Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Suzuka, 2011

Horner names Button as Vettel’s biggest rival

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Suzuka, 2011
Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Suzuka, 2011

In the round-up: Red Bull team principal Christan Horner tips Jenson Button to be Sebastian Vettel’s closest rival in 2012.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Red Bull’s Horner see Jenson Button as main rival (BBC)

“Jenson had a great year last year and you can?t rule him out. He will probably be the strongest challenger.”

Red Bull won’t regret leaving FOTA – Horner (ESPN)

“I think the problem with FOTA is that its purpose had become clouded and it was dealing with issues that were beyond its remit. Therefore, we chose to step out of FOTA for the time being and wished them well for the future. But we are very comfortable with our decision and we’d rather be master of our own destiny than a part of FOTA at this time.”

Lopez: F1 is missing Kubica (Autosport)

“We were ready to carry on and figure out how to make him get back sooner inside the car and perhaps later in the championship. But I’m not at all happy for what happened later. We couldn’t do more; I don’t think it was Robert…”

Motor racing-Hamilton makes Monaco a home race (Reuters)

“It was a bit boring where I was living before, not many people around, so it was good to move.”

Scarbs' Seat Leon F-duct
Scarbs' Seat Leon F-duct

ScarbsF1 via Twitter

“F1 aero tests, I can confirm the F-duct has no benefit on a Seat Leon!”

South Africa ’72 – 40 years ago today (McLaren)

“I spoke for the first time. ‘Very pleased to meet you, Mr Andretti. And congratulations on your win here last year. How?s the car going so far?’ ‘Not as well as in 71, I can tell you that, replied Mario… and I was off.”

Williams Reports 2011 Annual Results (Williams)

Adam Parr: “We have made a number of new technical appointments that will strengthen our performance in Formula One and we are delighted with our new partnerships with Renault in Formula One and Jaguar on the C-X75 hybrid supercar project. Our new business developments across Williams Hybrid Power, Williams Advanced Engineering and the Williams Technology Centre Qatar are delivering promising results.”

Martin Brundle: When I see the movie, I see the Senna that I knew (The Sun)

“You could see it in qualifying in a Formula One car and I saw it in Formula Three where he could be at one with the car, the car just sliding on the absolute limit of adhesion. Watching his qualifying laps in a turbocharged Formula One car is still mindblowing today.”

Comment of the day

The response to one of yesterday’s articles suggests the Drag Reduction System debate is here to stay in 2012. Here’s a thoughtful view from GT_Racer:

Was hoping they would just stick to the one as I think the one zone at Melbourne a year ago kind of worked better than what we had most other places.

Having said that however I?d much rather there be no DRS zones at all, Either ban it or if they’re going to keep it just let them use it everywhere a certain number of times per race like the push-to-pass systems you see used in other categories.

Looking at the polls from the link in the article it seems that majority of fans don?t necessarily have a problem with DRS but do have a problem with the way it’s used.

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Speaking of DRS, this time last year everyone was wondering how the new device would change F1. Rubens Barrichello offered some thoughts:

“I think it should be used in a way that should help promote overtaking. But people will be tempted to do flat corners with that down.”

Barrichello’s warning was heeded by the FIA, who banned drivers from using DRS in the tunnel at Monaco and through Eau Rouge at Spa.

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

61 comments on “Horner names Button as Vettel’s biggest rival”

  1. Totally agree with COTD, the system is a great idea, but it’s just not the correct way. Maybe stick to the rule of the 1 sec gap but let them use in any straight on the circuit. Or like he said, a certain number of times per race in any spot. That could add excitement, as the drivers would have to use it even more carefully than KERS.

    1. certain number of times per race

      I think this is defiantly the best option.

      However, having said that. Imagine the complaints when Hamilton is passed by Vettel on the last lap because he didn’t have any DRS left. And also, it further punishes any driver who qualifies for whatever reason badly.

