If Jenson Button doesn’t deserve the 2009 championship no-one else does

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Will Jenson Button be number one at the end of the season?
Will Jenson Button be number one at the end of the season?

I’ve followed the debate about whether Jenson Button deserves to win the championship this year with great interest.

His lacklustre scoring rate in the second half of the season – compared to his brilliant beginning – has caused some to ask whether he really deserves to be champion.

But what I’m yet to read is a truly convincing argument why either of his rivals, Rubens Barrichello and Sebastian Vettel, deserve it more. The simple reason is that they don’t.

Rubens Barrichello

They case against Barrichello is pretty clear: he’s got the same car as Button yet he’s scored 14 fewer points and won four fewer races with it. Dig a little deeper into the stats and we also find Button has led more than twice as many laps as his team mate – 280 versus 105.

Barrichello has had a good run of results recently but he’s thrown points away too with poor starts at Melbourne, Istanbul and Spa.

As with his team mate, reliability has generally been kind to Barrichello. The spring he lost in qualifying at the Hungaroring doomed him to 12th on the grid, and an over-stressed gearbox (which was still good enough for a win at Monza) cost him five places on the grid at Singapore.

On at least two occasions Barrichello has complained that strategy cost him points to Button. His infamous outburst at the Nurburgring came after a fuel rig problem left him behind his team mate – unfortunate, but nothing sinister. Spain was the odd one, where Barrichello’s team chose not to cover Button’s switch to a two-stop strategy, leaving Barrichello vulnerable on a three-stopper.

Since Istanbul, Button has neither won a race nor out-qualified Barrichello (except in Hungary). Though it would be silly to pretend this is anything other than poor form on the championship leaders’ part, the bald facts are Barrichello has not done enough to overhaul him and that is largely down to his form in the first half of the season.

Sebastian Vettel

Vettel arguably has a stronger claim to championship worthiness than Barrichello – he is only two points behind the Brazilian driver despite having several engine failures including two at the European Grand Prix weekend.

But Vettel, too, has made the kind of mistakes Button has avoided. He will be ruing his tangle with Robert Kubica at Melbourne, where he could have settled for six points and not had a grid penalty for the following race. He crashed at Monaco and gave the lead away to Button at the start in Istanbul (he was probably never going to win that one anyway – but his error left him behind Mark Webber, and there went another two points).

Also, Vettel has not yet shown he can fight his way to a win. Dominating a race from pole position is all well and good, but Button’s most impressive wins this year came when he made critical passes early on. While he made short work of Lewis Hamilton at Bahrain, Vettel remained stuck behind the McLaren.

One of the greats?

Appropriately, Button’s route to the title reminds you of the champion whose driving style he closely imitates: Alain Prost. The modern points system was just made for Prost, who was unfailingly consistent, always there at the end of the race, collecting precious points.

It isn’t an exciting way to win a championship but it is the logical, tactical way to do it – and Button is doing it very well. It’s exactly what many people in the last two seasons criticised Hamilton for not doing: staying out of trouble and making sure he’s there when the chequered flag comes out.

Button may well go on to win the championship with no more than the two sixth places he now needs to do it. That’s the way championships are decided these days and you can hardly blame him for sticking to it.

But some championship victories are more impressive than others and, whoever wins this year’s title, for me it won’t be as impressive as Fernando Alonso’s defeat of Michael Schumacher in 2006, or Ayrton Senna holding back Nigel Mansell in 1991.

But by all means tell me if you think I’m wrong. Does anyone deserve this championship more than Jenson Button does? Leave a comment below.

The championship battle

205 comments on “If Jenson Button doesn’t deserve the 2009 championship no-one else does”

  1. I was just speaking to Mp4-19b and he feels that Alonso definitely deserves the title more than Button. In his opinion Alonso has consistently been getting 0.6 secs more out of his Renault than anyone else could. Plus Alonso has always outscored his teammates despite not being favoured by the team in any way.
    /sarcasm
    Just kidding Mp4-19b

    1. lol.
      Yeah, there’s no doubt Mp4-19b will be routing for Alonso this weekend, and hoping for many wins to his name with ferrari…
      It’s ok Mp4-19b, I don’t like Alonso either

      1. The only way Button can put can end to this debate is by winning the next two races in style. His performance since turkey has been lackluster to say the least. He has to win these two races. Or else he’ll be considered a “Half-Champion” for years to come.

        And I’ll support Alonso when Hell freezes over ;)

        1. Forgot to add. I still think Button deserves the title more than anyone else. But what saddens me most is that Button from being a lion at the start of the season is being perceived as a hen now. Nobody likes an exponentially decaying curve. We can sum up Button’s championship mathematically:

          (dN/dT)=-λN

          Doesn’t sound good, does it?

        2. he’ll be considered a “Half-Champion” for years to come.

          not by many I expect. WDC is WDC simple as that.
          He’s probably going to take the title and if he does he has earned it and tbh anyone putting down a WDC like that never fails to come across as bitter.
          Most seasons the WDC gets criticised by some as being undeserving for one reason or another but it reflects more on those doing the criticising than it does on the WDC in the end.

          1. I agree with Kieth and Jon Finn. If Button wins, people will quickly forget the “hen” style driving and many will say it was brilliant to sit back and score points, or that he learned from Lewis’ mistakes.

            However, if he doesn’t win, he will go down is F1 history as a joke (i hope this doesn’t happen). Lewis was able to say it was a rookie mistake in 2007….Jenson will have NO excuse.

            Rubens will avoid ridicule with his second half of the season performances and especially if he performs really well in the last 2 and almost catches Jenson….

            Vettel has nothing to worry about….other than learning how to pass….

    2. yeah but Alonso isn’t anywhere near the amount of points the top three have! I htink keith is talking only about bar, vet and but.

      1. I agree with the title. If Button doesn’t deserve, it, nobody does. Yes, whoever wins “deserves” it, but they won’t be on the same level as any of the recent champions (Hamilton, Raikkonen, Alonso, Schumacher, Hakkinen.)

        1. Keith,

          I completely agree with everything, except the following statement:

          ‘As with his team mate, reliability has generally been kind to Barrichello’

          It is unfair to imply they have had a similar run with reliability. Button’s car has been near perfect all season, whereas Barrichello has had the two problems you mentioned… which definitely have cost him extremely valuable points. Plus the strategy happenings in Spain and Germany were just bad luck, unpredictable things that that come with racing. On the flip side of the coin, however, I don’t think anyone can disagree Jenson has had plenty of good fortune this season.

          This is not to take away his merits. He is undoubtedly the most deserving driver for this year’s title. His damage limitation exercises have been quite impressive in the second half of the season, with risky early overtaking manouvres (particularly against KERS cars) that made huge contributions to his current situation in the points. Hats off.

      1. i wanted button to win but not like this he won a 3rd of champ

    3. Button won more races but only when brawn was on top
      1-ºhe disappeared a third of season
      2º-Barrichello and all other drivers had more mechanical issues
      3º-Barrichello has been better throughout the season if he didnt had so many mechanical failures
      4º-Button doenst perform he is like Prost Boring

  2. The driver with the most points at the end of the season deserves to be the WDC. End of story.

    1. Spot on.

      Jenson has scored points in every race barring one, in which he was taken out by a newbie. Butotn probably wouldnt have scored in Belgium, perhaps a point or two at best, but the fact is, he has scored at every race possible.

      People need to remember that this season is a bit surreal for Button (and indeed the fans). Button hasnt won or lead a championship for a long time, before the start of the season, he would have been out on his arse and yet here he is on the brink of joining the greats.

      He deserves the championship. He stuck with the team in the winter when things looked bleak – despite having offers from other teams. He hasnt had what can be called a race winning, competitive car at all in his career (Ferrari, Mclaren and Renault buggered him there).

      I think the people that dont want Button to win are those that are disappointed it isnt one of the usual suspects!

      1. Completely agree, James, this c’ship is like many others before it, cracking start, mediocre middle, crowd-pullin’ end….mmm seems a little contrived, but hey, when Mansell walked it, or schumi, the last races were less exciting, not to mention poor Bernie’s viewing figures….lol.

      2. It isnt like he had a real choice to go to another team as most considered him a mediocre driver. It was only after he took the first 6 of 7 races that everyone was licking his feet.
        I believe he has drove consistent, not great since monaco but consistent. He made a choice that when he couldnt compete at the front he drove for points, and that was a mark of maturity and what a champion does.

    2. Mussolini's Pet Cat
      14th October 2009, 16:35

      lion, it’s a simple statement, and totally true.

    3. Couldn’t have said it better. The man with most points deserves to be the champ, because he has the most points.

      end of.

    4. That’s a very pedestrian, meaningless comment, but one I’ve seen many times.

      1. No, not really S Hughes. The season is long and people tend to forget the early races. Button has outscored his opponents and if he wins, it’s because of the first 7 races, not the last.

        The reason people are saying obvious statements like “the one with the most points deserves to be WDC” is because of ridiculous statements like “he will be remembered as a Half-Champion”.

        You don’t get to be WDC by being a lousy driver…end of story.

      2. Indeed. It’s overly simplistic.

        It’s the reasons WHY a driver has the most points at the end of the season that determines if he’s worth it.

        The result of a race is for the most part determined by the car. So a far less competent driver can beat a WDC simply by driving a faster car.

        If for instance Barrichello was a much better driver than Button, but he had had a lot of mechanical problems then obviously Button would not really have deserved that title. It would have been handed to him by luck.

        I do think Button is worthy of the WDC, but to say that that would be true simply because he has more points is annoyingly oversimplifying things. It’s a lame copout to prevent having to explain your opinion.

        1. But why did he have worse reliability? You could argue that an over aggressive driving style would dispose a driver to being more likely having problems. Something that was often levelled at Mansell. We know Button is very smooth and maybe this is why he has faired better than Barrichello.

          Conversely Newey cars are often seen as brittle, so maybe Vetall is better than he has shown.

          There are many other ways we could assess who is the best. However all of this is pointless as the chosen measure of almost all motorsport is points. After all if F1 were a popularity contest I doubt Schumacher would have won as many championships

        2. I do think Button is worthy of the WDC, but to say that that would be true simply because he has more points is annoyingly oversimplifying things. It’s a lame copout to prevent having to explain your opinion.

          Yep I agree. We get into the really meaty part of the question by asking when did a driver who didn’t score the most points deserve the title more than the person who did?

