News and views on motorsports

Monday, August 09, 2004


Lots has happened since I last wrote a month ago. The most interesting of which seems to be the Button Saga. I guess you've all heard about it. A loophole in Button's contract has given him a way out and seeings how Sir Frank needs a driver to partner Aussie Mark Webber.

It all began of course when it was discovered by Button's management that David Richards exercised his option on extending Button's BAR contract before Honda made a long term commitment to the team. This was a prerequisite for the contract extension. Honda delayed and so Button's management found a way for him to worm his way out.

Sir Frank of course has been in constant contact with Button all the while since they parted after the 2000 season. So, when Button came knocking on the door, Frank signed him up immediately. Reports has it that he had mere hours or less to make up his mind. Well, he did and it seems that BMW are pretty happy with the choice as well. Remember of course that it was Gerhard Berger who pushed for him to drive in BMW Williams for the year 2000.

My first reaction is that its an excellent choice for Button. Ok so Williams are not in the best of shapes at the moment, the team being in a flux. I am certain however that such things will come together in due course. Button need only sit it out and wait. In Mark Webber, he has a highly competitive team mate who should be at the top of his game given his age. I admire Webber tremendously. He doesn't have the flair of a Senna or Montoya but his driving is solid and he complains very little. He's also mighty consistent and should push Button extremely hard. Jense can't have any off days with this bloke around.

Jenson admits that the technical resources of Williams BMW are what made him change his mind. He believes, and quite rightly that Williams has a better chance of giving him a championship winning car. With the driver pairing Frank now has I believe, the team will galvanize and be stronger than ever in their championship challenge. Two, no bullshit drivers in the team, one of whom seems to have excellent technical abilities, will certainly ensure that. In addition, it is known that Webber is also good at motivating the troops. All in all, a win-win situation for Frank and Jenson.

After that initial reaction, I visited Planet F1 and found some other reactions that I found quite amusing. Indeed, for David Richards what goes around seems to have come around. Remember last year? Remember Jacques Villeneuve? One Planet F1 reader referred to David Richards as a PR infested slimeball. I couldn't agree more. Yes, he's an excellent manager who's managed to turn BAR around. But he's also slime. Just as he unfairly ditched Jacques (by using a PR campaign against him), so now he's been ditched by his superstar Jenson Button. All this of course, after Jenson confessed his eternal love and loyalty to BAR. On David Richard's side he'll also feel hard done by when after all, one could say he "rescued" Jenson Button after he was completely blowm away by Fisichella at Benetton.

In life, I have observed that people have a hard time taking what they've dished out. And it seems, David Richards has a hard time dealing with the Button situation. Quite honestly I love watching him squirm right now. There is justice in the world after all. As for Button, I believe he simply has like any other driver, the right to choose the best option for himself. Despite being outclassed by Fisichella at one point in time, I still rate him very highly. Perhaps not as good as Webber but close. If one day Button does a Buttongate on Frank then I don't think Frank would complain much. To someone like Frank Williams he's just a driver after all. Expendable. David Richards doesn't quite share that view of superstars and you can tell. Up yours David!

No comments: