Button not worried by McLaren losing Lowe

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Jenson Button, McLaren, Jerez, 2013In the round-up: Jenson Button says he isn’t concerned by the departure of Paddy Lowe at McLaren.


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Button shrugs off McLaren technical changes (Reuters)

“I didn’t come here because Paddy [Lowe] was here, I didn’t come here because Lewis (Hamilton) was here. I came here because this is McLaren, with its heritage and history – a word we always use, but it is the truth – and its strength in depth.”

Ferrari: We’re doing alright (Sky)

“I will be surprised if we are the leading car because with the stable rules we were not the quickest at the end (of last season).”

Former world champion Hill doesn’t expect Hamilton to challenge at sharp end of the grid in 2013 (Daily Mail)

“I don’t expect them to be challenging for the championship – I don’t think most people would expect them to be challenging for the championship.”

Bernie Ecclestone wants deal to keep Grand Prix in Melbourne for 50 years (Herald Sun)

“We’re happy with Melbourne and I’d be happy to sign a 50-year contract.”

Pit stops and polarisation (Arts London News)

F1 photographer Darren Heath: “When that DRS system came out or when Brawn and Toyota introduced the double diffuser they wanted loads of pictures of that, so it always makes me laugh when you see (Red Bull team boss) Christian Horner and Co moaning about these things, even though they employ a spy photographer! But the teams all do the same.”

Q&A with Jean-Michel Jalinier (Renault Sport)

“We are very conscious that this year will be the final year of the V8 and we will progressively switch from these operations to the V6 as we get closer to the end of the season. Therefore we need to be completely on top of our game right from the start. This means providing absolutely optimum service to each of our partners, in reliability and also what they need us to do.”

10 minutes with Jenson and Checo (McLaren)

Sergio Perez: “My training has been improving a lot since I joined Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. We have been working on the fitness side and I think I have made good progress and we?re ready to start the season. Only a couple of weeks to go ?ǣ but I am as fit as I?ve ever been!”

F1 travel agencies pump up area options, but not Austin hotels (Austin-American Statesman)

“A few tour operators have gone so far as not to offer an Austin hotel option for the November 17 race, blaming the high prices Austin hotels charged last year for the city?s inaugural F1 Grand Prix week.”

Gracious de Villota on road to recovery (Al Jazeera)

Maria de Villota: “Last week they gave me permission to return to driving. The distances I can already calculate quite well and it feels like nothing ever happened.”

Tamara Ecclestone’s ex-boyfriend jailed for blackmail (BBC)

“Derek Rose, 33, who was in a two-year relationship with the daughter of F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone when she was 17, was convicted at Southwark Crown Court.”


Comment of the day

How much would a 50-year contract cost Melbourne? @Proesterchen does the maths:

If you take the US $38 million the race is reportedly costing in 2015, the 5% annual increase currently part of the contract, and extrapolate out to 2063, you can see just why Mr Ecclestone would gladly sign such a contract:

2015 $38m
2025 $61.9m
2035 $100.8m
2045 $164.2m
2055 $267.5m
2065 $435.7m

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Andae23, Hedgey, Kolon and Verstappen!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Two-times F1 race winner Peter Revson was born today in 1939. The American joined the Shadow team in 1974 but was killed in a crash during practice at Kyalami.

Image ?? McLaren/Hoch Zwei

82 comments on “Button not worried by McLaren losing Lowe”

  1. They’ll cope fine without Lowe and Hamilton, Tim Goss is a more than capable designer and one of their current drivers is a world champion. They have lost world class talent in the past, but they will pick themselves up.

    1. Mclaren will need a massive car advantage to go for the WCC or WDC, Jenson and Perez are far from the best drivers in the world and the competition at the front is going to be tough.

    2. I enjoy McLaren @Calum as well, but the reality is they have had longer periods of drought than even Ferrari. I don’t doubt they can rise back but it wont be next year or 2015 I think.

      1. McLaren is not a one-man team. The engineering department is a group of people working together. Tim Gloss and Neil Oatley are just two men who fill in the more important roles within McLaren’s technical crew ATM.

        McLaren have lost Adrian Newey and Pat Fry in the past, but this did not stop them from being at the top of F1; nor I doubt will Pade Lowe’s dimise, despite being a great technical director, serious effect McLaren.