          1. Easy.

            Senna 1989
            Hamilton 2007
            Massa 2008

            Just to name the most memorable ones I can remember watching…

  3. Out of the 4 contenders? Maybe he won siz races so I won’t take that away from him, but engines blowing up and Rubens not liking the brakes in the first half of the season makes you wonder if Jenson is the god of luck. The way the points system is maybe he deserves it. But some, myself included, find it hard to swallow that this season has barely featured any greats (Vettel maybe in a few years time but far too errors this season) which means the most deserving out of the only 4 contenders given a chance is possibly Button, but the most deserving out of the grid? The one who has driven best all year?

    1. if your saying driven the best all year then button obviously had. the most points and the most podiums. he should be world champion. racing shouldnt be about who has the most money (mclaren & ferrari) but about who is the best driver and this year button has shown that he is!

      1. Button is not the best driver

        1. Mussolini's Pet Cat
          14th October 2009, 16:37

          Best? now that’s a subjective term in this situation….. Define ‘best’ please theo.

          1. Best = better driver skills
            World Champion = most points

          2. define better driving skills…..crashing into Sutil in Monaco, sliding off into a sand trap with shot tires and a 17 point lead, 5 spins at silverstone, having 2 wdc’s a getting out driven by your rookie teammate, ????

        2. Maybe not generally, but this season he was.
          While his rivals were busy screwing up he has not done a single mistake worth mentioning. He might be a driver who needs a good car to be really quick, but when he had it this year he’s been mostly unbeatable and in all the other races he’s been good enough to manage his championship lead. Of course, he’s been lucky at times, but you need to be lucky as well to win a championship (Ask poor Mark Webber…)

      2. Barrichello has performed better than Button for the majority of races, but Button happened to be on form when his team had the dominant car. Hence his lead.

        1. Right on. He exploited his advantage when he could, what past champion hasn’t done that?

        2. Performed better how? Button has beaten Barrichello in 9 races. Barrichello only beat Button in 4 races. Button won 6, Barrichello only 2.

          Honestly, what kind of weird criteria are you using to determine that Barrichello actually performed better than Button?

  4. I think Button would be perfectly worthy. All champions are worthy. They did the best they could with what they had, which in the end turned out to be better than what everyone else did with what they had.

    You wouldn’t begrudge Usain Bolt an Olympic Gold Medal just because, after a blistering start out of the blocks where he gained a 10 metre lead over the other 7 sprinters, he was a bit puffed out and so struggled to the line, winning by only a head.

    Sure, the guys who came second and third had brilliant last 50 metres, but it still doesn’t make up for the fact that they bogged themselves down at the start. That doesn’t make Bolt any less worthy, it just shows that their best wasn’t as good as his best.

    Same applies here. Button’s best (aka, the first half of the season), was better than Rubens’ and Seb’s best (latter and middle parts of the season).

    Similarly, Button’s run of poor results (aka, constant, yet lowly points finishes) have been better than the other’s low points (engine failures, silly crashes within sight of the checkers, over-revving off the start line)

    Go Button! is all I can say.

    1. I hate to be a smarty pants, but I believe that Usain Bolt is in fact a slow starter, and only really gets going towards the end of the race. He finishes in style- unlike Jenson Button…

  5. Out of the 3 remaining championship contenders, no one is more deserving than Button at this point. But if Button is crowned champion in two races time, and it looks almost certain that he will, I think he will be the weakest champion since Jacques Villeneuve.

    1. I agree with you

    2. Setroc,

      Did you follow the 1997 championship? I did! And I can tell you for certain that it was the most exciting championship of the 90’s. He championship win is worthier than most cuz he had to fend off a cheating Schumi who was prepared to do anything to win.

      1. Sorry have to voice my disagreement here Villeneuve had the better car by a large margin and just barely squeaked out a championship.

        I’m Canadian so not being bias, and I certainly not a Schumi fan. Other than to recognize his incredible talent. Which made his cheating seem more sinister.

        1. Marcus is right, what did Villy do in the years following????? – 0 –

        2. True, if Schumacher was such a great driver, there was no reason for him to cheat. And that goes for any driver, regardless if you are good or not, cheating is for losers.

  6. On Button x Barrichello there is a clear turning point: once the braking system was changed in Barrichello’s car (i think it was in Silverstone, correct me if I’m wrong), he began to outperform Button, because he is clearly faster than his english team-mate, but, on the other hand, he is clearly harder on the car than Jenson is…

    The thing is: Brawn was much more dominant when Jenson was at his best, while, in the second half of the season, when Rubens dominated, the other teams were not only closer, but sometimes faster than them, so it was harder for Barrichello to win or score podium finishes…

    I think Button deserves to win the championship, but the case against Barrichello is, once again, he is far from being a lucky guy…

  7. HounslowBusGarage
    14th October 2009, 15:41

    I think this entire concept of someone ‘deserving’ a competitive, sporting championship is a bit daft. How do you get to be ‘deserving’? Help old ladies across roads, save kittens from trees? Oh, and win a race or two?
    Like lionfan 99 says, it’s the driver who gets the most points that gets the chapionship.

    1. Like Lion says, who ever gets the most points deserves it. But then, in that case what is there to debate about? Who is most “Deserving” here must mean something else otherwise what is there to talk about.

      Though I am unapologeticly a Vettel fan, I would say Barrichello is the most deserving. He’s the elder driver who during his Ferrari years played second fiddle to Schumacher. The two stop/three stop issue in Spain showed that he would sooner catch the next flight back home to Brazil rather than go through that again with Button. Even if he wins the WDC, I think this will be his final year.

      As for Button, you take away the diffuser advantage early in the race and there goes his winning streak at the start of the season. I guess if anything its Ross Brawn that deserves the championship more than anyone.

  8. He’s won 6 races and has scored in all but one race up to this point. Nobody else has come close to doing this. So he deserves it alright.

    But I’d rather see Barrichello win it. hehehe

    1. And the only race he didn’t score was because someone hit him. He would have been on for a better result than Barrichello otherwise.

    2. A refeshingly honest point of view, F1Outsider :-)

  9. Prisoner Monkeys
    14th October 2009, 15:46

    I want Button to win, and I have to admit that I like things better this way. People complain that he isn’t worthy because he’s only scraped a fraction of the points he cored at the beginning of the year since Turkey, but if he’d won in Britain and Germany and Hungary and basically had the title at the earliest possible juncture, those same people woulds till be complaining about how boring the 2009 season was.

    I head a really stupid argument the other day: that Button doesn’t deserve the title because he hasn’t had to fight for it. He took advantage of the other drivers when they weren’t as fast, and so he doesn’t deserve it because he has made the worst of his situation. Like I said: a stupid, stupid argument.

    The problem faced by Button’s rivals isn’t that he’s too good, it’s that thy are their own worst enemies. Sebastian Vettel has more DNFs to his name than victories this season. Rubens Barrichello has tripped over his own feet on the start line too many times. Mark Webber and Red Bull have made too many mistakes in the pits wih their unsafe releases. Lewis Hamilton has binned it on four separate occasions – Australia, Monaco, Germany and Monza – when he was expected to be fast or was threatening for a seriously good result. And Kimi Raikkonen needed a fire under his belly to start getting results.

    The thing about Button’s campaign is that he’s smart. He’s going to let the title come to him and strke at the opportune moment. If it were Lewis Hamilton, he’d be gunning for it at the earliest possible opportunity, but Button knows that pushing counts for nothing if it all ends in tears. Consistency is more important here; at the very least, he will walk away from Brazil with a four-point lead. He’s said that he’d like a win, but if he was put in a position where he had to score a single point in Abu Dhabi to take it, he’ll do that, too.

    Te thing that you have to bear in mind is that Button is no longer in the best car on the grid. The Brawn is probably about third or fourth on the road, behind the McLarens, the Red Bulls an possibly the Ferraris. As Kovalainen is useless and Fisichella is haing a hell of a time, that means the best Button can hope for is fifth by default. But the advantage is still his, because I honestly do thinkg Barrichello and Vettel need some serious results to go their way if they want to stand a chance of catching him.

    1. Great point about the car. I’d argue that Brawn hasn’t been the best car since the first race. Remember what Christian Horner said about his Red Bulls at Turkey? The car is brilliant in clear air, but a dog when behind another? This means Vettel knows exactly what he must do – get pole every race – but hasn’t been able to. Moreover, I would argue Button has done more with a highly above average car vs. Vettel who hasn’t come close to wringing the best out of arguably the best car from China on (at least in clear air).

      If the argument is that Jenson isn’t “worthy” because he’s “limping” home, I wouldn’t consider Vettel” worthy” until he wins a race he doesn’t start from pole – or throws away those that he does.

    2. Well said Prisoner Monkey….the great thing about F1 is that it is complex and for a driver to be ‘smart’ is a huge advantage.

    3. Some good and sensible points here Prisoner Monkeys

    4. I don’t think it is behind the Ferraris, well not at some tracks. The RBRs again at some tracks haven’t been particularly strong. It just all varies, we go from one track saying this will suit whatever team and the next track it is the opposite.

    5. he didnt bin it in aus, he knew what was that he was right in third and the team f****d it (he probably drove the best out of the feild that race). Monaco, he had to push the car so hard to get the performance out of the car, as compared to button or barachello who would had to have just cruised around the track to get the same lap times. Germany, you cant blame him for someone behind him giving him a punture. Monza, would rather try to get 2nd when it seemed almost imposible than just settle for 3rd (never give up attitude, always try to get one better until the checkered flag), something that alot of drivers lack.

      Who do you think would be the champion if everyone was in the same car?

      I think you are being a bit harsh on hamilton saying he “binned it”. I just think that its sad that he did not get a proper chance to defend his champioship.

      1. Well said Harv’s
        I think Lewis hit the Kers button exiting the corner to try and get 2nd, afterall he’s not fighting for the championship. He thought I’ll keep it on the black stuff and get past or I’ll hit the wall!! Unfortunatley it was the later!!

  10. Last year, whenever Vettel was asked who would win the championship he’d reply, “Whoever has the most points at the end.” Similarly, the driver with the most points is by definition the driver that “deserved” to win the championship. How the points are earned has nothing to do with it.

  11. I don’t think Button derserves to be champion, but I agree that no one else does either. All depends on how you define “deserves”.

