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Ex Drivers and Buttons


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#1 MGPowell

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Posted 06 March 2000 - 17:10

I am really curious why ex drivers and a few current ones are so worried about Button.

If I had half a chance to drive an F1 car I wouldn't be thinking, Oh I'll just park my ass is an another level for a few more years and see if I get another oppurtunity. I think the Kid needs to be encouraged for having the balls to take the offer.

Secondly why is he any more dangerous than the other inexperienced drivers out there. He has to start somewhere, why not at Williams. I don't see anyone saying mazzacane is a danger, or that hiedfield is a danger.

If your not sure what I am yabbing on about take a look at the atlas news room and look at brundle's and salo's comments.

I wish the kid all the best and hope he can do well.

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#2 Peter

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Posted 06 March 2000 - 17:15

Well said!

I think some of the current drivers are just trying the old mind games!

I hope that in a weeks time they will be eating humble pie!

Unfortunately, some of the drivers will carry their attitude onto the track so I think JB is the one in danger as they will expect hime to give way to them (if they get the chance!)

#3 Jonathan

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Posted 07 March 2000 - 16:15

I do not agree.

Button is a driver with talant and a future. He is very much inexperianced. The other inexperianced Drivers are not thought of as likely future champions.

I dont think the other drivers are saying these things to damage Buttons career, if anything they are attempting to help him.

Sheilding him somewhat from the pressures of F1, and encoraging him to develope his talants elsewhere for a few years before bringing him in to F1 is not a bad idea.

Having said that, I still think Button can do very well in F1...

#4 J

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Posted 07 March 2000 - 17:36

MGPowell,

Nick Heidfeld has two seasons of Formula Ford(German champion), two seasons of Formula three(German champion), two seasons of F3000(FIA Champion)behind him. Jenson Button has one season of Formula Ford(Britsh champion), and one season of Formula three(3rd in Britsh championship), in which he did not impress while in traffic. Can you see the difference?

J

#5 CATMAN

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Posted 07 March 2000 - 17:44

Well I wonder how much Martin Brundles comments have to do with his business link with DC. Dc has never really got the Brits behind him. JB easilly could.

#6 FlagMan

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Posted 07 March 2000 - 18:43

J - On what do you base your comments about Button not being good in traffic?

To come out top in your 1st season of FF and then finish 3rd in your 1st season of F3 - in a team/car that is ackowledged as not being the the best in UK F3 (down on power engine in a formula where a few bhp deficit can mean a mid grid position), says something about his ability.

What would you rather he did - spend a year getting blown off in a Minardi, with limited opportunity to test, or run with Williams in a year when they will need to be doing a lot of testing - plus getting the chance to race as well - and get paid for it rather having to spend money on running in a lower formula.

[This message has been edited by FlagMan (edited 03-07-2000).]

#7 silver fan

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Posted 07 March 2000 - 18:51

I don't think anybody doubts that the Butten kiddie has the potential to make the grade, it's just a matter of waiting to see if he survives long enough at Williams to find his feet. It doesn't matter if the Williams is competitive or not, you still have to beat your team mate, and with "little Schu" as a team mate Butten is staring down the barrel of a loaded gun. For the sake of his own standing within F1, Ralph has to wipe the floor with Butten... can't wait.

#8 Laphroaig

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Posted 07 March 2000 - 19:38

Oh well.. Trulli entered formula one after 1.5 seasons of F3, but he started with Minardi, so that causes less fuss than starting at Williams :)
Mezzacane's CV might even look worse.. 2 points in 3 years of F3000!

But i agree with Schumachers comment most, "It isn't how old he is, it'll be how fast he is'... And that's what we'll see this year!

#9 J

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Posted 07 March 2000 - 08:04

FlagMan,

I would definately put Promatec as one of the top packages in Brit F3. That horsepower deficit didn´t stop JB from sticking his Renaut on pole on occassion. If you want quote´s about the traffic question´s you´ll have to wait until tomorrow, since I don´t keep my Autosport collection at work.
I don´t want anyone to get an impression that I don´t rate Button highly, he is very special, just like Pizzonia and Räikkönen are. What gets me is the Hype surroundig him before a season that might be very disappointig for those who are expecting Mansell Mania. Williams might still be Willams, but BMW doesn´t look that promising, in fact it looks quite bad.You´ll have to remember that Frank has Montoya waiting for the moment when his team is competetive, so I´d hate to see JB ending up as a has been at the age of 21 (remember Magnussen).
What would´ve I done in the same circumstances? Dunno, probably gone for it.

