Debate: Is it all over for Button?

Posted on Author Keith Collantine

Jenson Button, Honda, Hungaroring, 2007 | Hondaracingf1.comNigel Mansell has criticised fellow Briton Jenson Button, saying he’s wasted his F1 opportunity:

Jenson should have won more races, he has under-performed and that is down to him. He had the opportunity and he didn’t take it – there won’t be any more.

Do you agree with the 1992 world champion? Or are Button’s problems all the making of his un-competitive Honda?

Button’s boss Nick Fry jumped to Button’s defence against Mansell’s claim that, “He’s got a great reputation for partying and that’s taken the edge off it. He’s a typical example of too much, too soon.”

Fry said:

I would refute everything Nigel has said, and particularly I think his comments about Jenson’s reputation for partying are about five years out of date.

People forget that Jenson made his F1 debut at the age of 20 – but he’s now 27. I’ve worked with him now for five years, and his increasing maturing and the way he changed his lifestyle is extremely noticeable.

Button made his F1 debut for Williams in 2000 and became the sport’s youngest ever points scorer in his second Grand Prix (a record that was broken this year by Sebastian Vettel).

A dismal season with Benetton followed in 2001 but he made progress in 2002 as the team morphed into Renault. He moved to BAR for 2003 and had his most competitive season ever in 2004, with plenty of podiums but still no win.

Since then BAR’s (now Honda’s) form has fluctuated greatly – but when the cards fell his way at the Hungaroring last year he seized his first ever win from 14th on the grid. This year has been a write-off as Button has been lumbered with a pitifully slow car.

How much is he to blame for his lack of success? Is Mansell’s picture of Button as a past-it party animal with no appetite for success accurate?

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