    End of the day, I’m all for the points system and whoever gets the most points wins – simple enough. If Button has the most points then he should be champion. Personally, I’m just not impressed by his driving. He had a great car for the first few races of the year, so he dominated. Fair to say he capitalized on the good car so I give him credit for that. But the flip side of the coin is he needed Rubens to give him the setup and was quite lucky on a few of those wins. When so many external factors contribute to his wins, it’s hard not to say that someone else in the same car could have done the job (Rubens notwithstanding).

  12. I think what is important to look at is how a pilot developped the car with its engineers through the season. And what kind of car he was given at the start.

    Remember Alonso last year, starting with a bad renault and ending with podiums( crashgate lol). He almost did the same this year. He’s good at tuning.
    Alonso maybe always outperformed his teammate at renault but his team mates werent that good.

    Otherwise Hamilton outperformed Heikki which is lot better than piquet or grosjean. He also started with acrap car. The car is now competitive.

    In my opinion hamilton deserves the title this year despite i’m a big fan of alonso.

    1. I believe Hamilton is the best driver out there (meaning, the one who will hop in the car and beat anyone else), but he has done too many errors to be a worthy champion this year. However I’ll bet my shirt he will end up having one or two additional WDC before he retires. This season must’ve toutgh him a LOT

  13. The question of “who deserves to be champion?” is ill-formed. There is no “deserve” there is only “is.”

    Anybody who doesn’t realize this has a long way to go.

    1. I beg to differ. If it’s only about who “is” champion then we would just stare at the points table and would not have to watch any grand prix’s. I watch the grand prix’s because I want to see who “deserves” to be champion!

      1. why does it have to be so black and white? why must everyone be on opposite sides of the fence. I’m not on a peace mission here, but lets be a little more realistic.
        who ‘is’ the champion is often a result of luck, hard work and a number of other outside factors (not all of which a driver can say he deserves). and not all drivers who do well durring a race (or several races) are anymore deserving then the driver infront and behind. We’ve enter an era of capitalism in F1, and im not speaking of money. Drivers must be oportunists to do any overtaking essentially. praying on others misfortunes as opposed to excelling on their own accord.

    2. The question of “who deserves to be champion?” is ill-formed. There is no “deserve” there is only “is.”

      By that reasoning you could use any system you like to decide a championship and there would never be any grounds to question it. I think the situation is a little more nuanced than that.

      Whether you watch F1 or football or any other sport, asking whether the champion deserved the title raises useful questions about the sportsmen and the sport.

      1. Yes, the reasoning is conditional on the system being as it is. As long as all the participants were fully informed about the system, the question of “deserving” is ill-formed.

        Whether or not the system is fair, representative, and incentivizes the right things is a separate question and needs to be addressed directly – not by bringing up the “deserves” question.

        The problem with the “deserves” question is that everyone overlays their own imaginary half-baked points system on the current races which has two problems:
        1. Their imaginary points system is rarely explicitly stated
        2. The drivers didn’t know about it, so they couldn’t adjust their driving to suit it

        Whether you watch F1 or football or any other sport, asking whether the champion deserved the title raises useful questions about the sportsmen and the sport.

        Sure. But you can generate a much better informed debate on those very same questions by asking what sort of points system incentivizes the right things and rewards the right set of properties in a driver. That will go around the two problems I raise above.

  14. lewis' right foot
    14th October 2009, 15:57

    try telling button he’s the weakest champ since j.V he wont care one bit. Excellent comparison between usain bolt and button. I think he deserves it on his start alone_he was superb.

  15. Hello Keith, good analysis, by the way, but I beg to differ. I’ll present my case (;)):

    1-Unlike other people I don’t believe the guy with more points at the end is necessarily the worthy champion. It would be so if not for engine failures, bad strategy, safety cars, FIA BLUNDERS, etc, which clearly help to turn tides at some point.

    2- Only Vettel, Button and Webber can win the title right now, so I’ll refrain from even trying to point out other drivers who would be more deserving of the WDC.

    3-Now, my opinion is that Button is a decent driver, particularly smooth, not the worst at overtaking, and generally ok. However, I don’t think he ever was, or ever will, be championship material. The same can be said about Barrichello, but I believe Vettel has done his share to deserve the title this year. How so, you ask?

    4-Until Silvertsone, the Brawn was clearly the best car, and no one can challenge that, in my opinion, seeing as they made short work of mostly anyone. From that point on, it became a bit track and weather dependent, with Red Bull coming out better than the JB/RB team. However, while it may seem balanced, with each team being better on each half, you cannot forget that Ferrari and especially McLaren have ascended on the 2nd half, thereby directly challenging Red Bull, whereas Brawn pretty much dominated the beginning.

    5-Jenson Button has not had any issue with his car or engine since the beggining of the season. The only time he suffered a bit was when he couldn’t qualify properly in Hungary as the engineers were checking if his car had any defective parts as Rubens’ had. Barrichello, and particularly Vettel, had significant ones: he lost out at the very least 3 points for Button in Hungary, at least 4 in Valencia.

    6-Vettel, to make things worse, had some bad decisions thrown against him: in Singapore, FIA wrongly penalized him, costing him at least 3 points, and in Australia, I don’t think it was correct to give him a grid penalty over the incident with Robert.

    7-Yes, he crashed out quite some times, but if you notice carefully, all his significant blunders were made in the beginning (Aus, Mal, Mon and Turkey), when his car was not top notch and he was overdriving it. Lately he’s been consistent, and that’s when the engines have been letting him down – also, there’s no doubt right now that Merc have the best engine in town, not just in reliability, but also speed and smoothness.

    8-The one time Button had to retire he was starting from a lowly 14th on the grid, just his luck ;)

    9-All in all, Vettel could easily have 10 more points right now, while Button has had likely the least possible failures and misfortunes of any driver this year (even his pitstops are flawless!).

    10-So, in conclusion, I do believe that luck plays a part, and while Vettel has shortcomings, and Button is a good driver, the WDC should go to the jolly german.

    (Obviously some, if not most of you will disagree with me, feel free to say so, and why!

    1. If full points were awarded in Malayasia, Button would need just one point now, and if Rosberg has been penalised in Suzuka, Button would be champ now. There are plenty of ifs and buts, but the fact of the matter is, luck has been on Button’s side and he has driven the best he can, even when the car is against him (like Alonso you could say?)

      1. Precisely, and Vettel overdriving the car was his own fault. Has Button been overdriving now that he doesn’t have the quickest car? No, because he doesn’t need to.

        Also when Button was on song at the start of the year his driving was absolutely immaculate. Brawn may have had the best car, but it wasn’t unbeatable. Jenson Button in that car was unbeatable, particularly with the tyre rules. Critical overtakes and fast laps at important points in race weekends gave him the huge lead in the championship in the first place. He’s driving the same now as he was back then, only difference is it’s for 7th and 8th place rather than 1st.

        At the end of the day, the driver with the most points does deserve the championship.

  16. “Button doesn’t deserve the title because he hasn’t had to fight for it”

    Maybe not this season, but for the last few he’s been fighting like hell (mostly his own car, unfortunately).

    I think we should remember that winning the WDC and WCC will be just reward for all the pain JB and the team respectively have gone through to get there.

    It’s taken a great deal of dedication and hard work, for very little immediate gain, to end up in this position. Many drivers would have deserted the Honda team a long time ago, but JB had faith and they’re reaping the benefits now, just like Schumacher and Ferrari in the late 90s/early 00s.

    A worthy champion? Certainly.

  17. This “deserving” business is great. With such a subjective yardstick, I can eliminate all the champions of the past who didn’t “deserve” it. Schumacher would lose most of his, Prost would lose all of them and I could promote all sorts of guys you’ve never heard of to be champion. Yes, I’m definitely for deciding the championship by “deserving”.

    Button is a special case, of course. At the beginning of the year, he didn’t deserve the championship because he was winning all the races, now he doesn’t deserve it because he’s winning none of them. Sometimes you guys are hard to satisfy…

      1. Indeed. Very well put!

    1. I agree with Clive.

      If Button had his winning steak now, would he be hailed a hero for chasing the leaders down? What difference does it make that it was at the beginning of the season and not the end?

      Winning the WDC is a package deal. Driver, Car/Team, and of course, what the other teams do/dont do. If Vettle has lost lots of points due to DNF’s, thats not Button being lucky. Thats Red Bull not making a reliable car, or Vettel making mistakes etc.

      The driver with the most points deserves the WDC. Pure and simple. Jenson is no exception – if he wins it, he fully deserves it. There are no if’s and but’s.

      Too many sit-at-home experts with their own warped view on the reality of the situation.

      There is NO valid argument that Button does not deserve the WDC. The most points win, the driver/team able to score the most points deserves the title. Period.

      1. Yes, but did he eat the winning STEAK ?

      2. I agree with you njw, had Button done it the other way around and won the last 6 races nobody would argue whether he deserves it or not. He managed to put himself in the lead (with all the technical problems of the car and issues with the tyres) and then collected steady points, after all his hardwork I’d feel really bad if someone else grabs the title from him..
        If he doesn’t end up winning, I personally would favor Barrichello over Vettel simply because he gave so much in f1 and it would be nice to see him win a championship..
        Button is more deserving in my humble opinion this time around because he too has been around in f1 for a longtime and didn’t have the opportunities that Barrichello did (driving for Ferrari and settling down for being the number 2 driver, until he decided it was time for him to start winning races again – I’m not judging him at all I think he’s a lovable driver) Button spent years trying to prove himself struggling a lot throughout the years, after all his patience and perseverence I think it’s time for him to finally shine.. And if Barrichello wins he’d also desrve it, but more for old times sake than this years racing..

    2. Button is a special case, of course. At the beginning of the year, he didn’t deserve the championship because he was winning all the races, now he doesn’t deserve it because he’s winning none of them. Sometimes you guys are hard to satisfy…

      Nice one Clive!

  18. Jelle van der Meer
    14th October 2009, 16:21

    I would just to have clarified:
    “for me it won’t be as impressive as Fernando Alonso’s defeat of Michael Schumacher in 2006”

    What is impressive about winning the title only because your competitor engine blew the race before in leading position => Alonso would be 2 points down.
    Without this win – Alonso also would not have won a race in 2nd part of season in 2006.

