed them (nearly stacked the Sauber behind Alonso), has raced and qualified poorly this year, and no longer looks like a potential future world champion.

Whitmarsh favours Button because in the entire time he has been there he has caused no trouble and produced results. And he knows if he put him in a team with Alonso or the like then he would be fine, that his ego wouldn't get in the way, in the same way as Vettel's has with Webber, and Alonso and Hamilton did in 2007.

And finally everyone, pretty much, though Hamilton would destroy Button, and Button for the most part held his own. That is impressive and marks him out as a truly special talent, even if he is not one of the big 3.


Actually, Jenson's beaten Sergio 10 times out of 13 and has 54 points vs 22.

Which is hardly "even-stevens" is it?


Button has been signed because he is demonstrably better than Perez. He has scored over twice the number of points that Perez has managed this year and has qualified 1.5 places ahead of his team mate on average this season.

Jenson also outscored Lewis in their three years as team mates.

He is also very popular in Japan which with Honda coming back in 2015 won't hurt.

Perez on the other hand has put him out of contention in several races this season.


Well you can get whatever you want off your chest but any fool can see Jenson over this season has out performed Perez and Jenson is not exactly at his best, for example Jenson has done a better job than Hamilton at beating his team mate clearly, that's my opinion anyway.


Driver points: Button 54. - Perez 22 (and is also behind both Force India drivers)

Highest finish: Button 5th - Perez 6th

Number of points finishes: Button 10 - Perez 6

Average qualifying position: Button 9.92 - Perez 11.38

Head-to-head qualifying: Button 8 - Perez 5

Regardless of past accomplishments, this season Button has clearly performed much better than Perez.


Is that you Lewis (LH)? What‘s up, having trouble with your dawgs? 🙂


erm.... Qualifying 8-5 to Button, races 10-3 to Button, laps ahead 496-269 to Button, Points 54-22 to Button ...


If you consider being out-qualified by Jenson 8-5, and finishing behind 10-3,as "consistently out-qualifying", and "constantly coming ahead of him in the races", well then...yeah.


Can we just put positions back into the argument for a moment? Without looking at the tables I’m well aware that Jenson ran Lewis very close on points over each season they were teammates, and Jenson is currently on about double Chico’s points tally.

With a cold eye on money (positions = points = money) then it’s obvious who should be retained.


LH - you are mad. Jenson has more than double the points of Perez and has outqualified him by 8-5 on average is 0.411 seconds quicker in qualy

Perez has only 40% of Jenson's points total

If Jenson is so poor, Perez must be awful

However the username LH gives it away, I assume you'll deny JB outscored LH in points on aggregate for 3 seasons 😉


I don't think this is quite correct.

"...Perez consistently out-qualifying Jenson. And constantly coming ahead of him in the races..."


@LH I have just tallied it up, and just so you know, the quali score between Jenson and Sergio is 8-5 to Jenson, and Jenson has finished in front of Sergio 11 times out of 13. Now I wouldn't say they were "even stevens" tbh...


Jenson has an option to renew his contract for one year, which he will of course exercise.Hence, Jenson is settled for next year, but for 2015 not quiet. Also, I don't think Perez will be in any other car come 2014.


Well there are 32 points between the two in the standings, with Button on top. That is substantial, especially since the car is mediocre.

Mclaren jumped the gun when they hired Perez. They know how Button stacks up to a top driver like Hamilton. The team can then see where Perez sits. It's obvious the team wants someone better than Button, and Perez certainly isn't.

The Alonsos, Vettels, Hamiltons all were brilliant in their debut seasons, no matter the car they were in. Once they got into good cars, they won. Perez is not in that group. The tire lotto helped Perez luck into the Mclaren drive. Hell Williams even won a race.

Perhaps the tallent is there with Perez, but he is buckling under the pressure. Button even hinted at it.


Remember back when Jenson moved to McLaren, just after winning the championship with Brawn? When everyone thought he was making a terrible mistake, and that he would immediately undo the goodwill he earned as a champion, by getting trounced, race after race by Lewis Hamilton?

