Is Jenson Button about to make a big mistake?

November 17, 2009

Is Jenson going to be wheeling Lewis's bag for him in 2010?

Alan Henry has reported in the Guardian that it will soon be confirmed that Jenson Button has agreed a three year, £18 million deal to join McLaren. It sounds great and will certainly make huge headlines. But is it a good move? I think the answer is no. Which team is looking the best resourced (Mercedes funding and Mercedes works engine), managed (Ross Brawn – the best technical leader in F1) and motivated to support Jenson in a bid for a successive championship (he stuck by the team and took a pay cut in 2009) in 2010? The answer has to be the former Brawn GP, so why go to a team which is now built around Lewis Hamilton and in which even someone as tough and politically adept as Fernando Alonso decided enough was enough in 2007? Well there are a number of hypotheses as to why this is so, the obvious one is money, as Brawn were reputedly offering only (!) £4m per annum, and it was unclear as to what length of contract they are prepared to go to, the other is that Brawn really didn’t want Button, I just can’t see this; it is still very much Ross’s team and I’m sure he would be keen to keep Jenson, but not at any price. And without doubt FOTA are trying to ensure that drivers salaries are significantly reduced over the next few years. Let’s hope this story has a happier ending then when Damon Hill left Williams after winning the world championship in 1996.


6 Responses to “Is Jenson Button about to make a big mistake?”

  1. Is Jenson going to make a mistake ? well I suspect only time will tell , however Button and Brawn do seem to be a match made in motoring heaven !

    • Mark Says:

      Hi John, I agree, I hope I’m wrong, but I really see this as a major mistake, I just hope it’s posturing, but I suspect not.

  2. Bojan Says:

    Hm, unless there is a hidden agenda at ex-Brawn-now-Mercedes regarding drivers, I really do not get Button’s reasoning. If few more millions or an added year of contract play a decisive role for him, it probably means he hasn’t changed that much over the years. He might well play second fiddle to Hamilton for two years and then be dropped-payed for the third year just as happened to Raikkonen. And the world shall remember him as a lucky champion who only gave his best for half a season while having a dominant car…

  3. Clive Temple Says:

    Is there truth in the rumour that Mercedes want an all German line-up in the Mercedes-Brawn cars for 2010? The suggestion is Heidfeld to join Rosberg, although I personaly believe Glock would be a better bet. Jenson’s management team may well believe this is the case and consider his best option is with McLaren where he would get more money which is the suggestion for being his primary motivation to move. Bojan’s assessment that in years to come Jenson will be remembered as a lucky champion may come true. Jenson would have to be right at the very top of his game to match Hamilton and we saw him under pressure from Rubens. And he would have a tough time if paired with Rosberg. Jenson’s mentors may well have assessed he will only ever be a one time champion so take the money and run is the best scenario. I hope I am wrong.

    • Mark Says:

      Thanks for the comment Clive. It’s just been announced that Glock is going to Manor (aka Virgin F1), and from what I hear the Brawn team are the ones making the decisions, not Mercedes, my view is that Ross would like Jenson there, but will not be held to ransom over money. Unlike McLaren they don’t have the big sponsors like Vodafone who could bridge the gap so he’d rather put a few more million in the development of the car than in Jenson’s pocket. I often wonder if the driver managers are sometimes more concerned about their percentage than the success of their drivers. If Jenson does go to McLaren Lewis will have a great opportunity to show the world that he should have been champion in 2009.

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