        1. Totally agree! McLaren is far from “one man band”. However I was never impressed by cars designed under Lowe’s guidance. He missed very important details on the car compared to RBR in last years. He is certainly one of the best contemporary engineers in F1. His abilities to design some components of the car are proven in the past. But, he misses that ‘something’ that makes difference between exceptional and good technical director…

          1. Last year’s McLaren was the fastest on the grid. The only “something” it was lacking was reliability, and I wouldn’t blame that on Lowe.

      2. Well, that depends on how you define drought, and also how you define McLaren. By “McLaren” I’d always draw a distinction between pre- and post-Project Four Racing merger, simply because Ron Dennis’s team isn’t at all the same one as Teddy Mayer’s.

        Then in terms of drought, well, since 1981 McLaren have gone a maximum of 49 races without winning one from the 1993 Australian Grand Prix to the 1997 Australian Grand Prix, whereas Ferrari went 58 races without winning one from the 1990 Spanish Grand Prix to the 1994 German Grand Prix. If we’re talking constructors championships, Ferrari didn’t win one between 1983 and 1999, which is still one year longer than McLaren’s current 14-year lean streak since 1998.

        1. @ilanin – to add to that, if we are talking purely about championships, Ferrari’s longest streak remains the same (1984-1998) whereas McLaren’s is much shorter (2000-2007). So the drought period argument is incorrect, if we take “McLaren” as being “McLaren Project 4”. And anyway, even if we ignore that they still have a lesser drought period, as drought implies having had something but losing it in that context: since winning their first titles in 1974, the longest “drought period” they have had was the aforementioned 2000-2007 (as in years in which they didn’t win a title).

  2. That Webber and barrichello pic reminds me that once u`pon a time… they were young :P

    About Lowe leaving McLaren, it looks like McLaren are losing their assets from on e year to another. Sometimes it had happened before, even in a more dramatic way, when Schum & co left Benneton to go to Ferrari. I guess some people critizized Schum for going to a team without any championship since 1979. But hard work and patience worked for Ferrari.
    Mmm… wait a minute, that makes Mercedes the team with future chances. McLaren will face a hard time.

    1. Ferrari were WCC winners in 82 and 83.

      1. @matt90 thanks… anyway it was a long draught wasn’t it? When Schum moved to Ferrari, it was as if now you can think of getting a WDC with Williams: No matter the heritage, they don’t look as strong contenders nowadays

        1. There’s no doubt that recent advantage had been with McLaren, then Williams and Benetton, but I think that’s a little exaggerated. Sure, Ferrari weren’t the top team, but they had always been there or thereabouts. In particular, in 1994 and 1995 they had been 3rd in the WCC, with their drivers coming in 3rd, 6th, 5th and 5th, scoring over 20 podium finishes. Mercedes’ recent record is much worse, although with the regulation changes coming it needn’t be so difficult to turn the team around.

    2. This picture reminds me that once upon a time I was young ;)

      1. It would do that to me too, but I’m so old that:
        1) I forget stuff that just happened.
        2) I can’t actually see the picture.
        3) I forget stuff that just happened.

  3. Jenson Button on Hamilton leaving McLaren:

    “I’d be disappointed if Paddy Lowe moved from the team because that’s the guy who’s going to help me achieve in the future.”

    1. @kvothe McLaren will do anything with their PR machine to make people think they have a handle on every and any situation they are faced with. To some degree I would say they do, but not full on control.

      1. … Well, what do you want him to say then?

        1. …The honest truth? What is wrong with “The leaving of Lowe is a blow to McLaren, but with talent like Tim in the technical team, it will not be a huge setback”.

          I dunno about you, but I find it annoying that is a direct lie. It’s condescending to the fans, to believe we are too gullible to see through it.

          1. Except it’s not a direct lie? “I’d be disappointed if Paddy Lowe left” and “Paddy Lowe isn’t the reason I came to McLaren” aren’t contradictory statements. In fact, they’re both consistent with what you’d have had him say!

    2. I didn’t come here because Lewis (Hamilton) was here

      Really? Because I clearly remember several interviews on TV when he said he joined McLaren to see how competitive he was….

      Still, Button’s clever enough to know that when circumstances change, you change your tune.

      1. He is very clever with PR …but unfortunately some of us do remember what people said in the past and can actually look past these fake comments and interviews . Sometimes that’s why I prefer kimi . He would have said something like ” Yes , it is disappointing but that is how it is in f1 and we can still win in the future ” kind of tune . I still remember a few days ago , a reporter asked him if he was as hungry for his second title as his first .and kimi just laughed his ass off at him.