It didn't quite work out like that, did it? Just like Hamilton didn't quite trounce Rosberg anywhere near as comprehensively as people thought he would. Frankly, I think Rosberg was and is underrated and LH overrated, even if the latter is indeed a bit better than the former...

But where does this leave Button? Yes LH was usually faster in qualy, but JB was the more consistent finisher of the two.

So looking at their current lineup, McLaren confirmed the driver that's always guaranteed to bag the points, and are unsure about the one they were hoping to be The Next Big Talent... because they're not sure that he is.

Seems perfectly reasonable to me.

Now, how about Hulkenberg? I'd love to see him in a competitive McLaren...


If you look at Button's history particularly in not perfect cars against the likes of Barichelo and Hamilton(good cars also) and look at Perez against Kobayashi I'm not so sure they are getting the best out of the McLaren.

Button has out qualified Perez 7-5 and out raced him 9-3 although some of them races he was probably ordered to stay behind.

I also wouldn’t be surprised if Whitmarsh announced Jenson is marrying his daughter such is the love in between the two.


Qualy is 8-5 in Button's favor and the fact he has more than twice Sergio's points speaks for itself. They're close, without doubt, but Button's definitely got an edge especially in the races and he's always been a better racer than qualifier (look at the number of times he's matched Lewis in races despite not being able match his one lap pace).

The idea that McLaren would have gained a podium by now with Lewis in the car makes me laugh, the gap between them and the top 4 teams has been pretty big all season.


"And constantly coming ahead of him in the races" ??

Aus: JB=9, SP=11

Mal: JB=17, SP=9

Chi: JB=5, SP=11

Bah: JB=10, SP=6

Spa: JB=8, SP=9

Mon: JB=6, SP=16

Can: JB=12, SP=11

GB : JB=13, SP=20

Ger: JB=6, SP=8

Hun: JB=7, SP=9

Bel: JB=6, SP=11

Ita: JB=10, SP=12

Sin: JB=7, SP=8

Which gives us 10-3 in JB's favour, does it not? I mean, if you look at it objectively.


Er LH, Button has outqualified Perez 8-5, (fair enough they are quite close there), but he has finished ahead 10-3, which does show a bit of a difference bewteen the two. As does having over twice as many points.

You are right though, the stubble and film star good looks do play an important part in these statistics


May be they preferred an experience driver for all those changes and task of development in 2014?


Actually, Jenson has finished ahead of Perez in most races and if you take into account that Perez is Hamilton's replacement (who was arguably better than Button), it's a terrible replacement.

That's not considering the forming reputation of Perez as an "unsafe" driver.

And besides, Button is not even in the top 5 of handsome drivers...Bianchi absolutely destroys him.


Now now, Lewis...


Perez has beaten Button 3 times out of 13 outings.

Not sure where you got your figures from.


Which races do you see?

Points: Button 54pts Perez 22pts

Qualy: Button 8 ahead Perez 5 ahead

Qualy advantage: Button 0.411s average faster

Races ahead: Button 10 Perez 3

where is the "constantly finishing ahead"?


Actually in qualifying, Button leads Perez 8-5.

In the race results, Button leads Perez 8-2 in the races where both finished.

In the races where Perez retired, Button finished 6th and 13th. In the only race Button retired, Perez finished 9th.

The stats show Perez was pretty much trashed by Button..so I don't understand why you say Perez is "consistently out-qualifying Jenson. And constantly coming ahead of him in the races."

You better check again


Hi Lewis,

Good for you that your chest feels lighter. But the reality is completely different. Jenson-54, Perez-22.


Ouch..! I'm not Jenson but that stings me... Did you maybe have a crush on Whitmarsh's daughter?


Consistently out qualifying Jenson? And CONSTANTLY coming ahead of him in races?

What have you been watching? Or smoking??

Jenson has never been the best qualifier and I would expect Perez to at least match Button's pace. But so far Button is beating Sergio in both the qualifying, and race battle.

I do however think he should stay. He's had a tough season, but likewise, a tough car to deal with.

Anyone remember Jenson's second season with a tough car. His worst season and a season in which had he not got a drive in 2002, there would have been no argument. He was terrible.


