Category Archives: Jenson Button

From Disappointment to Elation in China

The biggest problem with not blogging on race day is that I tend to forget things 24 hours on, but I’ll try my best! First and foremost, what an awesome performance in China from Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton to come in 1st and 2nd respectively – the first McLaren 1-2 since the 2007 Malaysian Grand Prix where Fernando Alonso won the race, with Lewis Hamilton coming in 2nd.

It was a contrast of driving, with a serene drive from the front, after some tyre change fiascos, for Button, compared to the aggressive and attacking race from Hamilton. It was another Button initiated tyre change strategy which eventually saw him win the race, just 1 second ahead of his team mate. Though Hamilton may not have won, he once again provided the entertainment as he out on yet another over taking master class, the highlight of which was the two times he successfully overtook Michael Schumacher.

Lewis Hamilton in China

Photo Credit: www.mclaren.com

One massive positive to take away from Shanghai is the speed of the McLaren MP4-25 which seemed to be up there with the best, and in the control of Lewis Hamilton went like a rocket at times. In the last few laps of the race he caught up to Jenson Button so much that I thought he may try to take the win away from his team mate, but settled for second in the end. If they can sort out their qualifying we could see many more McLaren 1-2 finishes this season, and as Hamilton fan I’ll be hoping to see him taking the win next time. Still, it was a great performance from Jenson Button as he became the first driver to win 2 races this season as he looks to retain the World Championship he won in 2009.

Jenson Button Wins The Chinese Grand Prix

Photo Credit: www.mclaren.com

After the subdued season opener in Bahrain we’ve now had 3 exciting races in a row, though with the Spanish Grand Prix next that trend may not continue. It will be more important than ever for McLaren to do well in qualifying, as even the over taking maestro that is Lewis Hamilton may struggle to make up many places in Spain, should he need to. Let’s just hope the volcanic dust clears and we actually have a Spanish Grand Prix, though after the success of this past weekend maybe a 2nd race in China would be a good substitute!

As it stands now Jenson Button is top of the Drivers’ Championship on 60 points with Lewis Hamilton just 11 points behind in 4th place. McLaren sit proudly atop the Constructors’ Championship with 109 points which is 19 points ahead of second place Ferrari who don’t seem to be able to match their season opening success – shame! Updated standings can be found here. 2010 is turning into a great season as a McLaren fan, and as a fan of Lewis Hamilton I’m getting to see him put in some world class performances, to a level that puts him apart from the rest of the field – if the team can only get strategies right then he’ll be unstoppable.

Jenson Celebrates His Victory

Photo Credit: www.mclaren.com

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Filed under Chinese, Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Michael Schumacher

McLaren: Year on Year Comparison – Race 3, Malaysia 2010

2009 Points System

2009 2010
LH HK McLaren LH JB McLaren
TOTAL 5 4 9 TOTAL 12 13 25
Australian 0 0 0 Bahrain 6 2 8
Malaysian 2 0 2 Australian 3 10 13
Chinese 3 4 7 Malaysian 3 1 4

 
 

2010 Points System

2009 2010
LH HK McLaren LH JB McLaren
TOTAL 13 10 23 TOTAL 23 31 66
Australian 0 0 0 Bahrain 15 6 21
Malaysian 5 0 5 Australian 8 25 33
Chinese 8 10 18 Malaysian 8 4 12

 
Despite the fantastic performance from Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button on Sunday, McLaren have actually lost ground on the 2009 season thanks to Heikki Kovalianen’s 5th place in the Chinese Grand Prix last year. Interestingly Lewis Hamilton was 6th place in the 3rd race of last season, just as he was this year, and in the Australian Grand Prix 2 weeks ago – that’s a trend we want to see broken, and replaced with smaller numbers!

It’s clear to see what effect the new points system is having as using the 2009 points system Jenson would only be 1 point ahead of Lewis, rather than the 8 points ahead he currently is under the 2010 points system.

Jenson Button in Malaysia

Photo Credit: www.mclaren.com

Even though the 2009 season mad eup a bit of ground this weekend, the current season is still clearly beating last season, and if this story from PlanetF1.com is to be believed then their new ride-height system could make them very competitive in China, up there with the Red Bulls competitive which will see them grabbing a bucket load of points.