J

#10 RacerX

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Posted 07 March 2000 - 08:18

The driver's comments I have seen seem to say (paraphrasing, of course) "He's dangerous, he has no business on the track" rather than "He could be a championship contender someday with more experience". I say, he's here, he's going to race, until he proves that he is dangerous or not qualified give him a chance. Having said that, I am one of the folks that question whether he belongs in F1. We will soon know. I don't envy him, he is in for a long season at Williams.

#11 FlagMan

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Posted 07 March 2000 - 08:56

J - I wouldn't rate Promatecme as one of the absolute top F3 teams, after all - Marc Hynes, who won the F3 series in '99, didn't achieve that much when he drove for them in '98. You also have to compare Button against his team mate - Colheo - who never managed to impress last year - his results being IMO a truer reflection of the teams potential.

RacerX - I guess in some ways he had no option but to take the chance. If, having had the offers of F1, he had chosen to go back to F3 for another year, he would have been a marked man - every other driver who only have one aim, to beat Button. He would have just HAD to win the championship - no other option would be available/acceptable.

What of F3000 as an option? Unfortunatly - by the time he had to make up his mind, all the top seats had already gone - and the way that formula works - if you are not in a top team you might as well just flush £1/2 million down the toilet. In F1 he races on the same tracks, gets 3 times as much track time during a meeting and the chance of much more testing time.

OK so Williams and BMW may not be a top team this year - but that is probably an advantage - it should lessen some of the expectation and hence the pressure.

Why should Button be any more potentially dangerous than any other new driver in F1? - I seem to remember M. Schumacher having several major accidents when he started in F1 - including writing off two Bennetons in one race!. Ralph hardly managed to stay on the track much during his first seasons of F1 either - including taking Michael out at the first corner on one occasion...

Button has hardly had a crash ridden career in cars so far so why should he suddenly change now.

I'm not saying that Button will succeed - just that of all the up-and-coming drivers I've seen over the last few years, he stands out in the same way that drivers like Senna, Herbert and Coulthard did at similar points in their careers.

As for the hype - maybe its astute management! - after all, how many drivers have failed to make it as a result of not getting the publicity, and hence the backing, at the start of their careers.

#12 Pacific

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Posted 07 March 2000 - 08:57

I must agree with Michael Schumacher on this one. And some of you may now think the world is going to end. Esteban Tuero came into F1 driving a Minardi. If anybody was going to be dangerous it would have been Tuero who didn't have the Williams car and team to work with. But guess what, Esteban Tuero did just fine. Now, perhaps Esteban Tuero was a tad underrated. This happens when you're from Argentina where there is practically no media to hype you up like Jenson Button.

It reminds me of a couple years ago at the American Speed Association race at my home track of Hawkeye Downs. There was a 13 year old driver name B.J. McLeod who was testing to get his ASA license and make the race. Well, B.J. got the license and a lot of the drivers were saying stuff like, "He's got no business being here." Well the ASA officials responded they wished that all the ASA drivers on the circuit had as smooth of a line on the track as B.J. McLeod. (McLeod was a very accomplished go-kart racer at the time.) McLeod raced for a lesser team and was unable to make the race, he would have been the next driver to make the race in the last-chance qualifier. He put in a great performance.

If Jenson Button comes in and does a great job in British F3, which had some good drivers in it. Including Jaguar test-driver Luciano Burti. If he's comparable to Burti, then there should be no problem. Luciano proves fast on the track, Jenson looks fast on the track. It might be funny if young Button comes in and blows some people away.

We'll see in about six days what Jenson Button can do, and that'll just be his first race. He'll get better as time goes on. It's not like F1 is THAT close. It's not like it's NASCAR at Talladega or Daytona where you get a draft of 40 cars lap after lap at times. If Williams think Button can do it, I tend to trust their judgment on this one. Frank Williams and Patrick Head aren't morons when it comes to picking drivers. (Maintaining driver relationships might be one thing to improve on though.)

#13 SKL

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Posted 07 March 2000 - 21:57

Pacific? You from Cedar Rapids? I was born there and Hawkeye Downs was the site of my first race, at age 5. Hated the noise, and my dad took me home early. Boy, have things changed!!!