This is of course hilarious biting satire from Mr Hamilton 🙂 A quick look at the season so far will tell you that Jenson has outqualified Checo by 8:5 so far. Perhaps not quite as much as might be expected given how closely matched Jenson and Lewis had been in the same car over their 3 year partnership. In (only!) 7 races where both cars have finished, Button has finished ahead of Perez 6 times. This is reflected in the WDC standings : Button 54, Perez 22.


Great rant 😀

I see two main reasons to retain Jenson and drop Perez.

1) Button has experience and thus crucial next season as regulations change.

2) Perez doesn't bring enough money to supplement the form deficiency.


If it wer not for all the team f...ups and car unreliability Jenson would have been destroyed by Lewis last seasons, or have you forgotten that.


Well said...you picked up all the major points as to why I am a JB fan in one post. And you are right, I think JB is one of the few top drivers that can partner with Alonso successfully - not only does JB not have the ego problems, but he and Alonso are both "old hands" and have come up together. I actually can see them both wanting it in some ways - it would make the McLaren garage a hell of a place to be a fly on the wall.


Not sure Raikkonen would be P1 in that list today. 10 years ago maybe

Hamilton or Vettel would be P1 today if you ask the active engineers across F1 teams


I think the engineers made a mistake in reinventing the wheel in the last year of these regulations. They also have a serious problem with their wind tunnel and correlation

Hamilton leaving was a blow to their morale and left them with the least potent driver line up of the top teams

Hamilton is able to get more out of a difficult car than Button, but the real lack of competitiveness comes from the car


Those finishes you mention owed a lot to a Williams or Ferrari (or both) blowing up or otherwise not finishing... a much more common event back then than now, but I take your point.


Carrying his water...


unfortunately Michael is not at the age he could do anything to Kimi next year, maybe in 2007 he would have beaten Kimi but not next year.


Senna probably would have delivered them a title by now. It took Michael until his 5th year, but they hadn't won a driver's title for 20 years, so... Alonso isn't in their league, and deserved to be censured for consistently bagging the team to the media.


Agree with Doobs. Massa could be particularly useful in understanding the pullrod suspension he's been using at Ferrari since last year.


@W Johnson:

Massa is not good enough alongside Alonso. He would be more than good enough alongside Button.


If he's not good enough for Ferrari, he is unlikely to be for McLaren.


I understand your point but McLaren cannot take their number 1 rivals reject. That would be admitting defeat and would be like saying they are just a mid field team


Yes Rob Wilson... According to him (recorded in the Flying Lap):

Fastest drivers over one lap (from faster to slower):

1) Raikkonen

2) Hamilton

3) Vettel

4) Button

5) Alonso

I wonder what was he thinking about... Not precisely a guru for me...

Regarding Perez, I post here some statistics I already posted before:

Head to head quali 2010: Kobayashi 7-Pedro de la Rosa 7

Head to head quali 2012: Kobayashi 9-Pérez 10

Head to head quali 2013: Button 8-Pérez 5

I actually think loosing 8-5 against Button is better than being on par against Kobayashi. So it is not his performance this year, he is the driver he is, nothing more and nothing less.


Leyton House. Williams. McLaren. Red Bull.


Wendlinger. Senna/Prost. Hakkinen. Vettel.

Got it? 😉


6 races at the front whilst Jenson was always battling for 14th? Well maybe the truth has been distorted slightly there but you got a point, Jenson when off the boil and out of touch can be a hard thing to watch, beaten by Fisi, Ralf, Trulli, Rubens and Sato on occasions, now what sort of achievements is it for Hamilton to do the same to him like all these average drivers? But then you could say when Jensom is on form and settled with a setup he beats all of them, Hamilton was dropped by Button at Melbourne last year as well as Brazil before the safety car, that's why it swings around with both of them and they end up close on points, wasn't it Jenson that was always fighting at the front in the 2nd half of 2011 whilst Hamilton seemed clueless and always fighting behind and crashing with Massa?? At the end of the day none of them 2 are complete drivers but on their day they're a handful for anyone will either win the title again? Without a significant car advantage NO! Will Vettel win more titles even with Ferrari? Yes, roll on 2014.


"I put Button there because he is up there (above Hamilton for me personally..."