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Filed under Heikki Kovalainen, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Year on Year Comparisons

McLaren in Malaysia in Pictures (2010)

Jenson Button walks the circuit with the McLaren mechanics
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Lewis Hamilton being interviewed in the paddock
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Jenson & Lewis talk tactics over a glass of orange juice
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Jenson Button during free practice
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Lewis Hamilton during free practice
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Lewis Hamilton during qualifying
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Lewis Hamilton leaves a trail of cars he’s overtaken
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A mad rush into turn 1
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A bird’s eye view of Lewis Hamilton in the pits
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Hamilton and Button jostling for position after Hamilton’s pit stop
[picapp align=”none” wrap=”false” link=”term=mclaren+malaysia+2010&iid=8438595″ src=”9/7/5/8/F1_2010_6878.jpg?adImageId=12158064&imageId=8438595″ width=”500″ height=”333″ /]
 

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Filed under In Pictures, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Malaysian

The Hamilton Highlight Reel Continues in Malaysia

We all expected rain, there was none. Most expected the Red Bulls to break down, they didn’t. Just what can you rely on in Formula 1 these days? The answer to that question is Lewis Hamilton. Yesterday’s race in Sepang was just another example of superb driving and passionate racing from the 2008 World Champion. In the first lap alone Hamilton made up 8 places from the 20th place he started, to 12th.

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Aside from the tussle between Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, the cameras were rightly on Hamilton for the majority of the race, despite the runaway success of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Weber at the front. For those bemoaning this season for it’s lack of overtaking, Hamilton was there to give a master class, as he passed one driver after another. It was with ease that he did this until he came upon the Renault of Vitaly Petrov, who proved to be a more troublesome rival than Hamilton’s previous victims.

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=lewis+hamilton+malaysia&iid=8431362″ src=”f/9/0/c/F1_Grand_Prix_6536.jpg?adImageId=12128208&imageId=8431362″ width=”500″ height=”336″ /]
 
When Hamilton finally got past Petrov he was accused of excessive weaving, something which the stewards saw fit to warn him about but not take the matter any further. Of course this has angered some people, forgetting how Hamilton has been on the very harsh end of some decisions in recent years, not forgetting McLaren’s £100,000,000 fine for the whole Ferrari ‘spy-gate’ situation while Renault get told not to do it again after fixing a race by having one of their drivers crash his car on purpose! I think it’s about time someone in a McLaren car got let off lightly.

It was a magnificent drive by Lewis Hamilton, who ended up finishing 6th, and would have progressed even further had his good friend Adrian Sutil proven to be the one car he couldn’t get past. With an equally good Mercedes engine in his Force India car, Sutil defended excellently against the rampaging Hamilton.
[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=jenson+button+malaysia&iid=8432700″ src=”4/1/8/7/F1_2010_8226.jpg?adImageId=12128468&imageId=8432700″ width=”500″ height=”333″ /]
 
While not being able to match Lewis Hamilton’s success, Jenson Button did well to improve from his 17th place qualifying position on the grid to 8th place in the race. He went up the outside at the start of the race and Lewis went up the inside, and whether it be luck, judgement or both, it was the inside line that gave Lewis the advantage. For the second race in a row Jenson Button made a decision to come in for a tyre change early and this looked like it may be fortuitous and see him ahead of the Ferraris and Lewis Hamilton after their pit stops. It did get him past Alonso and Massa but not Hamilton, though only by a whisker as the two were side by side when Hamilton rejoined the race track. Button ended up being overtaken by Massa and looked like he would fall victim to Alonso too but the Spaniards car disagreed and came to a smoke engulfed halt at track side.

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=jenson+button+malaysia&iid=8432688″ src=”2/1/c/f/F1_2010_6fe5.jpg?adImageId=12128276&imageId=8432688″ width=”500″ height=”333″ /]
 
After what appeared to be a disastrous Saturday’s qualifying, McLaren came back fighting and made sure they stayed well in the title race. I personally found the race very entertaining and particularly exciting it times. being a McLaren fan has had its advantages this season as the lion’s share of the action and intrigue has surrounded Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. With The Red Bull failures in Bahrain and Australia, Mercedes (Michael Schumacher) and Ferrari’s break down in Malaysia, McLaren can hold there heads up high as the kost reliable of the 4 front running teams, something which will serve them very well over the course of a season.

