Button “surprised” by Hamilton McLaren’s comments

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Jenson Button, McLaren, Jerez, 2013In the round-up: Jenson Button respond to Lewis Hamilton’s suggestion that drivers at McLaren have too little freedom.

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Button dismisses Hamilton critcisms (ESPN)

“Button admitted to the Press Association he was ‘very surprised’ to hear what his former team-mate had said and gave McLaren his full support. ‘The freedom I have in this team is phenomenal.'”

Formula 1?s Smaller Teams Struggle as CVC Targets $7 Billion (Washington Post)

Force India deputy director Bob Fernley: “CVC is not interested in developing the sport, it’s interested in making as much money as possible and then selling it. The income split doesn?t support Formula One.”

Bahrain violence convinces Vodafone to end its F1 deal (The Times, subscription required)

“Vodafone has been reconsidering its involvement with Formula One since bitter acrimony broke out in April over the Bahrain Grand Prix, which went ahead despite a violent uprising in the country in which thousands of anti-government protesters confronted police.”

Romain Grosjean Q&A: I?m ready to deliver for Lotus (F1)

“Q: Eric said recently that your Renault experience is still somewhat of a trauma for you – in what way?
RG: That was all last year. Sure, if you get fired from Formula One and come back after one year you desperately want to prove that you deserve it. You probably want to prove it twice as much as anybody else. When I was talking with Gerard Lopez last December he said to me, ??When I take a decision I never go back on it.? So he took the decision to keep me and will not question it any more. It is done – and from now on we look forward to the season and maybe even beyond…”

Sponsorship: Brands beat a path to F1?s door despite drop in TV viewers (FT, registration required)

“Despite the influx of deals, sponsorship accounts for only 15 per cent of F1?s $1.5bn (??1bn) annual turnover. The real money is still in race-sanctioning fees, which account for 34 per cent, with broadcasting rights totalling 32 per cent.”

City hotels full for the grand prix (The Age)

“Despite a trend to late bookings, the hotels are up 15.3 per cent on last year’s race, which attracted 313,700 spectators.”

Teams warned over the use of physios (Autosport)

“Following discussions with teams, there has been no agreement on whether or not physios should be formally included [as one of a team’s maximum of 60 operational staff], as the extent of their involvement with the car varied throughout the grid.”

Bottas: I’m ready for debut (Sky)

“It’s the best you can really get nowadays as a young driver, so I feel well prepared. Of course, you would always like to drive more but everything has gone well and I’m ready.”

From motorbikes to McLaren (via Lotus) (McLaren)

Emerson Fittipaldi is now writing a column for McLaren – here’s his first.

Australian Grand Prix Betting: Back Button to fasten up in Melbourne (Unibet)

This week’s article by me for Unibet looks at the odds for the first race of the season.

Hopes and fears for the 2013 Formula 1 season (Duncan Stephen)

“Fear: Lotus’s unreliability in testing will translate to the racetrack, leading to mountains of dull jokes about Kimi Raikkonen eating ice cream. #YouAreBoringAndYouKnowIt”



Comment of the day

@MrGrieves was one of several people unimpressed at seeing Rodolfo Gonzalez land the reserve driver spot at Marussia.

In last year’s GP2 I would confidently say there were only two drivers who were worse than him on the grid. Ricardo Teixeira and Giancarlo Serenelli. He might only be a reserve driver but this is a step too far on the pay driver era and a step closer to Giovanni Lavaggi and Taki Inoue style drivers coming back.

All the new drivers reaching F1 this season, all of which I can understand and give a good chance too. Might have preferred to have seen Glock and Kobayashi but still these replacements are certainly in the top ten of young drivers.

Gonzalez has been awful for four seasons in GP2! His only points last season was when 14 other drivers retired from a sprint race. A joke of a choice but money talks over talent here I guess.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Franky!

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

Jack Fairman was born 100 years ago today. Fairman was a regular feature on the British Grand Prix grid in the fifties, as well as making a few visits to Monza.

Fairman’s best successes came in sports car racing, including a victory in the 1959 Nurburgring 1,000km, sharing an Aston Martin DBR1 with Stirling Moss.

He shared a car with Moss again at the soaked 1961 British Grand Prix at Aintree. The car was the four-wheel-drive Ferguson P99, which should have proved well-suited to the conditions, but Moss was later disqualified because Fairman had been given a push start.

