Jenson Button’s career in video (Part 2)

Button scored a memorable breakthrough win at the Hungaroring in 2006

Button scored a memorable breakthrough win at the Hungaroring in 2006

F1 Fanatic guest writer Journeyer concludes his look at the career of championship leader Jenson Button.

Jenson Button struggled to find some traction for his F1 career at first, being inconsistent in his first few years. But he soon began to show genuine potential, and he made the most of whatever opportunites he had to make a breakthrough.

2004: For the first time, Button had a real front-running car. He finally scored his first podium finish in Malaysia, but was to score many other podiums that season. He also nabbed his first pole position at Imola with a great lap. He converted this pole into a second-placed finish behind Michael Schumacher.

But he didn’t just do well from the front – he also had an epic comeback in Germany, his best drive to date. He fought from 13th on the grid (due to an engine penalty), to finish second. Despite loose helmet straps, he managed to pull off this brilliant pass on Fernando Alonso which took corners to complete.

2005: After the highs of 2004, Button – and the team – came back down to earth with a bump. His podium finish at Imola that year was taken away due to that fuel ballast scandal. The FIA also suspended them for Spain and Monaco.

It wasn’t until Canada that Button really found some good form – and stuck the BAR on pole (although he ended up not finishing the race). On the track, the BAR was solid, if not excellent – he managed this great pass on Schumacher at Germany.

But off the track, Button was stuck in a legal battle – for the second year running. He had tried moving from BAR to Williams in 2004, but the moce was blocked. Now BAR wasn’t able to fulfill their clauses, Williams tried to grab Button, but now he wanted to stay at BAR. Eventually, a substantial sum of money changed hands (enough, it was said, for Williams to fund their Cosworth engine deal for 2006), and Button remained with the Brackley squad.

2006: One reason Jenson may have wanted to stay was Honda’s takeover of BAR. Now the team had increased funding and support, he was hopeful of better results. Initially, you wouldn’t be so sure – his Honda engine blew up within sight of the finishing line in the Australian Grand Prix. They made him pull over to avoid an engine penalty for San Marino, but a podium there was thrown away with a botched pitstop.

But all the pain that year was worth it – he finally scored his first win in Hungary. Who could forget James Allen’s commentary as Button crossed the line to seal that long-awaited win?

2007: Sadly, that first win was a false dawn – Honda’s ‘Earthdreams’ car of 2007 was a total disaster. The RA107 was nowhere near the pace and Button never contended for a podium all year, never mind a win.

He had to settle for racing in the midfield – here’s his battle with Nico Rosberg at Monza.

2008: More misery for Button – another uncompetitive Honda, and he was beaten by team mate Rubens Barrichello (who scored a podium at Silverstone). About the only bright spot that year was Honda’s recruiting coup – Ross Brawn was now the team principal.

That said, Button was able to get in some top 10 qualifying runs, like this one in Bahrain. But a collision with David Coulthard during the race put paid to a chance of a points finish.

2009: Honda stunned many by suddenly pulling out of the sport. This was not part of Button’s or Brawn’s plans. Button was hoping for a management buyout, but did keep open an option to return to Renault (potentially to replace Nelson Piquet Jnr) at the invitation of Flavio Briatore, just in case. But the MBO did push through, and Brawn GP was born.

Ross Brawn’s first proper Brackley car was now armed with Mercedes engines and that controversial double-decker diffuser. And the BGP001 was flying. A one-two on their debut race in Australia was the astonishing result.

Jenson also won the Monaco Grand Prix for the first time – but parking at the wrong spot meant he had to leg it – and the crowd cheered him on to the podium!

But if there’s anything that could beat winning at Monaco, it would be winning at Silverstone. Is he on his way to becoming world champion? Jenson Button has had his ups and downs, but the greatest moments may be yet to come.

Read the first part here: Jenson Button?s career in video (Part 1)

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11 comments on Jenson Button’s career in video (Part 2)

  1. Arthur Fowler said on 18th June 2009, 9:46

    Loved the last video, great choice of music.

  2. Sush Meerkat said on 18th June 2009, 12:18

    that main pic makes Nick Fry look like King Hiss from He-Man.
    Yeah i’m immature.

  3. Dougie said on 18th June 2009, 12:46

    What both of these two part posts clearly show is that Button has always been an exceptional talent waiting for the right car, and now he is delivering on that talent big time.

    I mean obviously the car and the team are important, but the Brawn is not nearly as dominant as the car was in ’92 or ’04, on more than one occasion it has not been the fastest car going into a race. But Jenson’s ability to deliver consistently and put in the laps when he really needs to, and also that pass on Hamilton (a staunchly defended KERS car at the end of a long straight), is sublime.

    People compare him with Rubens (and rightly so they have been teammates for years) and that Rubens had the upper hand, this is simply not the case, statistics only tell half the story. The 3 Silverstone article by Keith only really shows Rubens 2nd place in the wet as a true defeat for Jenson, but what about Jensons 1st place in the wet at Hungary? From 14th on the grid he won it, Rubens finished one place down on his grid position (albeit 4th).

    What I am trying to say, in a very verbose way, is that Jenson is a true champion and this whole article clearly demonstrates that. Jenson is worthy of his place and his successes, especially this year, lets all recognise that and support the genius that is this humble man.

  4. TommyB said on 18th June 2009, 13:01

    he also had an epic comeback in Germany, his best drive to date.

    Agreed

  5. Chalky said on 18th June 2009, 13:19

    Nice vid of his Q lap at Imola.

  6. jason said on 18th June 2009, 21:12

    watching the first video makes me miss imola why can’t they let some of the classic tracks come back to the calander whyyyyyyyyy

    • Salty said on 18th June 2009, 22:18

      Hey, maybe after the FOTA give Mad Max the goose tomorrow, we may well see Imola, Silverstone, Magny Cours, Montreal and Indy back on the calendar.

      Also noteworthy was Prince Albert’s tactful but fairly clear comment when asked where Monaco would stand should a split away series form with FOTA teams leading the way. He obvoiusly believes in the racing, as do all true supporters of this sport, drivers and fans alike.

      Anyways, back on topic before Keith smacks my mouse. Jenson has always shown great control in his driving style. I remember when he first entered F1 people comparing his smooth style as being reminescent of Prost, though personally think Button the tidier, I agree he doesn’t subscribe to the more agressive and spectacular oversteering of a Senna, Hamilton or, in the extreme, Alesi and believe that turns some fans off somewhat, but personally think great art requires a deft touch, and that deft touch is doing wonders for his tyres ;)

      What is excellent about Button though, is his absolute lack of arrogance. Hope he wins the rest of the races in ’09 to be honest.

      Salty.
      F1 is but a name. The teams and drivers are the show.

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