      1. MercedesBeanz
        11th March 2012, 12:12

        Lllooolll llllooooollll `button vettels main rival` llloolll my sides are splitting…ahh thats goodun

    2. Totally agree. End of the day most of use are just big kids, and their is nothing worse them telling a kid when and when they can’t play with there toys. Free regin to DRS. Like Quali. Let the boys play with their toys!

  2. That Daily Express story was just a re-hash of an interview Christian Horner gave to Radio 5Live. The relevant clip can be heard on the BBC website; it was uploaded three days ago.

    1. Yeah I saw that story on planet F1 two days back as well.

    2. @estesark Thanks for that – I hadn’t seen the original. I’ve revised the link accordingly.

      I do check to find the original sources for quotes or stories. But when people don’t cite their sources it makes it tricky, and in this case the quote isn’t even searchable in the original story.

      1. I understand the problem. Some newspapers/websites are better than others at stating where the story came from.

        The BBC did have a written story about it as well.

  3. Christian Trying to G Up Lewis.

    1. Or maybe he just genuinely thinks that Jenson Button has the best chance of beating Vettel. After all, Button came second last year, and was in the titile “fight” the longest.

      1. I doubt it, but I don’t think it matter either way.

        This stage of the season the soundbites are all mindgames, trying to break people’s confidence and put them under extended pressure.

        1. It possibly is mind games.

          However, Jenson is the only driver who seems to rattle Vettel for whatever reason. So if Jenson has a car equal in speed to the Bulls I think he will put up a good challenge.

      2. I’d interprit it as a back handed compliment really, Christian is a Hamilton fan but not above trying to keep him on tilt by making this kind of comment, but I love to read more into these things. He might just genuinly think Button will do the better job this year. But Christian rarely says things unconsidered and without motive!

      3. Come on PM, lets cut the nonsense, Horner is quite clearly playing mind games. Nobody in F1 _really_ believes someone like Jenson is a greater threat for the title than Lewis. (personal/mental problems aside)

      4. Horner doesn’t even adopt a PR speech, he openly puts Vettel above Webber and even says Button will be his strongest challenge, if it was a McLaren person, he/she would say that Lewis biggest rival is Button and vice-versa :)

    2. i thought of the same thing. Looks to me like Christian’s playing with Lewis’s mind. I’m not saying Button is bad. Technically the best competitor for Vettel is Webber.

    3. Why would he need or want to do that @matt2208 ?

      1. Because – apparently – the only reason why anyone does anything is to fire Lewis Hamilton up.

        1. Agreed @prisoner-monkeys, it’s clear the only reason anyone does anything in Formula 1 is Lewis Hamilton.

          1. Ferrari only entered in the first place so they could race him :D Didn’t you know?

          2. @mike “The prophecy decrees: on January 7, 1985… A child shall be born…”

      2. Well, don’t you think those kinds of mind games are pretty frequent in F1? I always find it very entertaining, personally!

        That being said, though, I doubt that’s what was going on here. I think Horner was probably giving his actual opinion, and I’d agree with him. Button is coming off what a lot of people describe as his best-ever season, he seems totally comfortable in the team, and on top of that the car seems good, which will only add to what has to be a massive amount of confidence. Add that to how well he’s able to handle the Pirellis and his overall high level of performance of late, and I’d have a hard time arguing with the fact that he’s likely to give Vettel a lot to be concerned about.

        (I’m saying this after a season of really dreading the sight of Button’s McLaren creeping behind Vettel during a race. As a Vettel fan, it was generally the last thing I wanted to see!)

        1. As a Button fan, seeing that comment from a Vettel fan makes me happy! :D @aka_robyn

  4. COTD is spot on. I voted to keep it throughout 2012 but with a limitation on the amount of times it can be used per race. I can’t see it changing for next year to be honest. New regulations coming in 2014 may abandon DRS altogether so it doesn’t make much sense to fix it for one year. However, the FIA work in mysterious ways.

    1. I’m scared that the FIA see it as a huge success and will stupidly carry it over even when they introduce the very different 2014 regulations.