Fairman’s last Grand Prix came two years later, and following his retirement he lived to the age of 88.

Image ?? McLaren/Hoch Zwei

32 comments on “Button “surprised” by Hamilton McLaren’s comments”

  1. I guess Button wasn’t that outspoken about it, but I guess he too got bored of being at Brackley. I mean, he spent 7 years in the same team, with it’s ups and downs, while struggling to get that elusive first win, spending two years in the back of the field and magically winning a championship.

    He also moved on. Hamilton’s probably having a hard time being away from a team that was part of his life since he was a kid. They formed him, and that’s a strong bond, which probably means he’s more outspoken about the benefits of the new team.

    But they have to move on one day, because, as Button himself said after he signed with McLaren, they all need another challenge. Just ask Kimi about it. Mercedes offered Hamilton much more than McLaren could offer.

    1. Probably what Hamilton is looking for is a real chance to grab his second championship. Now you mention Kimi, let’s remember he finished as runner up twice with McLaren (probably some bad luck, but that’s part of the sport of course) and he finally conquered his title in another team.
      It’s incredible that McLaren, a team that boasts about taking for granted wins in a season, has had so many problems to get a WDC again. Hamilton can get his so-wished second championship in a new neighborhood.

      1. Probablu not… DEFINITELY

  2. I’m not surprised that Button made those comments.

    1. Yea, always trying to shine through HAM.
      He should learn to shine on his own.

  3. From CVCs prospectus, F1 income earned last year $1.5 Billion paid to teams $699 million, that leaves CVC $801million so the teams get less than half of the income between them, and they are the ones that spend a couple of hundred million each to put on the “show”, anybody thinks this is a sustainable business plan is delusional, which of course is why CVC are trying to sell this “goldmine”.

    1. yep, Sell the chicken while its still laying golden eggs and chash in.

  4. Jason Benseman
    15th March 2013, 0:56

    I can understand the comments that Hamilton made and why he might have felt controlled, he has been in the team since he was a kid and of course there will be a level of control over him. Button is much older and worldly as he has been around quite a bit, been in several teams and has a world championship behind him, outside of McLaren. He is in a position where he is less likely to be ordered to do anything, and now Hamilton with his experience in a new team carries a similar weight. I think the move to Mercedes will be a good one for Lewis, very interested to see where team McLaren heads at the end of this season.

  5. When most of your wins come by way of inheritance Jenson, you might be well advised to be humble and keep schtum otherwise other drivers might be minded to write you out of their wills!

    1. Button is being arrogant because he has a difference of opinion with Hamilton? How does *that* work?

      1. @prisoner-monkeys – It doesn’t work. But then, someone who has to claim that a driver’s 15 wins come mostly through “inheritance”, isn’t going to have many comments or arguments that do work.

        1. Button himself said it was a shock to him the first time he went to MacLaren what was expected of him, and in the same breath ‘acts’ surprised that it was too much for Lewis when most other drivers who have been to MacLaren say the same thing. What a pretentious so and so!

    2. I think its more important that where you came from forms what you experience in a new place.

      Button was used to doing all the press for Tobacco brands, doing full weekends of Honda PR etc. And a year of Brawn who did not have any sponsors to have events with in the first place, so he would appreciate that McLaren offers a stable future with all the “partners”.
      Hamilton grew into the restricted and controlled world of F1 at McLaren, and after growing up a bit, he felt the normal feelings everyone feels when doing so. And he wanted to do his own thing, and I think thats good for him to experience. But it does not make the views of either of these guys more or less worthwhile. Its just their feelings.

  6. Are the sponsors coming or going? Not sure who to believe (not least because I’d have to pay to read either point of view) but Vodafone didn’t make much of a stand against Bahrain at the time, they were happy to plaster their logos everywhere as usual.

    And how much is it costing to police this cost-saving rule limiting the number of team personnel?!

    1. @bullfrog – I seem to recall reading somewhere that Vodafone tried to get their logos removed from the car, but their contract with McLaren prevented it.

      1. Very surprised the company paying the team $75m per season (The Times, 14/03/13) didn’t get their way with that one.

  7. shut up button. constructive comment? sorry dont have one! cant wait for fp1. 20 mins to go.

