the assumption that Button is well settled, universally liked and an immovable object in McLaren is, i think, worth further scrutiny. Likewise i’m not of opinion Button @ McLaren in 2014 is a foregone conclusion.
Button over next season is not just about beating his inexperienced team mate – who is moving into a top team for the first time-only general public and Button-friendly media will assess on that criteria alone. if he has a similar season to 2012 then questions about taking up his option will (rightly) have to be asked. Its all right to point finger at Hulkenburg in Brazil for being beaten by Ferrari but Button’s slump did cost McLaren a lot of points, points which could have given the chance for WCC, notwithstanding Operational & reliability issues, the team will first look to blame drivers before any other internal group.
for sure he may be joined with Whitmarsh at the hip but Whitmarsh as Team Principal has not covered himself in glory, and with a young, near in-experienced driver coming in will have to man up into a less obviously biased position if he is to avoid further scrutiny. (not that I hold out much hope of MW figuring this out on his own).
even if there were no financial considerations involved with hiring Perez McLaren are already on the defensive and though they will be working hard to polish him up, there will further pressure on Button to deliver while Perez is getting up to speed –no matter how bad he turns out the least he shld get is 2 years but can you imagine if Perez is qualifying 12th-Would a corresponding 5-8th by Button be acceptable to Mclaren-just because he is winning the Teammate battle?
It gets even more complicated if there are/were financial considerations in the Perez decision then be prepared for serious support going his way to MAKE SURE he does work out with all sorts of unknown consequences.
i could on that basis, easily go into the 2014 silly season thread to speculate:
McLaren – Perez & hulkenburg
Ferrari - Alonso & Button
Corporate entities like McLaren are never one-mind-think-alike institutions – next year will be very intriguing. there was a number of drip drip negative briefing against Lewis even when the team cocked up there was always a way for Lewis to get the flak (& yes Button’s “free from BS criticism” pass is getting tiresome).
They may all be Button’s allies (not that these articles will do him many favours) but Poor performance(whether from Team or Driver), will generate its own friction, in private for sure as Button does know how to play the game, but friction all the same and now his is the head that sticks out highest.
Button for his own part (and perhaps as his own strategy)is tying up loose ends from this season and laying groundwork for next...
he (or someone with his tacit approval) has been churning out these autosport interviews on a regular basis this off season. a few articles back one of them appeared to almost be a job lobbying exercise – “about how he would have been with the team for 4 yrs by the end of 2013 so settled with the Engineers and that it is risky going for a new driver when the regulations are changing etc...” paraphrasing.
this one about pace amounts to a slap in the face to Lowe’s Team (whom I don’t believe are his staunchest ally even with the ‘Birthday Cake’ tweet at the start of the season but that’s another post) but the one stating “Hamilton will surprise Rosberg” also had some sting to it – “what he can do in a bad car” to paraphrase again. Was he suggesting that the times there was a performance differential between them the car was “bad”?
....Next year’s McLaren watch will be tasty.
... I’m just saying.
Edited by SmokeScreen, 28 December 2012 - 01:39.