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Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button go head to head

Discussion in 'F1' started by jk0001, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. jk0001

    jk0001 F1 Veteran

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    #1 jk0001, Mar 25, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2009
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/columnists/matthew_syed/article5971075.ece

    Matthew Syed

    With Jenson Button setting the pace during testing in Spain this month and Lewis Hamilton floundering in what seems to be an uncompetitive McLaren Mercedes, Formula One fans could be about to witness the most dramatic role reversal since Dustin Hoffman donned a wig in Tootsie.

    The raft of rule changes brought in over the winter have caused what could amount to a spectacular shift in the balance of power in the paddock. Brawn GP, who have risen in spectacular fashion from the ashes of Honda, are looking like genuine contenders, with all manner of regulation-stretching innovations in design, while McLaren are struggling so badly that they took the unusual decision publicly to send out cars with paint on the side to see how the aerodynamics were working.

    Even Martin Whitmarsh, who has taken over from the formidable Ron Dennis as team principal at McLaren, was forced to admit that the early part of the season could prove troublesome. “A shortfall has been identified that we are working hard to resolve,” he said. “The MP4-24 is certainly not quick enough yet, and certainly not by our team's extremely high standards.”

    The psychology is intriguing. Hamilton, for all his talent and ambition, has been the beneficiary of unprecedented opportunities since arriving in Formula One, having had access to arguably the best all-round car in each of his first two seasons. He capitalised - just - last year, but aficionados have long wondered whether the youngster would be able to cope if forced to slum it in a mediocre drive, with his competitors getting all the limelight. They may be about to find out.

    The problem for McLaren is that getting their car up to speed has become appreciably more difficult now that testing has been banned outside race weekends, and with teams restricted to wind tunnels of 60 per cent scale and limitations on the use of computer modelling. Even Hamilton, who crashed in testing in Barcelona and had problems coming to terms with the car, admitted to the difficulties, although he gave them a positive spin. “At the moment, this year's car is a little behind the rest in terms of development, but I'm absolutely confident we will get stronger and grow as the year progresses,” he said.

    As for Button, the competitiveness of his BGP 001 car represents an opportunity and a career-defining challenge. He has always maintained that he has been the victim of a cruel set of circumstances since his move to BAR in 2003, rarely finding anything approaching a title-winning vehicle except in 2004, when he drove with some style to third place in the championship. Now he must prove he has the nerve, the steel and the ambition to do justice to a car that seems to match his talent.

    Perhaps the most intriguing question of all is how the British public may react to a possible realignment in the pecking order between the nation's foremost drivers. After Hamilton's championship-clinching drive in Brazil - arguably the most dramatic sporting moment of 2008 - Radio 5 Live was on the receiving end of hundreds of phone calls denouncing the new champion. Much of the negativity focused on his moving abroad to avoid British taxes, but there has always been a suspicion that he has had it too easy. Having to drag an underperforming car to the front of the grid could be the making of the 24-year-old, consummating his relationship with an agnostic public.

    As for Button, he has never quite managed to shake off his (rather unfair) image as a playboy with too much money, too much glamour and insufficient cutting edge. He has had things far too cushy, it is whispered, living like a prince in the gilded environs of Monaco even though he has won only one race in 155 attempts.

    This, then, could be the season when Button convinces the doubters and proves, once and for all, that he has the mettle to go with his dimples and foreign bank accounts.

    The FIA must be congratulated for its rule changes. It is not just that it has given the teams their most radical shake-up in years, shifting the tectonic plates in a way that has set tongues wagging across the motor-racing world; it has also attempted to get to grips with the sport's perennial problem - the processional nature of the races in anything other than wet conditions. As of last season, a performance advantage of two seconds per lap was required to pass another car. Now, on account of enforced changes to the rear wings and front, it is said to be down to half that.

    Of course, this would not be Formula One without controversy and allegations are already beginning to fly in what has become known as "diffuser-gate". The diffuser system organises the airflow at the back of the car and some are complaining that Brawn GP's system breaches the new regulations. “You can make a very good case for saying that it's legal and a very good case for saying that it's illegal,” Max Mosley, the president of the FIA, said. “I think the thing will probably come to some sort of a head in Australia [with the season-opening grand prix in Melbourne on Sunday] and then that will go to our Court of Appeal and be hammered out.”