Then I understand why you put Vettel ahead of Alonso... Don't bother to answer, in just one year you will realize number 2) really are two numbers, as you will see there is quite a differene between those two drivers. Maybe that will give you a better picture of what the pecking order is, as you seem to be quite confused right now...


Vettel best driver? Hahahaha


Agree. Fisichella was seen to be fast in one lap, but how many races did he win?


"I didn’t think Perez was all that special anyway". Well put. Have a look at this:

Head to head quali 2010: Kobayashi 7-Pedro de la Rosa 7

Head to head quali 2012: Kobayashi 9-Pérez 10


Do you want to bet?


It's Lewis first year at Merc he's already ahead of Rosberg, and pulling the forward with him.

Nico is clearly not on Lewis's level, but hey no-one is....

As for Hulk, the team principals know better that's why neither McLaren or Lotus is excited about him.


I would sign Filipe over Hulk any day.

No team is even talking about Hulk.


Of course who would?

Alonso should continue seeking that move to RBR.

Once RBR have realised the gross mistake they've made in signing Ricciardo, they'll only be too happy to sign ALO.


Thanks a lot!

Interesting what you're saying. Newey says he'll retire when he's 60. That could means 5 more years of winning (and booing unfortunately).



Not a fan of either driver (don't dislike as well), but there is no room for argument, Lewis is clearly the faster of the two.



Button has scored over twice as many points as Perez this season and is the only driver to give LH a run for his money in the same car (except Alonso in Lewis' rookie year!). I agree that Button may not have LH or Sebs raw pace, but his race-craft is only matched by Alonso IMO.


Count with your hands, count with your fingers, with the inside out or with lots of ginger….

But they both still are 2 average drivers in a mediocre car…

If Honda wants to win, they need a thrill…

Only Ham or/+ Alo will !!!


Count with your hands, count with your fingers, with the inside out or with lots of ginger….

But they both still are two average drivers in a mediocre car…

If Honda wants to win, they need a thrill…

Only Ham or/+ Alo will !!!


Count with your hands, count with your fingers, with the inside out or with lots of ginger....

But they both steal are two average drivers in a mediocre car...

If Honda wants to win, they need a thrill...

Only Ham or/+ Alo will !!!


Yep Blacberry were just sold for less than 1% of its value at its peak. Bad example! But McLaren are no Blackberry!


JA was already talking about engineers saying that Lewis likely would've scored a podium by now with the car. But a win is different.

China 2007 ... Vettel snagged 4th by going on a one-stop strategy. Good result for him. He still ended up 53 sec's down, the best of the rest (non McLaren/Ferrari). McLaren's strategy of leaving Lewis out there when 4th was a formality looks even crazier now, considering the gap the red and silver cars had on the others that year.

And where did Liuzzi finish in the other STR though? Oh yeah, 6th!

And in Japan? Liuzzi finished 9th, starting from the pitlane, after he went for a dry-weather setup!! That STR was good in the rain, w/o doubt. Good enough to avoid running into the back of a car behind the SC, surely. That was avoidable, and was just Vettel thinking that Hamilton was making his run. Rookie error (they happen).

But really, why am I still going on? You and Tealeaf really do the job for me, so I'll just end there. 🙂


I'd bet on Seb being at least on the podium by now in this McLaren, maybe even a race win or 2 he is just so much better than the entire field if there was a wet race it'd be like Senna at Donington 93 or Schumacher at Barcelona 96 or maybe even as Tealeaf said Seb at Monza 08. More impressive is Japan and China 07 for Seb driven the useless Torro Rosso car for only a couple of races and in the wet in Japan without that inexperience of goiung back into Webber coz of Hamilton's dodgy behaviour behind the safety car he would of got a podium maybe even the win who knows but the very next race in that dog of a car to finish 4th was unbelievable, it's like asking a 19 year old talented driver without any experience in F1 this year right now just jump into the Sauber and run at the front at the next couple of races.. yes almost seems laughable but Vettel can win in this McLaren under difficult conditions no doubt about it.