    And than have your competitor have a fuel problem in Q3 putting him 10th on the grid – from which Michael drove a much more impressive last race than Alonso’s 2nd world title. With fastest lap 0,7 quicker than anyone else.

    That I call good luck vs bad luck – not impressive.

    1. Jelle van der Meer
      14th October 2009, 16:22

      PS – to keep to topic

      Button deserves to win – just hope he stays the nice guy he always was and do it in Abu Dabhi instead of Brasil.

      1. Yes, but factor in Alonso’s wheel nut problem in Hungary and engine failure in Monza and the points even themselves out again…

    2. Alonso was damn near flawless in 2006, and he took points off Michael Schumacher on days when the Ferrari was faster. Blaming Schumacher’s engine failure at Suzuka, when Alonso had car failures too, is what I call a bad case of selective memory.

      I’ve been watching F1 since 1989, and Alonso’s title in 2006 is one of the best I’ve ever seen.

  19. Let me put this to you – Button out-performed Barrichello in the first 7 races of the season. We have had 8 races since, and Barrichello beat Button, or should have beaten him in probably all of those, and has outqualified Button with an equal or heavier fuel load at almost every race since Turkey.

    What I’m saying is if Brawn were as dominant while Barrichello held the upper hand, we would be seeing a different championship in the last two races, although I wouldn’t take it away from either of them.

  20. Button took advantage at the right time, he wont be remembered in F1 history like true talents in the field.
    If he wins or not it doesn’t make him a great driver. Stirling moss was a true talent and never won the title but he will always be held in higher regard than button. As to will the likes of Vettel, he has raw talent. Button just had a an immense car at the start of the season. Sensibly and with a lot of luck he took 6 victories, i cant recall one superb drive. The guys got no style or no character which is why the british press much prefer to talk about hamilton than button!

  21. Finally we have Keith stepping in as the voice of reason! I was getting really sick of people saying Jenson doesn’t deserve to be WDC and I was hoping that the guys who provides us with this great site wsn’t secretly thinking the same thing.

    It still amazes me that people who comment on this site, who are generally knowlageable students of F1, try to formulate arguments that state that someone who has scored the most wins (by far) and the most points does not deserve to be WDC! It’s mind boggling! What is even more mind boggling are the reasons given to support another drivers status as “most deserving”. It’s all hogwash. If Rubens or Vettel deserved it more, they would be ahead of Jenson in the points standings.

    I’m sorry that you all think Jenson would be “the worst world champion since Jacques Villenueve”, but that simply isn’t true. Jenson’s performances at the start of the season were simply sublime. He “won” those races. He wasn’t given them by virtue of a dominant car. He overtook other cars and put in great laps at crucial times to take those races away from other drivers.

    On the issue of the “dominance” of Brawn in the first half of the season, I think you’ll find when we review the season as a whole that the Red Bull was showing itself to be more than a match for the BGP001 as early as China. By Silverstone, the Red Bull was the class of the field. And yet the “more deserving, more talented, more blah blah blah” Vettel hasn’t managed to haul Jenson in.

    The fact of the matter is that if Jenson ends up with more points than anyone else after the chequered flag falls in Abu Dhabi he will be a great and deserving champion. The end.

    1. I dunno what makes people think Villeneuve Jr didn’t deserve it. Villeneuve was the most consistent driver that season. He won races at crucial times unlike Button, he pulled off some breath-taking overtaking maneuvers unlike Button. Took 100 odd pole positions unlike Button. Won the championship in style, that plunge into that corner at Jerez will be itched in my memory forever. most importantly he had to fend of a cheating Schumi who would do anything to win.

      1997 according to me was one of the highlights of the 90’s along with 90 & 91.
      Villeneuve definitely deserved that crown, no question about it.

      1. Took 100 odd pole positions unlike Button

        LOL!! sorry for the typo. 10 odd pole positions. :P

      2. Never thought I would agree with you……

      3. I agree in respect of Villenueve for the record. Just used him as an example because someone else did.

      4. He definitely deserved it, but he dropped off form after that, so I wouldn’t really compare him to Hakkinen/Schumacher/Alonso who came after him.

    2. If he isnt the worst since Villeneuve, then you please tell me who is?

      Michael Schumacher? I doubt it
      Mika Hakkinen? No
      Kimi Raikkonen?? No
      Fernando Alonso? No
      Lewis Hamilton? No
      Jenson Button? Spot on!!!!

      His name shouldnt be around those…

      1. Terry Fabulous
        15th October 2009, 2:02

        Argueing who is the worst World Champion is like argueing about who is the ugliest covergirl.

        They are all hot!

      2. Kimi was beaten by Massa last year ..

        Alonso was beaten by a rookie ..

        Hakkinen had some pretty mediocre seasons.

        I saw one of these behind the scenes documentaries and Hakkinen was complaining about the car. When Hakkinen was out of hearing distance, the chief mechanic said that there was nothing wrong with the car, but that he had a problem with his head.

  22. The fact that people are talking about it so much goes to show theres an issue with how much button ‘deserves’ it!”

    1. Agreedm Button may have drove well the first half (I don’t think he’s changed much just that the car has but he can’t use it) and the points system generally means the best out of contenders wins. The problem with this year though is that all the heroes have been at the back/midfield and Brawn had such a monster of a car- which suited Button more than Bar-that it is just a massive headache and argument for fans to argue over.

  23. Whether he deserves the title is an objective question based on numbers, so there is no doubt he does if he comes out with the most points at the end. But if you have trouble beating a retiree then you got other problems..

  24. Button deserves it the most because he’s kept his nose clean & hasn’t been involved in any controversies unlike his previous championship compatriots.

  25. If Jenson Button doesn’t deserve the 2009 championship no-one else does

    Be careful Keith, remember Max Mosley (and his friend Bernie) is still the F1 “Commander”.

    Maybe they could start thinking to declare this year with no champion and accumulate it for next season! :-)

    I think the point is Jenson has taken all his points (and advantage) when Brawn’s cars were two (or more) steps over the rest. In F1, the car is quite important, but for this case the car has been extremely important.

    Jenson is a quite good driver, but not “champion material” (IMHO). When the car fits his driving style, he can be on the top, but when not, he’s not able to adapt his drive to the circumstances.

    In any case, this discussion is not quite productive. The driver who will finish with more points, will be, in any case, a worthy champion.

    1. Jenson is a quite good driver, but not “champion material” (IMHO). When the car fits his driving style, he can be on the top, but when not, he’s not able to adapt his drive to the circumstances.

      I would ask you to produce drivers who can “adapt” to a car that doesn’t suit his driving style. We all praise Alonso for his “0.6 seconds”, but if the Renault was a true dog of a car, even he wouldn’t consistently be getting results. Plus, we have an excellent example of F1 being a union of car & driver this year. Fisichella, anyone?

  26. Keith’s argument is correct – No one else really deserves to be champion this year as the standard of opposition has been poor. Button has demonstrated he has the metal to know how to play the long game and this is what he must hope will bring home the bacon over the next two races.

    What the actual debate seems to be is the “Style” in which it has will be won. Unfortunately I feel he leaves himself open for a bit of criticism because since the rest of the pack had similar difusers Jenson has been average (Ok because he could afford to be because of his big lead) That’s why there will be doubters.

    To compare him to Prost at this stage is a little premature as I feel as he has yet to complete the job, and until he does so I feel there will be people that criticise him for being on the “slide” for half a year.

    It’s ok saying he’s like Prost if we imagine him winning, but should he throw it away from here it would surely be the biggest collapse ever in F1 and I wouldn’t be bestowing comparisons to Prost if he did that.

    1. Prost and Jense are like each other by driving style (though I don’t believe the Jense is as good a driver as Prost, they just have similar driving style)

    2. The BGP cars deserve the championship, not the driver behinds it.

      This year, Button is the most deserved driver to win the championship but only among a handful of drivers who have a chance to win it.

    3. Comparing Button to Prost is very nice for Button.
      Even if their driving style may ressemble, Prost managed 4 WDC and narrowly missed two or three more…

    4. It’s ok saying he’s like Prost if we imagine him winning, but should he throw it away from here it would surely be the biggest collapse ever in F1 and I wouldn’t be bestowing comparisons to Prost if he did that.

      Fair point.

  27. Keith,

    I could not disagree more w/ your assessment that noone else deserves to win the WDC. Button only won when he had clearly the best car, even over his teammate. Rubens got the car he needed about 7-8 races into the season, and since then he’s beaten the living crap out of Jense. Rubens deserves this year’s WDC. I can also make a case for Vettel, who is the faster of the 3, by a mile, but the RBR lacks in mechanical grip, therefore doesn’t deserve, as a car, to win the title.

    I can understand why you make this statement for Jense (both him and you being Brits), as I can also understand why Brawn favored Jense since the beginning of the season (or they would have given Rubens an equal car right from the start).

    Button is no more than a very average driver who lucked out once in his career in having the best car for more than half a season and took advantage of it. No more, no less.

    In equal cars, Rubens is clearly faster. He deserves to win this year’s WDC.

    1. Have you forgotten the crashes from both Vettle and Rubens. There is only 1 I can recall with Jenson and that was hardly his own making.

      Please stop with the theories about Keith or Brawn showing favouritism to Jenson because they are British – it get’s boring.

      Brawn could have stopped Rubens challenging Jenson for the tile at mid-season but let him get on with it.

      1. Learn how to spell. It is “it gets boring” not “it get’s boring”. That Brawn has been favoring Button since day-1 is a fact not a theory.

    2. I’d also like to ask where you get this information about Rubens having worse machinery at the start of the season? I was under the impression that they had the same car? Then heard that as they improved it the balance changed and moved more towards Ruben’s style than Jensen’s.

      Also to say that Ruben’s is beating the crap out of Jense is riduculous, so far we’ve had 15 races and Jense beat Rubens in 10 of them!

      1. You did not read my message carefully. I said Rubens beat the crap out of Button once he had a car to his liking. Check the facts.

    3. Rubens got the car he needed about 7-8 races into the season, and since then he’s beaten the living crap out of Jense.

      With only TWO wins?

      1. With consistently better placements that Button. Check the facts.

        1. Rubens beat the crap out of Button once he had a car to his liking.

          When jenson had to car to his liking at the start of the season he certainly beat “the crap” as you delightfully put it, out of Rubens.