    Whatever happens, it seems that we are in for some ride this season: Hamilton driving in a below-par car, Button back in the limelight, at least for the first few races, and, fingers crossed, the thrills and spills of overtaking. Oh, and Fleetwood Mac's The Chain kicking off the BBC's coverage.

    After a tricky winter when the credit crunch looked set to bring the sport to its knees, Formula One is back with a vengeance.



    Go Button! :D
     
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  3. Drive550PFB

    Drive550PFB Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Finally, somebody captures Button to a "t."

    As for Lewis, I am not a big fan, but he has earned my respect (it took a while, Kraftwerk!) I predict that LH will finish well ahead of Button in the final standings. LH has talent. Button has 'moments of talent.'
     
  4. jk0001

    jk0001 F1 Veteran

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    Hambone has a little talent but he does have a Multi Billion dollar car manufactor behind him, Button has great experience who did the best he can driving crap cars, now we have Brawn GP running on memories and no $$.
     
  5. IanMac

    IanMac Formula 3

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    It seems there's no way for a British driver to win as far as the British public is concerned. Lewis has had it "too easy" and Jensen has had it "far too cushy". I don't think it will matter how well they do, or how hard they try, they'll be criticised anyway. :(
     
  6. kraftwerk

    kraftwerk Two Time F1 World Champ

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    +1 The Brit press = Build em up to enjoy knocking em down
     
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  8. RP

    RP F1 World Champ

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    #6 RP, Mar 25, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2009
    But Ian, have you considered what you just said about both drivers is true? And is it criticism to point out the truth?

    By then end of this season, reality as to these two accusations will probably be evident. To imagine you think Hamilton is the real thing at this point, or to think that Button is washed up, is predjudicially arrogant. Hamilton is one lucky sod to be in a McLaren to start his F1 career, and Button is one unlucky sod to have been in the Honda. I think Button would have done as well both years, maybe better in 2007, than Hamilton. And if the situation was reveresed, in that Honda, Hamilton would have been called washed up. Personally I am guessing that between the two, Button is the one with the talent.
     
  9. IanMac

    IanMac Formula 3

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    I wasn't giving my opinion, I was quoting from the article, but no, I don't think what the article said about either driver is true. I think it's pretty ludicrous to suggest that Button has had it "too cushy" purely, as far I can tell, on the grounds that he's made a lot of money out of driving in F1, if that's the criterion then nearly every driver in F1 has had it "too cushy". Hamilton was very fortunate to be in a McLaren from day one, I agree, but unlike you I believe he had, and has since clearly demonstrated that he had, the talent to justify being there (not that he or McLaren have any need to justify that to this or any other forum). I always thought Button was a talented driver who didn't get the breaks, but I believe Hamilton is better.

    I'm not sure if you believe I think Hamilton is the real thing and Button is washed up, if so you are correct on only one count. It is interesting to hear you appear to suggest that what I think is "predjudicially (sic) arrogant", whilst your opinion on, for example, the relative merits of Button and Hamilton, is apparently not.
     
  10. kraftwerk

    kraftwerk Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Button would not stand a cats chance in hell against Lewis, Button is a very good smooth driver I rate him, but against Lewis not a chance..

    Top gear lap times:1:44.4 – The Stig (II)
    1:44.6 – Nigel Mansell
    1:44.7 - Lewis Hamilton (Wet & Oily) !!!!!
    1:44.7 – Jenson Button (Hot)
    1:46.0 – The Stig (I)
    1:46.3 – Damon Hill

    Yes the exact same car was used for Lewis and Button. However believe what you want.
     
  11. RP

    RP F1 World Champ

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    #9 RP, Mar 25, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2009


    "interesting to hear you appear to suggest that what I think is "predjudicially (sic) arrogant", whilst your opinion on, for example, the relative merits of Button and Hamilton, is apparently not"

    Ian, I do not recall that I specifically stated that is how you feel. Is it? I do not see where you stated that.