      2. @hairs

        I think he loves J.M. Keynes who once said “when facts change, I change my mind”…

        1. jimscreechy (@)
          27th February 2013, 20:47

          LoL…. oh how profound!

      3. I wouldn’t call flip-flopping “clever”, as we have these nifty devices called “microphones” and “cameras”. On the other hand it seems to work for fine for politicians… so maybe people in general just have short memory, or they just don’t care.

    3. seems Mercedes payed attention to that as well @kvothe!

      1. Meanwhile at Red Bull Sebastien Vettel said ” Adrians leaving wont make any difference, we are looking forward to breaking Michaels record of 7 WDC”

        This is fictional.

  4. It might give a tiny little blip for McLaren with the reshuffle and seeing what Perez is capable of, especially if he’s still erratic. Despite this, I have the faith that McLaren will pick themselves up if so and become a dominant force once again. It appears they have a decent package at this stage (though testing gives very little away). McLaren was even able to cope with the loss of Newey after all!

    1. Actually, they made their best two cars (2007 and 2008) without Newey. :)

      1. But they had rather a lot of help from Ferrari…

      2. How were those cars ‘the best’?

  5. If you take the US $38 million the race is reportedly costing in 2015, the 5% annual increase currently part of the contract, and extrapolate out to 2063, you can see just why Mr Ecclestone would gladly sign such a contract

    That only totals a paltry $7.5b if paid in advance.

    1. I find it funny that people always ignore inflation when looking at figures like these and just assume it’s bernie taking as much as he can. Inflation fluctuates year on year and historically can fluctuate quite wildly, so 5% on a medium term contract is actually quite reasonable when you also take into account currency rate changes, etc.

      1. He charges 5%. It’s his own inflation. He should use real inlfation rates as index.

        1. It used to be 10% annually!

      2. @ady, have you looked at the fluctuation of the AU$ lately!

  6. I know it’s just pre-season hot air, but Domenicali has come out for the third/fourth year in a row stating that they want to be within a few tenths of the ‘quickest car’ come Melbourne. I guess those plans of being quickest have vanished pretty rapidly once again.

    There’s also mirrors to some of what was said this time last year – they won’t know where they stand until a few races in, they are having unspecified ‘problems’, and that it’s down to Alonso and the team to make the difference. I fear with words like that Ferrari may be in no man’s land as they were in 2011. A re-occurrence of 2012 cannot be counted on by the Scuderia to get them into contention.

    1. One thing that is different however is how Ferrari have handled themselves. Last year looking at them on the pitwall, in the garage and about the padock; you could see the look of ‘Oh no, what have we done with this car?’ on everyones faces. You don’t see that this year. Think positive :)

      1. funny thing is they dominated 2011 pre season and were really confident and then melbourne they were no where.

        but there was rumours confirmed by Jarno that pirelli changed the tyres at last min and it ruined everything ferrari had done.

    2. Listening to these mid testing comments it is quite clear that nobody will win the championship this year.

  7. Of course Jenson’s not worried Lowe is leaving, since all the best engineers & designers are going to Mercedes, all the other teams will eventually be in the same boat.

  8. RE: The merchandise tweet link.

    I was looking at the products. I liked the 2012 Driver Lineup cartoon mug. But why are the McLaren drivers the only ones not to feature on it? Their characters are just plain white with no art/design input at all. I would have bought it if it was complete. It’s the same with mousemats etc, no McLaren. License issues?

    1. @nick-uk Yup, McLaren asked Unlap to remove its image from their products a year or two ago.

      1. It’s little things like that that make me loose a lot of respect for a team. What harm does it do to allow a small cartoon character image to appear on a piece of merchandise. It’s not like McLaren need to business revenue.

        1. McLaren sell their own merchandise and are within their rights to ask third-parties not to sell stuff that could be confused for their own.

          1. @optimaximal So does every other team, yet they don’t feel the need to make a fuss over a site selling a mug with characters on them that don’t have any branding on and only slight likenesses. It’s fairly petty if you ask me. Like asking a child not to sell lemonade on your street on a summer’s day – It’s not hamring anyone (depends on the lemonade I guess… haha) and it doesn’t really affect them in any way… yet they feel the need to make a fuss.

    2. The best bit was when Unlap used a pram for McLaren’s car :)

  9. that pic of webber is just FANTASTIC

    1. Barrichello’s reaction to it was also funny: “Get out of my car mate!”

  10. I’m very pleased to be part of NBC’s MotorSports Talk team for 2013.

    Wow, that’s excellent Keith – congrats! Bring the good word of F1 to the American heathens, oh chosen one.