          Check to facts for yourself

  28. Rubens deserves it the most!

  29. I am pretty sure Button will win and at the end of the season if you have the points you get the prize. I do however think that he will never have the advantage he had ever again and will return to his natural position on the grid next year. he has had some very good drives this year while others have struggled.I don’t know why so many Brits on this site knock him, is it still a Lewis hangover? I would like some feedback on that because here in Italy he has been seen as doing the best job in the best car….. ipso facto WDC.
    Keith to compare him to Prost is a bit much though. Main difference is that Prost drove for points and Button has looked like he has no other option in the last 8 races. Prost always took the big ones when needed.

    1. Hello Rampante I am British and I’m just not bothered by Button, I’m not really bothered about British drivers/cars (not a Lewis fan but accept his talent and skill as one of the greats on the grid). I think the last Brit I really liked was Mansell and that was before my time, I respected his bravery. I’m not always bothered about talent but it’s passion, personality, flair, bravery and style what makes me support someone. But that’s just me, I don’t know if any other fanatics feel similar?
      For Britain as a whole, I’m not sure, everyone or at least most I know support British teams and drivers. There has been negative press of Button and the press here do tend to have a ‘build them up knock them down’ attitude. For example Lewis was the best champion ever according to the papers but then this year he is abysmal for half of it and then ‘back on form’ right now, completely failing to take into account it is the car that plays a very big role. I hope that helps give some insight Rampante :)

  30. im not the biggest hamilton fan, but if he was behind the wheel of that leading brawn car, the season would have been wraped up by now, WDC and WCC. Im not sure if vettel could do the same, but its a gut instinct that vettel in the same car as button would school him in a hot lap challenge, but there is no disputing his age, lack of general experience, and (at times) poor judgment calls…
    …i may not like him, and i dont think he was this seasons best driver, but i expect button to walk away with the crown. If for any reason he “desserves” it, the its due to his abbility to have not lost what was assumed to be his from the start of the season.

  31. I agree with the article, although you could make a case against Button the case for any other driver is not as strong as it is for Button.

    I think that no matter how Button finishes the season, if he came from the back to win both races with the drives of the season, there will still be those who claim he doesn’t deserve the title and that it was all down to the car. You just have to look at the criticism Alonso and Hamilton receive from some fans.

    I think Button’s form did slump in the second half of the season, and although he is probably over it now he has decided to do just enough to win the title rather than going all out for race victories.

  32. I think the points system in F1 totally negates the ‘deserves to win’ argument. Button has won more races and scored more points, so unless that changes over the next two races, he deserves it. Although I do want Rubens or Vettel to win over Button, it would be assanine to say that they deserve it more. But if button does win, I want to see him do it in a convincing manner!

    1. i have to say that very well put, and bassicaly how i also feel, but i have to ask; whats convincing to you? if he pulls out 5 points over the next to races while the other lead the front, will that devalue your argument?

      1. Good question. I guess the point Im trying to make is that whether or not Button wins in the way I’d like to see, he is no more or less deserving of the title.

  33. F1, because it isn’t a single make series, has always thrown up odd results and interesting possibilities because very few know ‘is it the car or the jockey’ that is winning? Who deserves it and who wins it are often different fish kettles..
    Button took the car advantage early on and made it count, Reubens didn’t. The second half of the season the car advantage has been reduced and Reubens has been getting results and JB is having to hold on. If it were a football match and one team scored goals in the first half and are now trying to hold on to the final whistle it would be considered a great victory.. why not here..?

  34. Remember the points were changed( and have been many times) because of the Shumacher/ Ferrari era. I always liked only 11 results counting as it eliminated no scores for drivers that had been taked out,blew up, pit errors and evened the grid out. There are more races now but it would still be good to see with say 4 results not counting. Anyone feel the same or the complete opposite?

    1. I wouldn’t mind that as it is very frustrating watching your driver catching up in championship points and just at that moment the engine blows up.
      I do not ever, ever want Bernie’s medal systems, especially not now with it just being a year after Massa lost with 6 wins. It would be too bitter. It would be hard for fans too because if jense had just won all his lot he really would have been quite safe and if he carried on driving poorly well then the debate against him being worthy would be even more furious.

    2. hated that idea! u have a team over lets say 10 races score 2-3 big result (20-ish points), and another teams scores everyrace but low (again, 20-ish points)…now the consistant team gets hit with a point loss relative to the other team….silly isnt it?

  35. I still don’t get why anyone can say that someone deserves to be champion, before he wins the championship. When he wins he’ll deserve it.

  36. In real time statistics dose not count what happen with L. Hamilton don’t forget that also.

  37. I think the one with the most points at the end of the season deserves it more than anybody else, be it button, vettel or barrichello. I find it strage that when the grid has been turned upsidown, people argue if the champion is worthy. Who knows maybe bernie is right, don’t have a driver for the constructors. Have them drive all of the car makes and decide on a champion with the most points at the end. Don’t penalize the driver for a failure, deduct points from the constructor.

  38. I usually frown at these “deserve the championship” debates, too, because with every year and prospective champion, the arguments for it seem to differ. If a driver wins a championship with some great races and some great screw-ups, he lacked consistency. If a driver wins a championship because someone else’s car fails in the decisive race, he only got lucky. If a driver takes some victories early on and then decides to go into cruise control, staying out of trouble, he lacks impressiveness. If a driver, wins sixteen out of nineteen races, he’s too dominant for it to ever have been interesting. It appears no kind of driver would deserve to win a championship, and people will just subjectively vary their reasons for making that claim.

    Especially if Button supposedly put out lacklustre performance ever since having scored his last win at Turkey, it’s obvious that neither Barrichello nor Vettel performed well enough in that time to outscore him. With two races to go, they clearly need Button scoring hardly any or no points at all. They need the luck of two basically disastrous races for their co-contender to win — which, in my view, would fall under the kinds of categories I’ve enumberated above (luck).

    So for the time being, I’ll, too, be sticking to the boring, factual view of whoever has gained the most points at the end of the season thus earned himself the title, period.

  39. Sorry, dissagree. If it is Fisichella behind the wheel of the ultra fast BGR and wins the championship this year, will one put out an article like this? Can Button win the title again in the future? I dont think so. “IF” Button wins the 2009 title, he will surely be one of the most undeserve champion.

    1. Why can’t you just celebrate Jenson’s achievements? Perhaps it’s true that only those who had ever tasted great victories in their lives can rejoice in their others’ achievements.

  40. Lewis Hamilton deserves this championship more than Button. Lewis is the best driver of 09, as he was 08 and 07. Lewis has played a great part in turning the McLaren around, from arguably the worst overall car in the field at the start of the season, to one of the best overall cars by the season’s end. It’s still far from the best car, as sectors which require lots of downforce and aero efficiency show; nevertheless, Lewis has hustled his car to finishes it didn’t really merit. Lewis has put in some mega drives this year, such as Melbourne and Hungary. And he has battled for every position and given it all on every lap when most drivers simply give up and settle for minor points or a classification they don’t really want or need. Lewis has thrashed his team-mate in terms of outright performance; and Kovi showed that he was no slouch when, by the end of his debut year, he was beating Fisi by pretty much the same as Alonso did.

    Of the championship challengers, Button is most worthy. He has the most wins and the most points; he has made the least mistakes; and he has made the most overtakes. Since Button has been consistently beaten by his less than stellar team-mate and scored a bare handful of points in the last eight! races, however, this says a great deal about the value of this years’ championship and the quality of this years championship challengers. It’s no coincidence that Rosberg is reportedly desperate to avoid a switch to McLaren (to avoid Lewis) but reportedly has no fear of measuring-up against Button at Brawn (source: Autosport).

    1. Completely agree with the first part of your post.

      I would too with the second, if the season had ended in Japan. If the situation remains about the same after the next two races, I’ll still agree with you, because for that to happen (bar everyone retiring or having a bad race) Jenson would have to get podiums, thus winning his title by doing enough for 8 races and then putting in a performance for the last 2 to win it on his own terms, rather than his rivals just running out of races to pip him.

    2. Correction: Lewis is, and has been, the 2nd best driver. The best driver has been, and remains, Alonso. The best driver does not blow a 17-point lead w/ 2 races to go.

  41. F1 is about developing the car, failing to make mistakes, winning when you can, and scoring when you can’t. Brawn/Button have done a fantastic job according to the program.

    But what irks people about Button’s three-month swoon is the feeling that Button has prospered only because Brawn GP stole a double march on the field—by buying a well-developed car from a very well-funded Honda team, refined over basically an extra year; and then the double-diffuser. Yes, lots of drivers have had a technological ace up the sleeve for much or all of the season and have been stamped “great”. But when you do have an ace, your performance is necessarily judged according to a finer gauge, and weakness vis a vis your teammate will be especially damning. So many now perceive that this feeling has been justified.

    If you judge him in contrast to his predecessors, Hamilton and Alonso, you don’t see a man who is relentless—who can wring out a lousy car as well as dominate in a great one, and who convincingly dispatches talented peers and leads his own side by force of will. These are the traits fans love—the qualities of heroes from antiquity forward. Instead, you see a man who, as Keith says, is like the the methodical, boring Professor—who despite his bulging trophy cases, is a hero to no one.

    1. I agree with a lot of what you said, but let’s not equate Prost and Button in any way. Button may very well be a WDC and that’s fine, so is Keke Rosberg. Prost is exactly what you said heroes of the sport are. He was just the logical hero, the one who didn’t play anything but his game and didn’t try to be a shark. He’s my hero, more than any other figure in F1, next to Alonso now. But Alonso isn’t what Prost was. He could be, but he’s a few titles off.

    2. Nice “double march” comment, and an analogy that deserves exploring further.

      Button and Brawn are like Napoleon and the French Army. Out-numbering an enemy army with a skilled general at the helm, this machine won battle after battle.

      Then come along McLaren and Hamilton, the British Army and Wellington. With the progressive improvement of their smaller army and having a better general, they win some important victories (this even works for Monza; like Wellington, McLaren relied on strategy for Lewis to win the day, but unlike in real life “the Prussians never came” (which would have been Heikki holding the Brawns up I guess!) for McLaren and lost just as Wellington would have had they not come for him)

      All the while, Brawn and Button have to face the Austrians and Archduke Charles, i.e. the Red Bull team and Vettel. Just like in history (e.g. Battle of Wagram), they inflicted massive blows but in direct competition failed to defeat them.