Before I go, just let me remind you of the predictions I made for the Malaysian Grand Prix:

1st – Vettel – Correct
2nd – Weber – Correct
3rd Rosberg – Correct
6th Hamilton – Correct
9th Button – Incorrect, but only one place out!

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Filed under Adrian Sutil, Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Force India, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Malaysian, McLaren, Red Bull, Vitaly Petrov

Qualifying: Malaysia 2010 – McLaren Gamble and Lose

There isn’t a great deal to write in this blog, it was wet in Malaysia and instead of getting a lap in early to ensure going through to Q2, McLaren left things rather late and the result of that was Lewis Hamilton qualifying on 20th place for tomorrow’s race. Jenson Button had mixed luck in that his fastest time was good enough for 17th place, just one place above the drop zone. However, he then slipped off the track and couldn’t move his car, this meant he could take no further part in qualifying.

Jenson Button in Malaysia, when it was actually dry!

Photo Credit: www.mclaren.com

So, after the awesome performance of the McLarens in the three sessions (Lewis 1st, 1st, 2nd and Jenson
3rd, 4th, 7th), they start tomorrow’s race in 17th and 20th. The only saving grace is that the Ferraris played the same waiting game, and also lost out. Fernando Alonso starts in 19th place and Felipe Massa starts in 21st place, with Lewis Hamilton in the middle.

Lewis Hamilton on the wet track in Sepang

Photo Credit: www.mclaren.com

If Lewis doesn’t have a good race tomorrow, and make up a lot of places, then starting in 2nd place, it’s likely that Nico Rosberg will overtake him in the Drivers’ Championship, and he could very well overtake Jenson too. With Mark Weber in pole position and Sebastian Vettel in 3rd it’ll be interesting to see if they score well tomorrow rather than succumb to mechanical failure and mistakes as has dogged them in the previous 2 races of the 2010 season.

You’ll remember that last year the rain was so bad that the race never got to a natural finish and drivers were awarded half points due to the short length of the race. This is all because Bernie Ecclestone wants a later start time so as to be more amenable for European viewers – thanks, but given the immense rains that we know will fall, and have done already, would it not be wiser to start the race earlier?

Jenson Button, close up!

Photo Credit: www.mclaren.com

That said, with the likes of Hamilton, Button, Alonso and Massa looking to battle the way through to the front, we could be in for a tremendous race…as long as we don’t just see a procession behind the safety car followed by an early finish, again.

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Filed under Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Malaysian, Mark Weber, McLaren, Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel

McLaren: Year on Year Comparison – Race 2, Australia 2010

After the poor start to the 2009 season and Jenson’s victory in Australia this past Sunday, I have a feeling the gulf between the 2009 and 2010 points total is about to expand, a lot!

2009 Points System

2009 2010
LH HK McLaren LH JB McLaren
TOTAL 2 0 2 TOTAL 9 12 21
Australian 0 0 0 Bahrain 6 2 8
Malaysian 2 0 2 Australian 3 10 13

 
 

2010 Points System

2009 2010
LH HK McLaren LH JB McLaren
TOTAL 5 0 5 TOTAL 23 31 54
Australian 0 0 0 Bahrain 15 6 21
Malaysian 5 0 5 Australian 8 25 33

 
Interesting to see how the new points system has meant that McLaren have accrued two and half times as many points for 2010 than if we’d still been on the 2009 points system. The way the points have spread out also sees Jenson Button catapulted into an 8 point lead over team mate Lewis Hamilton who was 7 points ahead of Jenson after the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Compared to 2009, 2010 has been a roaring success and whether you are comparing the seasons under the 2009 or 2010 points system, the evidence if clear for all to see. Unless something catastrophic happens I don’t think we’ll see the 2010 points total dropping off to anywhere near the 2009 levels. Even with Lewis Hamilton’s resurgence in the second half of 2009, I’d predict that the second half of the 2010 will out-perform last year thanks to having two drivers who are equally capable of big points hauls – something that Heikki Kovalainen couldn’t achieve last season.

