Guest Author - Christine Blachford
Jenson Button is not having a very good season this year. His “Earth Car” Honda is not performing anywhere near the standard it needs to be, or even as well as it was last year. In fact, the B team, Super Aguri have outperformed both Jenson and Barrichello on many an occasion.
The team haven’t given up on this year, but I think it’s fair to say they are concentrating on what progress they can make for the next season in 2008.
The next race is the Hungarian Grand Prix, and whilst the team looks forward, let’s look back to this time last year, when Jenson was actually experiencing some success.
Pre-race, Alonso was given a two-second penalty for a misdemeanour under yellow flags, and before we could all begin to panic that it was Michael Schumacher’s weekend, he was also given the same penalty for red flag troubles. Raikkonen was on pole with Massa behind him and Barrichello in third. Jenson qualified in fourth but received a ten place grid drop for changing his engine.
With a wet track, there were incidents aplenty. Schumacher lost his front wing mixing with Fisichella and had to pit, pushing him a lap down on everyone else. Meanwhile, Raikkonen crashed into the back of Tonio Liuzzi in the Toro Rosso. The tyres were a real problem as the track started to dry out. The incident caused a safety car to come out, and whilst everyone dived in the pits, Jenson Button stayed out which allowed him to creep up to 2nd place. Only Alonso was ahead of him, but when he came out from a pit stop with a faulty wheel nut, lost control and crashed, the race was Jenson’s. Michael managed to scrape back into second but with only two laps to go, he banged wheels with Nick Heidfeld and that forced him out of the race.
The final podium was made up of Jenson Button, Pedro de la Rosa and Nick Heidfeld. A highly unusual grid to say the least, but one that showed Britain the true potential of their top driver.
This year, of course, it is all about Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button no longer gets a mention. There are times when he sits alone in his motorhome, when in previous years, he would have been hounded by press trying to get an interview. Personally, I still have faith that he’ll get another win.