      And just like in 1812-1814, next year all the other big teams will gang up on Brawn and pound them into the dust ;)

  42. That’s it in a nutshell: none of them deserve it. Button’s just about done the best of the worst but his performance when he wasn’t in a “monster of a car” has been pathetic. No-one can really say he is a great World Champion, because he just isn’t. His record previous to this year has been poor, and his performance post Turkey has been atrocious. A champion worthy driver extracts the most out of even a poor car and excites and drives exceptionally in circumstances other than perfect. Button doesn’t do this.

    He will be champion, but no-one can say he is worthy, just more worthy than Rubens and Vettel. I keep seeing articles in the British media jumping up to defend him, but you can say he is a worthy champion ’til you’re blue in the face, the fact is he still is not!

    1. With that logic, can’t you same the same about Kimi and Lewis’ mistake ridden WDCs in 07 and 08….

      FYI – I don’t agree with this logic, so I DO think they are all 3 worthy and deserving of their titles.

      (on the flip side, I do kinda see what you’re saying….just for arguments sake, let’s say that Lewis, Kimi, and Jenson all win 1 and only 1 WDC in their careers….I think that Kimi and Lewis will be remembered as excellent, although different, drivers. Button will be remembered as relatively average to below average AMONG THE OTHER WDC drivers).

  43. Button has the most wins and the most points.He deserves the title.Life isn’t always exciting but,the man has done his job.

    Vettel will have his turn soon.

    1. And button owes a BIG THANK YOU to Honda & Japan.

      1. Very good point indeed.

      2. you betcha!

  44. I think the big issue with the whole who deserves it most is it implies that the result is down only to the driver.

    When clearly anyone who knows anything about formula 1 knows its a team sport.

    Button and his team made a car that worked well for him from day one, that is partly down to the team on their own, but a lot also comes down to communications between Button and his team.

    Two drivers have popped into a red car this season (a car that was performing okay) and neither can put decent laps in. Suggesting a need for understanding a car and getting it set-up right for the driver. Barrichello had issues in comparison to Jenson at the start of the season – now it looks the other way around.

    I personally want to see a Barrichello win this weekend on his home soil, with Jenson in 2nd place. Realistically this is a balanced and decent outcome for both drivers, I’m sure they would both be very happy.

    1. You make a good point. Its Brawn Grand Prix that deserve the title, full stop (assuming Vettel doesnt pull off a miracle in the next 2). I also think it would be a great, albeit heartbreaking, result to have rubens win the race and lose the title at the same time, at his home grand prix.

  45. I just want to say I dont get it. NO ONE DESERVES A CHAMPIONSHIP. You either get it or you dont. Track dont own a driver and a win is not due just cause you want it to be that way. If Button wins great if no well that is that. I just never got the whole Idea of someone deserveing it.

    1. Or put it other way. There are, in fact, many drivers who deserve it and also a lot more drivers who want it. But only one will get the Championship title in the end.

  46. Button is no where near Prost, a 4WDC who was up against all the greats Lauda, Senna, Mansell etc. Prost got things done when needed.

    1. button vs kimi/alonso/hamilton…sertainly doesnt sound unimpressive just cuz there names havent been in the books for long.

  47. I think the difficulties in this debate are the fact that “deserving” is not really defined. From my POV, there are three types of “deserving” going around in the debate.

    1.: deserving as in results – there is the deserving one the one that has most points, no discussions there. Be it Button, be it Vettel, be it Barrichello.

    2.: deserving as in driving – there we have the problem, what is good driving? Everyone thinks different what is good racing about. And of course, we have Button’s “lacklustre” perfomances against his most impressive wins early, we have Vettel’s dominations and his engine failures and we have Barrichello with his success in the later part of the season and his strategy blunders and wrong starts.

    3.: deserving as in emotions – well, to put it simply, this one is completely up to your choice, I personally think Rubens should win it, you may think otherwise

    So to decide what is a worthy world champion, we have to decide which of the three points we take as a basis for the particular discussion.

  48. If Jenson Button doesn’t deserve the 2009 championship no-one else does

    No-one else had the early advantages he did, not even his team-mate (I’m talking about the brakes issues in the early season, not conspiracy theories). Post-Turkey, Red Bull have had approximately the best car on race day only 4 times (GBR, GER, BEL, JAP) out of four races, whereas Brawn had it twice (EUR, ITA), not to mention the 6 times out of 7 before Silverstone to RBR’s once (CHI).

    If Vettel wins it he’s going to have had to win one race and score a podium in the other, on top of 3 other wins and 3 other podiums (which would make Jenson 6/1 and Vettel 4/4). When he didn’t have a 6-race advantage like Jenson did, if he wins it – or even finishes within 10 points – he will definitely be more deserving.

    Also, Vettel has not yet shown he can fight his way to a win

    Passing one car (though a good move) and then your rivals suffering through a dodgy tyre call and another being stuck behind someone else, and having a superior car underneath you, isn’t exactly a fight. Winning in the pouring rain (and for more rain-soaked laps than in Malaysia) is.

    Let’s face it, no-one wins a WDC only by luck and circumstance, but Jenson stretches that truth to the limit. If he wins it by more than 10 points, he will be the most deserving for sure, because to do that he will have to get his act together in the last two races and score some podiums – in other words, drive like a champion and not the top midfielder he’s been for the second half of the season.

    Jenson is a very worthy contended. He is also champion material. But this championship? I bet he himself would have wanted to win it more convincingly with less reliance on the car’s early omnipotence.

    1. The reason that Red Bull was lacking pace on race day on the tracks where they were actualy faster was due to driver errors and poor strategy.

      Sitting behind a slower car due to poor strategy or driver error does not mean the car is slower.

      The Red Bull was faster than the Brawn in 9 races this season. The Brawn was faster than the Red Bull in only 4.

  49. HounslowBusGarage
    14th October 2009, 19:55

    This is a non-thread.

    1. agreed, stupid thread round 2

  50. Great piece Keith. I completely agree. All this “Button doesn’t deserve it because he scored less points in the last few races” is just nonsense.

    Though I wonder what you mean by the statement that Vettel had so much more engine failures. In the end that didn’t really cost him that much did it? He had some trouble with it in free practice, but in the end it cost him only one race. His 4 crashes/spins weighed much more heavily on his result. He also suffered from bad strategies, but I’d say he was largely to blame for simply not making them work too (Vettel not overtaking cars when Button did).

    Besides, if you want to put things on mechanical problems then I do think Rubens has some claim on that too. His poor starts were caused by faulty settings of the clutch. As Ross Brawn explained, the driver simply drops the clutch and the RPM should be set accurately by the team to prevent a stall. They got it wrong several times. Barrichello can’t really be blamed for that. Of course he could also (should) be blamed for subsequently hitting just about every car that he was trying to pass.

    I still feel that all three drivers now fighting for th WDC are mostly just performing to the cars ability. Of the three Vettel for me has performed below what the car would have been capable of. Button has most wins and obviously has been performing above the potential of the car more times.

    The thing is that this year the cars are really specifically effective only on certain circuits. It’s difficult to precisely predict which circuit suits which car best, but Australia, Malaysia, Imola and Valencia obviously fitted the Brawn car well and The Red Bull car was virtually unbeatable during the Chinese, Bahrain, Turkish, British, German and Japanese GP (in Bahrain and Turkey they still managed to lose it though). For the casual viewer it might be a bit difficult to follow and they could easily mistake this for lack of effort on the drivers side.

    Barrichello and Button have really been pretty closely matched in performance. The results might not show this so much, but still. In 8 out of the 13 races where they both finished, they finished right behind each other. Button scored 6 more points out of those races.

    The bigger differences in performance are only during 4 races:
    – Bahrain where both cars struggling for grip in Q3 (resulting in P4 and P6) when Button still pulled out a stunning race and won. +6 for Button
    – Turkey where Barrichello took himself out after a bad start and too much aggression to try and makeup for it. +10 for Button
    – Silverstone where Button had a bad qualifying, bad start and got beaten by Barrichello. +3 for Barrichello
    – Valencia where Button was pushed off track by Vettel doing an overly aggressive start +8 for Barrichello
    Total +5 for Button

    Then there are the 2 races where Button slightly outperformed Barrichello due to mechanical failure for Barrichello. Malaysia (gear box failure and 5 place grid penalty for Barrichello) and Hungary (suspension failure during qualifying). Similarly there is Spa where Button got rammed off by Grosjean. In total this gives +3 for Button

    If I aggregate those number we get and overview of the overall difference
    – Close finishes +6
    – Big differences +5
    – Mechanical problems/other driver errors +3
    Total Button +14

    Button gained most of his lead from simply finishing closeley ahead of Barrichello 7 times (vs 2 times for Rubens). This is why I say the two have been pretty closely matched all year. Neither of them show a slump in their driving either.

    When the car was good, like in Valencia and Imola, both drivers were back at the front. Button got knocked off by Vettel, but otherwise he would have finished right behind Barrichello there too.

    I think people make the mistake that they compare Button to Vettel and say that Vettel is performing better. They then forget that Barrichello is also less fast and Vettel is only faster since his car is faster on more tracks. Button is not in a slump. He might be taking less risk angling in the championship so he’s less anxious to get ahead of Barrichello. Still, out of the last 7 races, Barrichello finished ahead in 4 races and Button in 3 races. It’s not like Barrichello is mopping the floor with Button as some people seem to think.

  51. I think this is a very good look at the year.
    The Brawn car hasn’t been up to the task at all races as well.
    Button did many brilliant races.
    Vettel has shown he’s a superb talent and will be a future champion for sure!

  52. fearlessferddy
    14th October 2009, 20:28

    S Hughes says: October 14, 2009 at 6:00 pm
    That’s it in a nutshell: none of them deserve it. Button’s just about done the best of the worst but his performance when he wasn’t in a “monster of a car” has been pathetic. No-one can really say he is a great World Champion, because he just isn’t. His record previous to this year has been poor, and his performance post Turkey has been atrocious. A champion worthy driver extracts the most out of even a poor car and excites and drives exceptionally in circumstances other than perfect. Button doesn’t do this.

    I couldn’t agree with you more.. I personally think JB has done the best job out of the three title contenders if he wins the WDC the season making him worthy of the title. But the point which so many are still missing is unless Jenson delivers a champions drive he will always be remembered as the champion that limped to the WDC. I honestly hope this would not be the case.