Lewis and Jenson at the launch of the McLaren MP4-25

Photo Credit: www.mclaren.com

This time last season McLaren were 7th in the Constructors’ Championship with just 2 points, behind Toro Rosso. In 2010 they are 2nd to Ferrari, and though they are 14 points behind, they have closed the gap – thanks in large part to Jenson Button’s victory. With the way the points system has changed it’s not inconceivable to think that McLaren could be heading the Constructors’ Championship after this coming weekend’s race in Malaysia.

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Filed under Australian, Heikki Kovalainen, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Year on Year Comparisons

Button Wins, Hamilton 6th and F1 is back, baby!

After the relative dullness of the Bahrain Grand Prix 2 weeks ago, today’s GP in Australia was the kind of race that reminds us all why we love Formula 1. From the start to the very finish there was drama, excitement and wait for it, overtaking! I kid you not, cars were passing other cars under normal racing conditions, and a fair amount of that was done by Lewis Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton at the Australian Grand Prix

Photo Credit: www.mclaren.com

Lewis Hamilton drove arguably his greatest race to date, up there with Japan 2007 for me personally, and that was the race that made me into a Formula 1 fan, so high praise indeed. After the disappointment of yesterday’s qualifying I was thrilled to see Lewis in such a racing mood, it’s what has always delighted me as a fan of his. If there was a chance to overtake than he took it, and a special mention has to go out to both Robert Kubica and Fernando Alsonso who brilliantly defended against a much faster Hamilton. In the case of Kubica it was Hamilton’s inability to get past that had the team bring him in for a tyre change, a move that ultimately led to Hamilton losing places, a probable podium place at that.

Later in the race, when chasing down Fernando Alsonso, it was Mark Weber who dealt Hamilton a a second blow when he shunted him into the gravel. At that point I was livid, and had it not been for the presence of my little boy then a fair few expletives would have been thrown the Australian’s way! Luckily it only cost Hamilton one place and he ended up finishing 6th, a result which is far better than the 11th place he qualified but worse than he should have got, had other circumstances and decisions gone his way. Hamilton’s lambasting of the team over the radio during the race wasn’t his finest moment but forgiveable, given the emotions that must have been coursing through him as he saw race positions taken from within his grasp.

Jenson Button cruises to victory in Australia

Photo Credit: www.mclaren.com

The man in the photo above is none other than Jenson Button, 2 races into his career as a McLaren driver and already a winner. If I’m completely honest I’d have preferred Lewis Hamilton to win, but I won’t begrudge Jenson his victory and for the McLaren team it’s a fantastic result. Kudos to Jenson for making the decision to come in for an early tyre change to slicks, it won him the race, with a little help from Sebastian Vettel’s second problematic Grand Prix in a row. It’s astonishing that Jenson went so long and at such a high performance level on the second set of tyres, but if anyone could it was going to be him.

Jenson Button celebrates victory on Australia

Photo Credit: www.mclaren.com

At the start of the season I will hold my hands up and admit (you can read old blog posts so I can’t pretend otherwise!) that I thought Lewis was going to outperform Jenson easily over the course of 19 races. Though he did just that in Bahrain, and though there were mitigating circumstances leading to Lewis’s almost disappointing 6th place, Jenson Button has marked out his intention to succeed with today’s race and currently leads Lewis by 8 points in the Drivers’ Championship. The combined effort of both drivers puts them on 54 points, 16 points behind Ferrari.

Team McLaren celebrate Jenon Button's victory

Photo Credit: www.mclaren.com

Lewis Hamilton is ominously missing from this team celebration, but then so is Martin Whitmarsh – maybe they were discussing the second tyre change at the time of taking this photo! All in all it was a great day for McLaren and for Formula 1 fans everywhere – what a fantastic race. I have no doubt that Jenson’s victory will have lit a fire under everyone in the team, especially Lewis Hamilton, who doesn’t like playing second fiddle to anyone, especially not his team mate.

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Filed under Australian, Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Mark Weber, McLaren, Robert Kubica, Sebastian Vettel