      1. No, the FIA’s not stupid…

      2. @matt90, no doubt in conjunction with the sprinklers.

  5. Horner is trying to get into Withmarsh’s head. He knows what Mclaren did last year.
    He knows Withmarsh has a soft spot for Button, and is trying to make him continue with his policy of ignoring Hamilton when he needs the team to give him optimum pit stops and strategy.

    Button had a good year last year, but he was massively out qualified by his team mate, and more often than not, Hamilton was not getting the best race strategy.

    If the teams are really as close as preseason testing has suggested, Button had better do something about his qualifying, or he will be running between cars, forcing Mclaren to focus on how to get him out of that scenario, rather than concentrating on winning races.

    1. continue with his policy of ignoring Hamilton when he needs the team to give him optimum pit stops and strategy.

      Again, this nonsense idea that McLaren have a secret plot to undermine one of their drivers.

      1. There is no team like McLaren when it comes to equal treatment of their Drivers. Whether you like them or not you must admit that History of F1 speaks for itself. I’ll just mention one Season – 1988. They won 15 out of 16 Races and I remember that Season as one of the best since I follow F1 Races. Two great Drivers and one great Team! That’s McLaren Team!
        Jenson Button? What to say? Racing Driver, Gentleman, World Champion, above all nice Man. Who would wonder that he’ll win ‘some’ ground in McLaren? But, what I’ve seen so far, and I’ve never seen it before, is a huge mutual respect between him and Lewis. And the Team is cherishing the same towards both of them. Why? That’s McLaren Team!
        If you didn’t get it by now, you never will…

        1. @Boomerang A world champion by luck, because for most of the season he had the best car with no real competition, and his team favoured him over his team mate.

          1. @Faraz, not a multiple world champion by luck (bad) also because most of his career he was not in a top team let alone a top car.

          2. Written by somebody who didn’t properly watch any of the races he won that and cannot understand that he won because of his skill. And also forgets that for most of the season he did NOT have the best car, but one that was barely upgraded as rivals massively improved and surpassed Brawn.

      2. @KeithCollantine i have myself kind of figured out by the way you always kind of defend Button when someone makes him look bad that you obviously a fan of his. Have you not seen the way Whitmarsh and Button are always so touchy feely with each other during interviews??

        1. @realracer I haven’t got any particular preferences between the drivers and teams – what I want to see is a close, exciting, unpredictable year of competition which will sustain everyone’s interest until the end and hopefully keep people coming to my website.

          I also have a particular dislike for nonsense conspiracy theories like this, and I’m sure you’ll notice my contempt for them is not limited to ones involving Jenson Button.

          1. I feel the same way about these conspiracy theories. Sometimes they’re fun for a bit of a laugh, but other times they’re just cringe-worthy. These ones appear to be nothing more than an elaborate attempt to explain away Lewis Hamilton’s poor performances in 2011. What makes them so cringe-worthy is that Hamilton (eventually) admitted that all was not well, but some of his fans insist that he was just the victim of an elaborate psychological warfare campaign.

      3. Keith I never said there was a hidden conspiracy to undermine Hamilton, those were your words.

        I said Hamilton is suffering in the strategy department. If you call it a conspiracy that is your choice.

        1. You said that Whitmarsh is favouring Button and Hamilton is suffering in the strategy department because the team are only supporting one of their drivers. I called that a nonsense conspiracy theory. Which is exactly what is it.

          1. But he is Kieth. It is obvious. I have nothing against Button but it’s pretty cringe worthy seeing Whitmarsh love Button up.

            Hungary 2011 was the worst for me. Give one driver – the tyre loving Button softs – and the other supposedly tyre destroyer Hamilton the SUPERSOFTS on a 27 LAP STINT! Madness.

          2. but it’s pretty cringe worthy seeing Whitmarsh love Button up.

            Pffffft. They ain’t got nothing compared to the old Dennis/Hamilton relationship.

          3. But he is Kieth. It is obvious.

            How is it obvious? Because Button beat Hamilton last year? If Hamilton had beaten Button, would you be saying the same thing now? I don’t think so.