  53. Almost everybody here turn against Bernie´s Medals point system. How we could say now that Jenson do not deserve his title because of his poor half season? It is not only unfair with him, but unfair with the point system that that we think is the better one.

    Even supporting Rubens, I will praise Jenson´s efforts this year!

    By the way, he is a decent guy, like Sebastian and Rubens. Since Damon Hill we don’t have a real nice guy — or a driver free of controversy — winning the title.

    As David Coulthard said today, he will be good ambassador to F1.

    1. Button hasn’t always been free from controversy.

  54. Every Champion has had their bad days and Button is no exception to this should he be crowned the WDC at Interlagos or Yas Island in my opinion he would deserve it as well with any other driver. Last years championship was a perfect example of this.

    Hamilton almost failed to take the title himself he had the potential for more points coming from Canada, Belgium and Japan those costly mistakes almost got the title from him.

    Massa’s driver mistake in Japan ultimately sealed the title for Hamilton.

    Even now people still talk last years and 2007 WDC. I still hear people saying that Massa deserved it the most in 2008 and Hamilton in 2007 but that is not the way to be weither it was driver error or luck factor etc

  55. At first, I think this is a case of too much of the same well trodden cliché in our cultural diet (i.e. hero rises up after being struck down and is victorious), leading some fans to feel bored and misinterpret that feeling as the “unworthiness” of Button as he flops the formula on its head.

    Then, I see “worthy champion” and assume that some insist on racing royalty, certain drivers entitled to the championship—classism I suppose (the other drivers in the field merely serving as extras, not even foils for the heroic king of racing and virtue).

    Finally, I decide that no one deserves a championship, especially not in a wholly contrived and irrelevant activity (not only motorsports, all sports). It’s like saying someone deserves to win a game Monopoly. Just play another round.

    1. Utter nonsense…

    2. if you feel noone ever deserves to be champion and classism argument, why do you watch f1? lol

      1. Because I really like auto racing. The real question is, “Why do I read comments on fan sites.” I mean no offense.

        You can only win a championship, not deserve it. You cannot deserve anything in an objective points based competition. If the champion was voted in, then yes, some would deserve it more than others. I hate to nitpick about semantics, but how can you deserve a championship?

  56. the only driver that deserves the title is the one accumulating the most points over the course of the season. if a driver fails to achieve the highest point total, that driver in no way “deserves” to be champion.

    1. yes! The WC is based on overall consistency throughout the course of the season. Thats what makes it interesting. Of course we could go to a “medal system”. lol :-)

  57. Button clearly deserves it, he never slipped up when winning all those races, put in quick stints when needed to make it all look so easy, and recovered from poor quali (more due to tech than him) in secondd half of season to consistently score decent points and avoid incidents (except when he got driven into). The only shame about this is he has to deprive Barrichello, who has been more unlucky than he has undeserving.

  58. No one except Jenson deserves the championship?
    Except of course his teamate Reubens Barrichello!

  59. Schumacher, 7 times champion. Not all for sure, but many of his titles were taken in a very dominant car. An unbeatable car much of the time.

    Button has had a car that was strong but not always the dominant car even in his wins. He’s doing a lot of damage limitation in a car that wouldn’t be capable of winning a title if he’d started the season in it with it’s current performance.

    Aside from a couple of recent races, there has not been much between Button and Rubens so it’s not as if JB is getting that much less from the car. Button is in the difficult position of having it all to lose. No one will scoff at Rubens if he loses now, but they will if Button loses so Button has more to lose, more pressure. There’s no way it doesn’t count.

    He’ll be a worthy champion in my opinion. He drove some great races this season.

  60. The Sri Lankan
    15th October 2009, 1:32

    Keith this is a very biased article and dicounts the fact, that despite all the troubles rubens and vettel had, they are still in the hunt. it’s like saying Lewis and alonso didnt deserve a shot at 2007 title over kimi. point is that all three deserve to be there. please refrain from writing such biased articles in the future

  61. Based on all of the above comments, the only way that a driver will ‘deserve’ their championship is if:

    – their car is not the best during the first half of the season (since having the best car is clearly an unfair advantage);
    – they manage to win more races than the next-best driver with the wins being spread evenly across the season but not from pole position (after all, a victory is almost meaningless if you didn’t have to overtake anyone to achieve it);
    – in the races they didn’t win, they will have scored points (it’s a long championship and consistency is the key);
    – they have a last-lap crash of their own doing (everyone knows that this is the official measure of a “true racer”);
    – the car must steadily improve throughout the season thanks solely to the driver (a consistently fast, “true racer”, is worthless if they cannot develop their car);
    – they arrive at a circuit and, within three laps, find the ultimate set-up for their car (ideally this set-up would be published on the driver’s blog for all of their competitors to copy at will);
    – despite allowing their team-mate to have free access to their set-up, they are still 0.6 seconds per lap faster than their team-mate (this should be known as the ‘Alonso Scale’, an official measure of driver completeness);
    – they have several mechanical failures resulting in a non-finish whilst the next best drivers have none during the season (if you can’t overcome a little bit of adversity, it might as well be a trained monkey driving the car);
    – their name is not Michael Schumacher, whilst at the same time, their name is Michael Schumacher (how is this possible? I don’t know but it’s a pre-requisite to being a deserving champion);
    – upon reflection, Formula 1 fans perceive that you were dominant enough during the season so as there was never any doubt that you would win the championship, but not so dominant that you have won the championship by Hungary (“that’s it, a little bit more dominance, just a little bit more, hold on, that’s a bit too much, yep, yep, just a pinch more, no, stop, that’s too much!”).

    There you go, a fool-proof formula for being a deserving champion.

    1. Terry Fabulous
      15th October 2009, 2:31

      That is hilarious!
      I think Clive has got it right, A lot of people are only happy if their favourite team or dirver wins the title, and Jenson and Brawn are not exactly Kimi and Ferrari are they???

      By the way, I still can’t work out why anyone likes Kimi. He strikes me as a total prat who is enormously fortunate to be driving F1 and can’t get motivated. Discuss?

      1. Because Kimi might just be the quickest driver on the grid and maybe the one with the most natural talent. He has provided stunning drives through his time in F1 as well as ‘storming through the field’ when he has wanted.
        Of course people want their favourite to win, but I think when generally these 4 were not expected to have a chance this year (and there is more support for big names) it may just have allowed people to approach it without bias as their favourites have struggled all year.
        Jenson can deliver when things go right, but he has also been greatly helped by the opposition going into self-destruct.

        1. Terry Fabulous
          15th October 2009, 23:01

          Steph90 I am just ahppy that someone is still reading my dumb comments after 170 odd posts.

          Do you think Button would be behind this year if Alonso was in Vettel’s seat and Kimi was his teammate? Probably.

          But F1 is so much about the luck of the draw and being in the right seat at the right time.

  62. What we have seen in the driver’s championship over the last two years,I am not betting on anything.But Button needs to stay out of trouble.That’s what Lewis Hamilton lacked in 2007.So just stay behind Barrichello & Vettel

  63. He’s not one of the sport’s “great” champions, but he was lucky enough to have a rocket car at the beginning of the season and stagger through the last half. No, Barichello or Vettel don’t deserve it any more than he does. I just don’t think he’s that good in comparison with a lot of his peers.

  64. Is Button really being compared to Prost?? Seriously?? Keith, Prost was miles ahead of Button. No, if Prost was on the moon, Button would be down at the centre of the Earth’s core. Fact: Button does terribly when the car is bad, or doesn’t suit him. Do you not remember him being swept away by Fisichella in the same car? Frank Williams dropped him for Montoya.

    And I thought James Allen was the biggest Button fan I could find….

    1. it would seem keith has been infected with the J1B1 virus.

      1. Dont forget who was the team manager when Button was competing against Fisi while at Benetton – it just so happened to be the same person personally managing Fisi…..a certain F.Briatore, if that isnt a conflict of interest I dont know what is!!

        Valencia is the ONLY race that Barrichello has clearly been faster than Jenson this year on race day (and that was mainly due to some argy bargy)

        Not only that but two seperate safety cars in recent races have really hampered JB – Singapore where the sc came out before his first stop, so he carried four laps extra fuel for a whole stint further (to get ahead of Kovi in the 2nd stop) – Autosport reckons that without that sc Jennson would have finished 2nd. The other sc period was during the race in Japan where JB was obliterating Rubens and would have got past him had the sc not come out for those 5 laps or whatever at the end of the race.

        I would say thats very bad luck on JB’s part, more detrimental than the few seconds Rubens has lost at other “incidents” and generally hasnt actually driven fast enough all year (apart from the odd race)

    2. Terry Fabulous
      15th October 2009, 7:57

      How is he not like PROST?
      Prost was a super smooth racer, very smart, points accumulator, maybe a little weaker then his opponents in traffic but otherwise outstanding.
      Button is very smooth, very smart and picking up points to win the title.

      Didn’t we all make fun of Lewis when he was trying to win in China 2007 instead of picking up some points.

      Also Montoya was contracted to race for Williams before Button was hired (from memory) and by the end of the year he was faster then Ralf.

      He was flogged good and pretty by Fisi but he was a pretty immature young man at that point who needed to grow up. (Anyone who didn’t need to grow up when they were in their twenties can now throw the first stone).

      He has been quicker in the same car then Trulli, Villeneuve, Sato and Ruebens ever since.

      So no Keith and James aren’t the biggest Button fans, that would be me!

    3. And I thought James Allen was the biggest Button fan I could find….

      Maybe you should learn to appreciate a persons accomplishments at face value rather than through “fan colored” glasses.

      If you do that then you’ll realize that Button has performed quite impressively over the whole season.

  65. We shouldn’t forget that had the planned “most wins” points system been enforced this year, as was originally decided in March then Jenson would already be champion and he has been since the Singapore race ran to its conclusion.

    Here is how the Drivers standings would look going into Brazil:-
    Driver Wins Points Actual standing
    1 Button 6 85 1 Champion
    2 Vettel 3 69 3
    3 Barichello 2 71 2
    4 Hamilton 2 43 6
    5 Webber 1 51.5 4
    6 Raikonen 1 45 5

    I don’t Know if Button would have been awarded half a win for Malasia…
    I believe this points system is to be adopted for 2010.