Well it would seem that people in the know also seem to claim that McLaren needs an LH, FA, KR or SV to get the most out of the car so there's disagreement on that level too, not just in the realms of fandom. The fact that Whitmarsh was so vocal about wanting FA is probably confirmation in itself that Button isn't at that ultra top level. If Button were rated at that level, then I doubt Whitmarsh would've said what he said last weekend. I could be wrong but that's how I interpret it anyway.


I mean MW not MH


Yeah and last!!!



I love you.

I can only dream. Michael would do to Kimi what he should have done in 2007.


Alonso said about his (first?) move to McLaren, he chose the team because: (a) he was looking for a fresh challenge and (b) the team are always there or thereabouts in terms competitiveness. I think, this year McMerc are just having an annus horribilis and will bounce back next year. Lewis did say that one thing most impressive about the team is their engineering strength in depth and its ability to rapidly develop the car.

I think, the current top 5 drives in F1 right now are:

1 - Vettel (c)

2 - Alonso

3 - Hamilton

4 - Raikkonen

5 - Rosberg

Of that lot, Mercedes have 2, Ferrari (will) have 2 and Red-Bull has 1. McLaren? ZERO. So it makes perfect sense for them to have a go at Alonso - whose situation is most vulnerable right now, considering the impending fall-out at Ferrari(?) Although, it would be better if Fernando still stayed at Ferrari in 2014, then move to McLaren-Honda in 2015, just so he can beat Raikkonen. Not that I have anything against Kimi, but just so Alonso can prove his doubters/haters wrong.



He must be crazy to leave Ferrari.


For Vettel to join McLaren they need a £40m cheque waved in his face plus bonuses for winning the championship and races all adding adding up to about £100m including endorsements, a car that's comparable to the 2012 car and an agreement to say there wouldn't be someone like Ron Dennis favouring the number 2 driver and "basically we're racing our number 1", no dodgy short shaved hair and a dull dress code, so all in all its a big ask but in reality McLaren is not Vettel material he'll only be going to Ferrari or maybe his home team of Mercedes.


These stats put together basically show how disappointing Perez has been.


+1. Button only matched ham on 'stats' because ham broke down more


Well I don't know how you get that swear word not detected by the moderators is quite remarkable, anyway Lewis was not 'up to speed' straight away, it was years of grooming at lower formulas working his way up and then miles of testing, understanding the car and god knows how much time in the simulator then he was ready, in comparison, Alonso went into the team never driven the Bridgestone tyre s like Hamilton did in GP2, Hamilton had more miles in the McLaren car and simulator so all this rookie argument is a farce, it doesn't explain why Hamilton has got worse and worse as the years gone by unlike Alonso, it's got to the point where Rosberg blows away Hamilton in quali at Singapore and beats him in the race and its a normal thing, if that happened in 2008 everyone would be in a state of shock.


Because that was all down to the wrong fundamental set up for spa, we even got the telemetry. Different to when Jenson went about 6 races in a row last year running about 14th when Lewis was battling at he front.


Exactly look at the performances of Button against Hamilton at Spa last year or Suzuka from the past 2 years, Jenson was winning races and challenging Seb for many years at McLaren, dare I say it more so than Hamilton on average.


Contracts are made to be broken. Ask Kimi.


You don't know that.


Well actually McLaren are trying to turn into the same model as Ferrari, they're half way there, the road car division is still young but their facilities are state of the art now, shame Williams didn't try to go the same way from the 90's, they could be a big company now instead of a dying F1 team mirroring their aging owner just like Tyrrel, Minardi and Arrows.


Actually they both do especially when things gets tough.


Alonso and Hamilton are both overrated, a prime Schumacher (1994 - 2002), Raikkonen (2003 2005) and Vettel now would decimate both of them and make them cry like they normally do when things don't go right. I'd bet Hulkenberg and Bianchi would make them struggle like mad as well not to mention the likes of the journeymen Button and Rosberg who both had shown they can fight with Hamilton quite comfortably and not be embarrassed.


Hamilton takes the title for Mercedes next season? this is so funny, I certainly hope for that to happen Mercedes holds a 0.6sec advantage over the field, otherwise Lulu will again disintegrate after mid season as usual.