    1. Hey! I take offense to tha… no, actually, I don’t, it’s pretty much spot on. Come save us from the land of Danica and stock cars, Keith!

    2. Congrats on the role, Keith! It’s good to see that NBC is showing some level of commitment to F1, though we’ll have to wait for a few weeks to find out what we’re really getting for the rest of the season.

      1. I hope for all of you in the US that they will make a great job of it!

    3. Another big congratulations to Keith!

    4. @maciek @dusty-in-california @codesurge @sergio-perez @bascb Thanks guys! Today is day one, thereafter I’ll be writing on Mondays, Tuesday and Wednesdays.

      1. thanks to the link provided to the NBC sports page, I have already found a nice article adding to to our female driver debate!
        Looking forward to your article @keithcollantine

      2. Yeah Congrats Keith! But my fear is that with your exposure to wider audience, we might have more people here in the forum and that always brings positives and negatives with it.

        So, are you aware you have to then increase the capability of your server? And more Mods to counter fans and their sometimes irrational arguments?
        Just my 2pens.

      3. Congratulations @keithcollantine ! Maybe there is hope for the NBC coverage after all.

  11. Keith, what are your impressions of NBC’s dedication to the sport? As an “American heathen,” and having been reliant upon Fox’s F1-peppered commercial marathons, I’m becoming increasingly worried about the lack of any official word on NBC Sports with 18 days to go. I am thrilled that every best part of Speed’s coverage will be transferred, and reading that you’re involved has increased my faith that there will be a more “authentic” representation rather than a stereotyped advertisement.

  12. With reference to the COTD, those figures look big, but if you consider them in relation to my income from 1965 to 2011 they are actually quite acceptable.
    In 1965, when I completed my apprenticeship may wages were £10.50/week (£550/annum). My last years income before I retired was >£44, 000, that is approx an increase of 10%/annum. Most of that was due to cost of living increases and not because of promotion, length of service or change of job increases.

    1. Yes, but in the past decade yearly hikes on F1 prices have been about 10% too. Only recently has Bernie gone down to 7 or 5%.

      I would be interested to see what your comparison would look like for the last decade or 2 @w-k, because I would be surprised to see that has about a 10%/annum increase too.

      1. Too many changes in the period 1987 to 1996, to be of any use. But I worked in the same office from 1996 until I retired, but if you look at the paperwork it loooks like I worked for 3 different companies. The average increase during that period was just over 6%.

        The other thing worth noting, which I remembered about later, was that in 1965 I worked Mon to Friday full day and half day Saturdays, I think it was a 42 hr week. From 1987 I only worked 35hr/week and usually finished early Friday or worked flexi-hours.

        1. Thanks for the update @w-k. That change reflects what I would expect.

          Its always good to look at these things from different angles (and take other things into the equation as well, as what you mention about working hours).

          Personally, my expectation is that these numbers will gradually go down even further as economical growth tends to slow with reaching higher levels.

          1. Since my last I have gone and looked at the web pages for the organisation where I did my apprenticeship, and looked at the pay structure for similar jobs. I was allowed to finish my apprenticeship early, at 19, because I got all the relevant qualifications, HND.
            Today you cannot even start it until you are 18, with ‘A’ levels, and it is a fixed program of 5 years, ending if you are good enough with HNC, only 40% get that far, apparently.

            So at 23 with an HNC the starting rate is £24,295, if you are offered a position, that is not guaranteed these days. But they do offer a degree course after completing a min of 3 years if recommended by your boss.

  13. So Valtteri will be doing both days that are expected to be wet, and Pastor Saturday and Sunday which are expected to be dry. I find it strange they don’t alternate, especially as they even used both drivers on one day in the previous test.

  14. About the Austin accommodation prices, I just linked a very good comment on the subject from @tim-wood in the forum discussion. He gives more background, but importantly shows where you can get reasonably priced deals currently.

  15. Happy birthday guys (en van harte gefeliciteerd met je verjaardag) @Andae23 @Verstappen @Hedgey and Kolon

    1. Thanks @bascb :)
      And of course congrats to the other guys!

    2. I heard ;)

    3. Dankjewel @bascb and congrats to the others as well! And that includes @keithcollantine for living his dream and slowly but steadily making a succes of it!