    I believe I did make a statement using the noun, "anyone". My opinion is that none of us really know, it is all guessing. Hamilton may be the real thing, but I prefer to see what happens this year before I join that parade. Especially if his car really is as poorly designed as is rumour and somehow he pulls a Schumacher/Benneton. I think Button has shown his brilliance in the past, but was water logged with a crap car for the last few years. I do think, with his maturity compared to Hamilton's, Button would not have thrown away the WDC in 2007 if Button had been graced with the best car on the Grid as was Hamilton.

    It does amaze me that those that want to put Hamilton on a pedestal seem to ignore the fact that he was graced with the best car on the grid that was specifically tuned for him. Especially after watching Raikkonen's performance in the tuned for Massa Ferrari. Not enough proof for me to think Hamilton is any better than Button.

    But then, as I said, my opinion is simply a guess as is anyone esle on this forum. This season should tell a lot. That Top Gear test means nothing as a comparison amongst drivers.
     
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  13. vinuneuro

    vinuneuro F1 Rookie
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    It always amazes me when people call LH unproven. He was proven even before winning the Champ. Has everyone forgotten his nearly winning it in his rookie season as he beat his two-time world champion teammate? And before anyone brings it up, after leaving Maca, Alfonslow admitted that he was treated equally. As far as I can tell LH has the talent to justify having had a great car from the beginning.

    Button..well who knows, should be interesting to see what happens with him if the car turns out to be good.
     
  14. Senna1994

    Senna1994 F1 World Champ
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    IMHO, Hamilton will go down in history in the same class as Fangio, Clark, Senna, and Schumacher. Although Button is a good driver, he will be considered a Mid Fielder in the history of the sport, regardless of the breaks he got or didn't. How anyone can doubt Hamilton's natural talent in F1, considering what he did in his first season against Alonso and last year clinching the Championship in the 2nd best car in F1 with the FIA after him is beyond me.
     
  15. kraftwerk

    kraftwerk Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Tony, yes they can!! it beggar's belief !!! The grapes are still sour and I'am LMAO..:D

    He is just Lucky well of course .. that's how you explain the success of those you don't like.
     
  16. kraftwerk

    kraftwerk Two Time F1 World Champ

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    +1 Yes completely mind numbing, but great for a laugh..
     
  17. IanMac

    IanMac Formula 3

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    Ron, your post seemed to be addressed specifically to me since my name appeared at the beginning; the word you (presumably meaning me) appears twice, the word "anyone", contrary to your assertion, does not appear at all. So who did you believe was being prejudicially arrogant?

    I'm amazed that you don't see, or choose not to see, the glaring flaw in your argument. You suggest that Raikonnen's performance last year suffered from his having to drive a car tuned for Massa - fair enough. You also suggest Hamilton's performance last year was a consequence of having a good car specifically tuned for him - also fair enough. However you ignore the fact that, according to the pundits here, all the car development and set up work in 2007 was done by Alonso, presumably tuning the car to suit him rather than LH, yet rookie Hamilton's performance that year at least matched Alonso's. That he can drive a car that's been set up specifically for someone else as well he did, something you think a driver of Raikonnen's calibre was unable to do, says a lot about his ability.
     
  18. anguruso

    anguruso Formula Junior

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    This isn't really relevant for many reasons. One of them is Hamilton took it much more seriously than Button. Button kept his whole car inside the lines, but Hamilton made sure to keep his inside wheels within the lines of the track to improve his racing line and thus lap time.

    I know you can't be seriously using this lap time to compare the two, can you?
     
  19. kraftwerk

    kraftwerk Two Time F1 World Champ

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    It's the nearest I know for an equal machinery bout, between Button & Hamilton, yes lighthearted but it's all I got I'm afraid unless you can throw any light on anything else? And IMO they all take it very seriously even if they don't let it be known.

    And your statement is totally confusing, as I read it what your actually saying is Button drove the circuit in a different manner to Hamilton because he didn't want to put the best lap time he could do.:confused:

    For the record I rate both drivers very much, but for completely different reasons, if were talking about the attrition rate on a car, Button would be better.
     