I don't think Alonso would beat Jenson easily if they had equal treatment, in fact I say if the car was almost perfect like the Brawn was first half of 2009 Jenson would beat Alonso.


Cope being beaten by his team mate?


I think it is worse than the 1995-96 cars, even those cars managed the odd top three finish, with a couple of second places as well, and the 1997 car won three times.

Still time for some better results this year, but I still think this is the worst Mclaren for a long long time.


Maybe, depends how long he carries on for. Vettel won't leave Red Bull for Ferrari as long as Newey is making faster cars..


I'm curious if the drivers view Mclaren as a top team now. Mercedes looks to be on the rise and is expected to do well into the future. Ferrari is always there abouts, and Red Bull has been dominant. Mclaren seems to be falling back into obscurity.


Hamilton and Button might have been close on points in their time together but over the 3 years Hamilton out qualified Button 44-14 and 24-13 in races where both finished.


Worse McLaren in 25 years? I don't think it's as bad as their '95 to '97 cars... yes the latter got a win, but in rather spurious circumstances, and at a time when reliability isn't what it is now.


Alonso contracted to Ferrari until 2016 - fact.

Alonso going on the record recently confirming that and also saying that he's like to extend this and end his career there - also fact.

Whitmarsh going on the record saying they had had no contact with Alonso or his management - another fact.

Ferrari not sanctioning their star driving going to one of their closest drivers whilst under contract to them, not fact, no, that comes under the heading of "balance of probabilities."

Try engaging your brain before your fingers hit the keyboard. Idiot.


Yes would work well. JB is one of a few drivers who could cope


McLaren is a privateer - they actually have to turn a profit, unlike Ferrari, Red Bull, or Mercedes - who all exists as advertising expenses of their parent corporations. They could NEVER compete paywise for Newey, Hamilton, etc. That isn't short-sighted, that is simply not having a big enough checkbook to hire the highest paid talent and still keep a top development program.

It's easy to try to pin this on individuals, but what this is is really a symptom of the entire sport's economics turning towards big manufacturers that run their teams as advertising departments. If you can't afford LH, Vettel, or Alonso, then you hire and keep JB. That's not being stupid, that is simply knowing the size of your checkbook and taking the next-best point scoring machine after the Big 3.


Sadly however there are 4(5/Lotus?) top teams... and Ferrari have 2 of the top 4 drivers.

1) Vettel

2) Alonso Raikonen

4) Hamilton/Button

I put Button there because he is up there (above Hamilton for me personally but im a Button fan so)WHEN the car is right, again its the narrow bandwidth thing.

There are none of the wider bandwidth top drivers available so Button it is! Button Hamilton was the perfect partnership. British icons, Buttons need for perfect car balances Hamiltons wide bandwidth

Buttons gentleman driver appeal to Hamiltons fire.

Buttons stable mindset compared to Hamiltons weakness to external factors.

Imagine them in a strong Mclaren vs Ferrari with Alonso and kimi...vs Red Bull with Vettel


"LH has a spoilt childs mentality"

LOL, what is Alonso then?

You must be joking.


This year the largest budgets are Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes. Those three teams are also the top three in the constructors, there is little substitute for sheer industrial might (unless you're based in Enstone, must be something in the water).


+1 on all points. I really, really wanted a Button / Hulk line-up, especially after their wet weather duel on slicks at Interlagos last year. To me, that is when Hulk proved he can clearly race with the big boys...and it was also when JB confirmed that yes, he lacks the single lap pace of the top 4 or 5, but his race skill is still superb.


Massa For Macca!!


Yep! Jenson is pretty much Honda's British ambassador 🙂 I am sure he will still be in that car come 2015


Exactly, I would add that Jenson (his Japanese popularity) is possibly also a small part of the reason (their history being the large part) that they are returning with Mclaren.


Yes indeed.. stop the button bashing! The Singapore grand prix proves that the points are delivered on a Sunday not Saturday! Being quick on Saturday just proves you are quick over a single lap! Which might look great to judge the pace of drivers but it is not.

"Quick" is defined as knowing when to push and when to stay back and wait and let the strategy work itself out. We all know which drivers were "quick" in Singapore and which one's were completely puzzled to where they were in the race!