    1. @girts Haha, thanks! I have always wanted to have a duck! I don’t know about animal rights though if you send them in a box ;)

  16. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    27th February 2013, 9:29

    This “Hamilton’s not gonna win the title” thing is getting a bit ridiculous. Generally when you hear anyone you hear anyone downplaying their projected performances in F1, they’re quietly confident. I’m almost starting to expect Hamilton to challenge for the title! OK, that’s not gonna happen this year, but don’t believe a word of Hamilton’s pessimism regarding winning this year; Hamilton will win at least one race this year. Fact. The entire concept of the man that dragged the MP4-24 to four poles and two wins not winning a race in a car that actually looked better than the MP4-24 in testing is utterly absurd. So let’s leave the poor long runs of the W04 to one side, because it’s quick over a lap, and its been driven by the fastest, not the best, but the fastest driver in the world. If Hamilton can get near the front of the grid at tracks like Monaco, Barcelona, Hungaroring or India, can get a good start, I see no reason why he can’t win. And that’s ignoring Hamilton’s skill in the wet; so I might be putting a sneaky bet on Hamilton to win the Belgian GP!

    1. By the second half of 2009 the MP4-24 was one of the better cars on the grid – arguably THE fastest car on the the grid with four poles in the last seven races. You have to tip your hat to the engineers/development staff for their work on that car over the course of the season.

      I’ve never seen any evidence that Hamilton is “the fastest driver in the world”.

      That aside, I do expect Hamilton to win a race or two this year and it seems obvious that he is deliberately downplaying expectations in order to increase the praise when he exceeds them.

      1. “By the second half of 2009 the MP4-24 was one of the better cars on the grid – arguably THE fastest car on the the grid with four poles in the last seven races. You have to tip your hat to the engineers/development staff for their work on that car over the course of the season.”

        You think its the quickest car on the grid because Hamilton was doing well in it. Would you have thought it was the quickest car on the grid if you took away Lewis performance and just went on HK’s? Would people have thought the 2012 McLaren was the best car on the grid if you just go off purly Buttons performance? No chance.

        “I’ve never seen any evidence that Hamilton is “the fastest driver in the world”.”

        lol. Denial? :]

        1. Yeah, lol!!

          Like, he’s so the fastest in the world man, like he just is. Don’t you know anything?

          I mean after all, he does have the most pole positions for the last few years that PROVES he’s the fastest.

          Oh, hang on…

        2. You think its the quickest car on the grid because Hamilton was doing well in it. Would you have thought it was the quickest car on the grid if you took away Lewis performance and just went on HK’s?

          HK was an exceptionally poor F1 driver, which is why he no longer drives in F1. Out-performing HK – who won a single GP in his six year career! – does not make Hamilton the greatest driver of all time.


          No, a simple observation. The whole concept of “the fastest driver in the world” is utterly meaningless if you think about it seriously. There’s a (perhaps foolish) convention of describing the current WDC as “the best driver in the world” or “the fastest driver in the world”, but Hamilton is not the current WDC.

          Hamilton is a very good driver indeed – but he is also the most over-rated driver on the grid. What makes him over-rated is that people like you rate him far more highly than his actual accomplishments merit. And when prompted for some actual evidence that he is “the fastest driver in the world”, what array of data and convincing arguments do you respond with?


          You’ll pardon me if I don’t find that to be even sightly persuasive.

  17. There is an error or a misunderstanding with the Ferrari quote.

    Domenicali says: I will be surprised if we are the leading car in AUSTRALIA because with the stable rules we were not the quickest at the end (of last season)

    He specified in Australia (not for the whole season), and also added that the championship will be very long.

    p.sFerrari never have been very competitive in Australia, except 2004 and 2007 (by the favored for the fact that it was the first race of the full bridgestone)…so theoretically only in 2004 they had the best car there.

  18. Even if Button was worried about Lowe leaving, he can’t do anything about it.
    It’s best for him to just say that he isn’t.

  19. Oh Red Bulll…

  20. button will win in Australia this year

  21. Re: Tweets:

    …PM will drive on Saturday, Sunday.

    Congrats @prisoner-monkeys! :P

  22. Hearing that Sutil is to be announced as Force India’s 2nd driver either tomorrow or Friday & He’ll be in the car Saturday/Sunday.

    Seems there 1st choice was Jaime Algersuari & there 2nd Bianchi, However Sutil came up with a lot of backing in the last few weeks & that swayed the team in his direction.

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