  20. DuckBoy

    DuckBoy Rookie

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    What has to be done to consider these drivers "proven"? They are both in F1 which in my opinion is the pinnacle of all open wheel racing. I really doubt these guys would be picked up if they were any less then "Proven"??
     
  21. Senna1994

    Senna1994 F1 World Champ
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    Finally, common sense prevails.
     
  22. vinuneuro

    vinuneuro F1 Rookie
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    The first word that comes to mind after reading your post is duh. Put it within context. Within what we're discussing, 'proven' = deserving of a great car. Eg. Schumacher not starting off in a Ferrari.

     
  23. SRT Mike

    SRT Mike Two Time F1 World Champ

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    -Coming this --> <-- close to winning the world championship in your first year EVER in F1

    -Handily beating a 2xWDC winning driver, widely considered one of the best around, in your rookie year

    -Winning the WDC your 2nd year against other cars which are faster than yours


    ....is not enough for Ron to consider someone "proven".


    Yet Massa who spins out with regularity, who has never won a race where he didn't start from the front row, and whose never won a WDC, and who flubbed in a clearly faster car and with the help of the FIA, is wunderkind.

    Such are the bizzare justifications of a Ferrari zealot in denial. Meanwhile, everyone else knows the real deal.
     
  24. ATBNM3

    ATBNM3 Formula 3

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    #21 ATBNM3, Mar 29, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2009
    I highly doubt Button could have done what Hamilton did in the MP-24 today, at the same time I have no doubt Hamilton could have done what Button did in the Brawn GP.

    Both coming from the same McLaren feeder program.

    Button 10 seasons 156 starts with 2 victories and 16 podiums 0 WDC's

    Hamilton 2 season 36 starts with 9 victories and 23 podiums 1 WDC's

    Nuff said
     
  25. maxorido

    maxorido Formula 3

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    You know, for you to consistently ignore all the things that Lewis has done on track that would suggest his very high levels of talent, yet at the same time tout the less impressive exploits of Massa and Button, makes you look biased. Do you honestly think that a guy who's struggled with Ralph, Fisi, Trulli, and Rubens as a teammate, is better than a guy who managed to match and just beat Alonso, then smoke Kovalainen? Yeah I remember when you were touting Kovalainen too. Even in the crap Mclaren, Lewis was pulling off some awesome overtaking manouvers on the outside of his rivals. I'm willing to bet that if it was Massa doing this, you'd be all over it. The issue is, you either don't recognize talent when you see it, becuase you obviously don't know much about racing, or you simply choose to ignore what Lewis has done. Lewis is an extremely fast driver, with awesome overtaking ability, he's particularly impressive on the brakes, he uses every ounce of the performance available on those brakes, and he doesn't yield to anyone. Jenson is good, and obviously capable of winning in a good car, but he hasn't beaten a teammate of Alonso's calibre, and hasn't been quite as spectacular as Lewis.
     
  26. racerx3317

    racerx3317 F1 Veteran

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    They did not come from the same McLaren feeder program. At age 18, Button won the annual McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver Award. His prize included a test in a McLaren Formula One car, which he received at the end of the following year.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jenson_Button



    Lewis was signed to McLaren's Young Driver Support Programme from the time he was 13. There was another driver in that programme but he didn't make it. His name escapes me. To my knowledge they were the only ones in the program, Button never was.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_Hamilton
     
  27. ATBNM3

    ATBNM3 Formula 3

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    I stand corrected on the feeder program. Everything else still stands though...

    Button's career has been pretty sad and Hamilton's career has been pretty phenomenal. What's more is that any driver on the the grid today (save PKJr and Nakajima) could have won with the again phenomenal Brawn GP.
     
  28. racerx3317

    racerx3317 F1 Veteran

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    The Brawn was great but credit where it is due, Button did a great job. Hamilton, in comparison to Button, or pretty much anyone else on the grid, has had it easier. This is the year where we see what he's made of. So for so good. I'll reserve judgment until then.
     

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