  8. Hmmm… sounds like LH has some baggage. I wonder why he feels the need to say what he has, and I hope for his sake he is keeping focused on the task at hand. I have been seeing his move to Merc as a fresh start for him, and a great new challenge, and a new chapter away from the nest. But now I’m less sure. I wonder if he is referring to liegate, or just the conservative, clean-cut image of Mac and the amount of sponsor work JB refers to, and now I wonder if his admitted off-track distractions that cost him in 2011, and his strange tweets in 2012, have been either him rebelling against the nature of the team, or at least him feeling the shine off the apple. Perhaps since his Dad ‘left’? Or since liegate? Or perhaps all just as a natural progression as a boy becomes a man and needs to leave the house and find his own way. I’m sure early on, they HAD to tell him what to do and say. Especially since even years later he is still showing some signs of immaturity. If in a strict environment such as Mac he managed to slack off in 2011 and text embarassing tweets in 2012, what will a team that provides him ‘freedom’ bring? I know one thing. He’ll at least bring a ton of F1 experience and a WDC from being lucky to have spent his F1 career so far where he has.

  9. I am surprised Button is surprised. Because he himself says he was shocked when he joined the team. Why does he feel surprised when Hamilton feels otherway round ? BTW what is so new about Hamilton’s statement. Alonso, Lewis, Kimi, Montoyo et all had echoed the same comments.

    Ofcourse Button needs to keep Whitmarsh happy. This is the best he can get in F1. I mean at this stage of his career and given the amount of talent in this field, being the top driver of McLaren is the maximum it can be for him. He has no better options outside. So let me keep his Boss(es) Happy :)

    1. I was about to say essentially the same thing. It’s not like Lewis is the first or only McLaren driver to have said basically the same thing about being a McLaren driver.

      1. Yeah fair enough, but I think JB was likely not ‘shocked’ when he joined the team, because I would like to think he knew exactly what he was signing up for, with all his people and their’s involved in contractual meetings and such.

        I do recall JV saying he thought the reason Mika Hakkinen didn’t win a third WDC in a row was due to the worldly travel requirements as a two time consecutive winner, distracting him from his main task at hand.

  10. My dad gave me two great advice:
    “You should not bite the hand that gave you food” and “Be nice with what you say, you never know the turns the life will give you”

    Hamilton should have more respect for the team that took him to F1 and helped him get his Championship.

  11. Darren Danga
    15th March 2013, 6:41

    I think its not a matter of disrespect on LH to make such comments, its the absolute truth its only that before he could not make such comments about his BOSS. JB will make the same comments when he leaves Mclaren in a few seasons!!

    1. I doubt JB will make the same kind of comment, he is part of the Mclaren management, it was Hamilton who was always made to look like the employee or outsider. It was something button could have easily ignored because it doesn’t concern him, his contract was different from Hamilton’s, why he chose to respond is beyond me.

      1. he is part of the Mclaren management

        No he isn’t.

        it was Hamilton who was always made to look like the employee or outsider

        Hamilton was part of the furniture at McLaren. They brought him up from karting and arguably did most to make him who he is today than. He never looked like an “outsider”.

        1. Since button joined Mclaren, Hamilton was looking the outsider in the team. He suddenly couldn’t get on well with anyone within that team. Anyway, all that is water under the bridge.

          1. I never saw anything that suggested that was the case.

          2. Other people did see it quite clearly.

        2. I would even say @keithcollantine, that

          Hamilton was part of the furniture at McLaren. They brought him up from karting and arguably did most to make him who he is today than. He never looked like an “outsider”.

          is more of the background of why he felt the need to move on (and grow) than actual limitations being put on him, its part of growing up to leave the nest.

  12. Come on Jenson! We all know what a well-oiled PR-machine McLaren is. There is no point in denying something the padock and the fans have known for many years

  13. With “operational” track personell being limited to 60 (not enough for some teams apparently) plus catering staff, truck drivers, spokespersons etc. It seems almost miraculous that any team can start from scratch let alone survive a full year.
    I wonder how many people in total were employed by team Brabham in 1966 when they designed and built their own championship winning car, anyone know?

  14. McLaren is 2 secs off pace and Button is still worried about Lewis (discussing his own personal experiences).
    This guy really needs to focus (on himself).

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