    2. ….pathetic…

  6. @Keith-collantine have you seen / read Alguersuari’s quotes on Kubica? He states that Robert can’t even drink from à glass with one hand.

    That sounds really bad. But maybe that’s a different kind of movement.

    1. i highly doubt that…. last we saw of him was a photo of him out and about and he seemed to be standing on his on and looked pretty good…but who knows…

      1. Standing on your own, and holding a glass are two completely different things!

        1. I’ve heard he was meeting fans recently and shaking hands, so I’m not sure who to believe. Whatever the case I do not expect him to regain full motion and strength in his hand overnight, it may take another year of rehabilitation.

          1. We’ll see what happens with Kubica, I seriously hope he recovers completely. I broke both bones in my forearm about 2 inches up (proximal) from the wrist playing hockey about 10 years ago. They put two plates and 14 screws in there and I never got back full range of motion in the wrist. Fingers and everything work without a problem obviously, but rotational motion on the wrist is probably between 90 and 95%.

            That said, I’m sure Kubica will have the best physical therapist that money can buy and the same can be said for his surgeons. I wish him all the best in his recovery.

          2. I winced when I read that.

      2. I saw those pictures as well, and I read a bit on a Polish blog where the editor had found 2 Italian journalists that were present confirming he actually did do a bit of running in the rallye car (but not more info).

        On those pictures it was pretty clear, that his leg is not yet completely fine and the way he was hiding his hand in most pictures, and how he held it in the one picture were his hand could be seen, rather indicate that Alguersuari might well be right about Robert’s fine motorics in his right hand.

    2. i don’t know what to say but i read an article in Autosprint in which they say that in the last Wednesday Kubica has a private test with his own Skoda Fabia WRC
      here is the link
      can you confirm that Keith

    3. I hope not.

    4. There are some translated quotes of Alguersuari’s going around, I have no idea if they are accurate or how well-placed Alguersuari is to comment on Kubica’s condition.

      1. how well-placed Alguersuari is to comment on Kubica’s condition.

        That’s the part I was wondering about in particular…

  7. i think it’s logical to assume that the main threat will be Button to Vettel’s tittle defence, if the cars are closely matched… what will matter more is how one gets most of the given tyres. DRS will help the faster guy move ahead so qualifying higher & defensive driving will not probably work unless the track does not offer a long enough straight or if the car behind does not carry high top speed even while DRS is employed. even if Hamilton or Vettel rush ahead at the start they will have Button chasing them till the race ends… and if the cars are equally matched Button will be ahead more often than not on the last lap.

  8. I can see many Button fans here …. Me, as a McLaren fan, `am just interested in the WCC. It has been too long now.

    And BTW, Horner naming JB as a potential title contender against Vettel means that Webber will definitely have no chance for the WDC and that is unprofessional of him.

    Coming to talk of it, was it not what he said of Lewis last year? Suddenly he is shifting to JB this year.

    1. Even as a paid-up Webber conspiracy theorist I can see that Horner was referring to Button as the biggest threat to the Red Bull team, not only to Vettel.

  9. I absolutely abhor the push-to-pass system in IndyCar. As if the whole DRS thing wasn’t drenched in the artificial debate enough, now people want to further limit it to an arbitrary set number of uses.

    I say we keep the system for a couple more years, fine tuning it as best as possible, then if it doesn’t resolve the problem if was invented to fix, scrap it.

  10. The Money (@pamphlett31220)
    11th March 2012, 21:58

    I can see an incredibly close drivers championship this year,i can see both lewis and jenson challenging the red bulls starting in australia,i think horner knows that mclaren are a lot better placed now than this time last year,i wouldn’t be suprised if both jenson and lewis were both in the hunt for the championship come the end of the season.
    Then there’s ferrari,even if they aren’t up to speed for a few races i can see alonso getting the most out of the car and then coming on strong in the second half of the season,like he did in 2010,i really think this year will be the best ever…so exciting!!.

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