    1. Sorry could have done better with table layout. It didn’t look like this as I was typing it. Meant to add this link as well.

  66. To put it simply, none of them are worthy world champions.

    Button made the most of a car which was miles ahead of any other car at the start of the season, and since the car has even been close to any other cars performance, he has done **** all.

    Anyone can get into a car which is miles ahead of the competition and beat them, its logical. But since there has been any kind of competition, or the car hasnt been perfect, or he has started down the pack, he has struggled.

    Last year, Lewis Hamilton was fighting off Kimi and Massa for every single race. If he had a problem in qualifying, he stormed through the pack during the race like a true champion. He pulled out some champion drives like Silverstone or Fuji 07. So far, im yet to see Button do anything worthy of being classes as ‘world champion driving’.

    Dont get me wrong, he is a good driver. But is he a world champion? I dont think so.

    1. I don’t mean to take sides here but if you read my comment at 189, below, this comment illustrates my point about the only criteria or measure of who deserves anything, in this case the WDC, is which of the contenders you like the most or even easier, which ones you don’t like.

  67. Charles Treen
    15th October 2009, 11:02

    I rather like Buttons driving style – if I had built an F1 car I’d rather see it driven smoothly than flung around by the scruff of the neck. Unfortunately his style often seems to conflict with the tyre requirements, where a more vigorous driving style is required to generate a satisfactory working temperature. I feel that tyre selection should be up to the team and their supplier – I know, Bridgestone only – in future regulations, relying upon team knowledge of their car & driver to select the best tyres for any given circuit. Socialism in the choice of tyres is not such a bright idea.

  68. Never a truer word spoken, Keith. Especially the Prost comparison. This year reminds me of 1993 – Prost won seven of the first 10 races (the last three gifted to him by Hill), but he didn’t win any of the last six races (and it would have been 9 races without a win if Hill had won the races he should have done if reliability and politics hadn’t robbed him).

    The Button-bashing is just trendy anti-partisanship by holier-than-thou British F1 fans who have always liked to show how neutral they are by not supporting their country man.

    1. Spot on…

  69. Barrichello’s poor start in Melbourne didn’t cost him anything, he was 2nd at the end.

    1. Could have been a win…

  70. Keith, good article but pandering to the utterly pointless brigade of ‘worthy champion or not?’

    As has been said on innumerable occasions. The driver with the highest points total is WORTH a WDC. The one proviso being a fair and sporting accumulation of those points. Jenson has been nothing but…

    1. That’s exactly the point that Keith is trying to put across to people who don’t get it. Therefore, his point is not pandering to the ‘pointless brigade’.

      If you read the title of this article, it says, “If Jenson Button doesn’t deserve the 2009 championship, no-one else does.”

      1. Fair point James_G – but look at the length of this discussion and read some of the responses.

        Starting the debate has indeed literally pandered.

  71. I always crack a smile when these discssions go on. As with any debate, it is pretty easy to roll out a list of statistics that support your particular view point. For me, the argument generally boils down to which drivers you like and dislike the most. Whether it is due to personality, attitude, nationality, potential, success or past misfortune, everyone has drivers that they prefer. If a football team scores a goal in the first minute of a world cup match, then plays a defensive game to keeps it’s lead, does that make them less deserving winners? Your opinion will likely depend on who you support, and any argument you give will be built on that viewpoint.

  72. THe scoring system says that the driver with the most points at the end of the season is the World Champion. So, if Jenson has most points afer Abu Dhabi, he’s the champion, period. He has 6 wins already. Keke Rosberg & Mike Hawthorn were champions with only one win each. Did they deserve it? If Bernie had had his way & it had been done on the number of wins, Jenson would be champion already.

  73. I think the point is being fast enough to deserve the car your driving, and Button, and even Barrichello, deserve the Brawn seat this year, since they’re leading the standings with it…

    On the other hand, Heikki Kovalainen did not deserve McLaren’s car last year (as he was was far behind Kubica in the standings, and also scored less points than Heidfeld and even Alonso, that only had a competitive car in the second half of the season), and do not deserve his current car, because he is still tied in points (22) with Felipe Massa, despite having raced six grand prix while he was recovering from his accident, not to mention that, during these six grand prix Massa’s team-mate Raikkonen scored 35 of his 45 points, and his Kovalainen’s team-mate Hamilton scored 34 of his 43 points… Heikki, meanwhile, scored 17 of his 22 points on the same period…

  74. I have just read over 180 responses to this article and of the majority the thing that strikes me the most is that the whole discussion is all but rhetorical. It’s obvious that being a majority British in supporter base this blog will always have a better knowledge of and support for British drivers follwed by British teams. I believe recent poll results are evidence of this. Having said that, it’s easy for said bloggers to make a strong argument for who they believe deserves the WDC since they know some much about them. Conversely you would be hard pressed finding a die hard fan of a driver/team willing to give credit to an opposing driver throughout the season. If anything they’ll be all over them if they make a mistake or underperformed and it’ll be the only thing they’ll remember, especially when dicussions like this come along. To suggest that someone deserves the WDC more than someone else but they didn’t have enough points at seasons end is just absurd. Then, to take advantage of the situation, while everyone’s guard is down, to suggest Button deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as the greats, if in fact he wins the WDC, is just as bad. What in fact has he achieved other than someone like Kimi?
    I guess what I’m trying to say is that the debate is a valid one but the least biased response makes the question rhetorical, the driver with the most points at seasons ends deserves to win the WDC. If you want to know who I want to win, my choice is Vettel. He hasn’t always had the best luck, the best car and yet when he did he has managed to do well, better than his team mate at least. The only other comment that really annoys me is the one that Vettel hasn’t been able to win from anything but pole. My response to that is, so what, I would rather he win from pole than have to rely on luck to win from outside of pole. Anyway, before I’m lambasted for feeling a lot of comments on this blog are annoyingly pro British etc I want to say that it’s not easy being in the minority on this blog and a fan of F1, not just anything British.

    1. I assume you will also be going on Italian blogs/forums and telling them they are annoyingly pro Ferrari? Just kidding :)

      1. I appreciate your sense of humour Martin but truth is that other than having to type .uk there is no real indication that when I’m asked for my opinion on a matter concerning F1, that I will be lambasted by British fans, on this blog. If I go to an Italian forum I know what I’m in for, not like here where I am led to believe this is a F1 Fan site. Other than that I would be more inclined to visit a German forum ;-)

  75. Dont forget Barrichello only came 2nd in Aus thanks to HUGE fortune in three cars ahead of him retiring in the last few laps – after all the crashing and swiping he did in the early laps (incl imo Vettel being an idiot and throwing away 6 points on a risky move he didnt need to take, how much would he give now for those points on the table….)

    That was a huge amount of luck he had straight away

  76. Barrichello does! (deserve the title more than Button)

    Unfortunately small mechanical problems arise…

  77. Also Vettel would (will?) be a great champion.

    It´s his last chance of beating Hamilton becoming the youngest F1 champion. And loses also to Alonso being the youngest double Champion.

  78. As a JB fan, I have everything crossed that this is his year especially as there doesn’t appear to be heaps of support. Some of the criticism placed is justified when being compared to some other WDC’s but not all. Ultimately everyone has their heros and villians which is why there are sites like this to debate them!

    I’m sure plenty of people will beg to differ but there have been several WDC’s that I feel only became champions because their equipment or team were either superior to the rest of the field or they were able to capitalise on other’s misfortune or mistakes. Doesn’t mean some others that have been crowned WDC I would rate as “deserving” of the title. In my mind that doesn’t discredit Jenson’s achievements this year. Whether or not people in general choose to remember him in the history of the sport is superfluous. His fans will.

    However, as a bit of fun on the side this year, I have compiled a table of points achieved/points available taking into account when DNF’s have occurred and adjusting the points available accordingly per driver. Interestingly, having updated this with Japan’s result, Vettel’s percentage is 66% whilst Button’s is 63% making Sebastian at least on a par with Jenson’s performance over the year so far. Barrichello is next on 53% which perhaps means he is even less worthy despite being a thoroughly nice chap.

  79. Button did not get all those results by accident, and is now tayloring his drives for the championship like they all do. Last year Lewis needed to finnish 5th (it did not suit him as he likes to go for it) and that’s what he did. Button will win the championship this year and he will deserve it, good luck to him and another British winner so soon.

  80. Anthony Mwangi
    22nd October 2009, 10:51

    If Button is to be judged on the number of years he has spent in F1 i.e 9 Years, then he probably deserve to be the champion. however, if you to make a decision based on his performance this year, then could safely conclude that Jenson was simply gifted the championship.

    perhaps the 2009 F1 racing will gone down in history books as the most boring and the most bizarre competition ever witnessed. At the beginning of the season the Brawn team was given a head start by FIA, under the most bizarre of circumstances. In the first half of the season, Jenson was not competing against any one but was simply cruising to the finishing line. That is not how real champions become champions.

    The only true contemporary F1 champion todate is Lewis Hamilton. he fought for every podium he got on his way to championship last year. Its a shame that F1 racing standards have come down this far. We hope to see a real and true champion next year.

    1. Well, in a way or another, every champion was “gifted the championship”:

      2008 – Hamilton was helped by those two wins (twenty points) Massa lost because of his team’s erros (engine failure in Hungary and fuel rig in Singapore)

      2007 – Raikkonen was helped by that stupid mistake Hamilton made in China

      2005 – Alonso was helped by McLaren’s unreliabilty that compromised Raikkonen’s chances

      2002 and 2004 – Schumacher had a car so much better than the rest of the field (just like Brawn this season, in the first half) that his only ‘rival’ was his team-mate, Barrichello, that was miles away from him, so that he won both championships with six or seven races to go…

      On the otherside, every champion had his merit:

      This year, the double diffuser wasn’t only in Brawn, but also in Toyota and Williams, but the new team was the only one with a car good enough to, with that revolutionary component, be almost invencible in the first races… Button’s ultra-smooth style was perfect to conduct that machine in its appex…

      In 2008, McLaren made a better job than Ferrari, and that made the difference, since both title contenders made as many mistakes as the other…

      In 2002 and 2004, Ferrari was only that superior because Schumacher came many years before (in 1996), brought brilliant people with him (Ross Brawn among them) and began a slow reconstruction process that rescued Ferrari from a situation, in 1995, that wasn’t much better than Williams’ current form….

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