Based on their time together at McLaren I think it's safe to say what Hamilton would definitely be qualifying higher up the grid than Button has this year, though that's not saying much. And also that his actual race results would not be that much different than what Button has managed.


Yes of course Hamilton could qualify higher but then this is more than just that, Jenson is able to be near the front with every McLaren car so far and can easily win races when given the chance but this car is a dog no one can win in it maybe apart from Vettel and in unusual circumstances like Monza 2008, this car looks the part but maybe it's something to do with the pullrod setup, just guessing.


How about we take Canada 2011 race as an example

instead, where Hamilton crashed his car into the barriers and Jenson overtook everyone twice.. I think we all know Lewis is a bit quicker but it's quite obvious that Jenson is not McLaren's problem right now, can we stop with this Button bashing, please.



On what basis can you extrapolate that based on a single race, whilst Jenson was going through a patch of poor form with him and his engineers failing to understand the car?

What about the time Jenson out qualified Lewis at Spa? Why not extrapolate that to calculate Jenson's performance in the current Mercedes?


Butto has had three or four years with the team to be fair.


Massa needs a ride, and would appear to meet both criteria.


To all of you who like statistics, you forgot one:

Jenson Button - 13 and a half years in F-1;4 and a half years in McLaren; 1 world championship.

Sergio Perez - 2 and a half years in F-1;half a year in McLaren; 0 world championships.


But Apple needed help from one of their sworn enemies - Gates - to help turn it around.

That ain't gonna happen in F1.


The sponsor is only valuable if he pays. Similarly speed is only useful if you reach the finish, Checo's biggest problem this year has been that he seems to be able to go faster than Button or finish the race, but not both.


I think he needs a second year to really prove or disprove himself. However, given the rumoured silliness coming from Telmex I think he is increasingly unlikely to get it, even less so if Hulkenberg expresses an interest in Mclaren.


Let's bring Alberto Ascari back while we're at it.


Di Resta? At his current form even his Force India drive is under threat nevermind a top team, now Hulk's best bet is that Lotus seat and see if Ferrari or Redbull has a seat available in a few years time depending on Vettel and Alonso's movements but Schuey for McLaren as a stop gap? now there's a thought.


I think perez was the wroung choice, but he really deserves another year to see what he can do, McLaren have giving him a stinker of a car to drive..


Mclaren needs another Hamilton. The only place they will find one is either getting Alonso back or pulling in one of their young guns. They surely know how competitive those two are, so maybe that's why they haven't yet? I don't see Hulk as being better than Button, maybe an equal?


Or get Alonso in the McLaren and stick Schumi back in the Ferrari alongside Kimi.


Admit it, Alonso and Button in the same team would be magical don't you reckon James?


It's old hat now. Several factual errors I know of in the opening passage. So I'm not sure what is true and what isn't

It's not journalism. I know that much


Yes, the Williams example is quite good. Somehow I think that some teams begin to loose touch with the leaders, the day their driver line-up loose quality. Do not subestimate the contribution of the driver to the equation!

Just look at the performances of Seb, Rai or Alo against their team mates. If the performance of the RB, Lotus or Ferrari should be judged through the results of Web, Gros or Mas, probably those three teams would fall into a crisis, ones deeper than others.

Engineers, team personnel and factory people are highly professionals however humans, and it is difficult to maintain them motivated if they begin to believe that their drivers are not extracting the 100% of the cars they made.

They will be missing LH at McLaren quite a lot these days.


Very good point, Blockbusters springs to mind also. Lets see how they do with Honda, it might not be too late...yet.


You're comparing 2 completely different things and the similarities are too hard to see here, also McLaren has slumped before just look at 1993-1996, 2002, 2004, 2006 and even 2009 before they turned a corner after mid season, I'm confident they'll be back but maybe they need a Alonso or even Hamilton back, Jenson is great in a car that's hooked up but with a poor car he is next to useless.


You dont have to look past the company that you quote in your argument - Apple.


Blackberry is still doing fine in many parts of the world (and nobody in Europe had heard of them when they were taking the US by storm), and Nokia have just been bought by Microsoft... so you might want to re-think this one.


Actually that should be 10 times out of 13...

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