#14 Zoe

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Posted 07 March 2000 - 22:09

I find it pretty impolite by Martin Brundle that he is talking so badly about Button. OK, I'm not a fan of Button(s) either, but still I'd say give the boy a chance. Maybe he's overhyped, but we'll see.

To me the comments of Brundle sound pretty bitter, something like a loser badmouthing other players in a sport where they'd never won. He'd shown real grace by talking like a gentleman about Button.

Zoe

#15 MrAerodynamicist

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Posted 07 March 2000 - 22:10

Nick Heidfeld - Everytime I've managed to see F3000 on TV he has had "incidents" with other drivers. Now maybe it was just coincidence, but I think he will be just like Ralf the first year he was in F1.

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#16 Pacific

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Posted 07 March 2000 - 23:23

SKL- Yep, I'm a Cedar Rapidian. No doubt when you were first there it was a dirt track. Have you been back to Hawkeye Downs lately? The improvements to the track over the years due to what the ASA wants are quite considerable. The surface is real nice. Some of these tracks that the NASCAR Busch Series do not have as nice of a track as Hawkeye Downs. But for the Downs to ever have a NASCAR Truck race they'd have to add a lot of stands and that's not really very possible considering that huge junkyard is right by the track. They probably could add stands in turn 1 and part of turn 2. I didn't get to see the ASA race last year because I was at a try-out for a Junior hockey team in Minnesota, which I made, so that was worth it in the end I suppose. This year I hope to attend the Friday festivities of the ASA circuit and the Saturday race. I guess I'd be happy if maybe ARCA made a stop in Cedar Rapids someday or the ARCA Truck Series. The track has character, that's for sure. The ASA drivers say it's a unique half mile track.

#17 Hendy

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Posted 08 March 2000 - 01:50

The other point that we have to look at is that Button had to raise funds for the next year of F3000, F3, whatever. The Marlboro deal was one year and he was going to go to a different team this coming year. No money for him to speak of and a paid F1 ride comes along. So you have, on one hand, a season that might shape up to be nothing in F3/F3000 and drop his value or a F1 ride with the most successful team of the 90's. Which would you do? F1.

Secondly, whowever it was that said Button was no good in traffic, watch the Marlboro Masters. F3 cars are really hard to pass with and he was dropping by cars like they were standing still. 12th to fifth or something like that.

Hendy

#18 FordPrefect

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Posted 08 March 2000 - 01:58

It is clear that Button has a difficult season ahead of him. Also being with Williams wouldn't do him much good either.

I think that he has been brought in to F1 at too early an age, I hope he can prove me wrong on that. Does anyone know why he decided to make the jump at this time?

However I have no respect for any of the negative public statements that the other drivers are saying about him, especially that moron Salo. :)

All the Best FP

#19 MGPowell

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Posted 08 March 2000 - 04:49

Saying that Button will be dangerous is rediculous, and saying he shouldn't be there is even more rediculous. As I said in my opening post, if I had the oppurtunity to do I wouldn't wait.

Secondly J, Nick Heidfield may have more experience in lower formula's, but we all know F1 is a totally different playing field. The cars are far more powerful so any driver, driving for the first time is going to find it tough, I don't think a driver has to have 10 years of lower formulas behind him to be able to start in F1.

As has been mentioned, if he has the speed who cars where he came from.

Good luck to the kid, I hope he quals well in melbourne and finishes the race.

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#20 umma gumma

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Posted 08 March 2000 - 05:14

well, I remember a bunch of outraged drivers after Gilles Villeneuves first few races too....we'll just have to wait & see. unfortunately, if something does go wrong, EVERYONE will come down hard on him.

#21 Nomad

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Posted 08 March 2000 - 08:55

I think the doubts expressed about Button may relate to his lack of time in an F1 car. No testing experience, until one shot in a Prost this winter, there was hardly any mileage in the Williams shoot-out and the pulling a back muscle in training; this must mean that Button has possibly had theleast amount of time in an F1 car before his first race of any recent driver I can think of.

#22 DangerMouse

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Posted 08 March 2000 - 09:04

From jumping from a go kart into a F3 car, Button ran a few tests and was off the pace, the manager of the team was worried, Buttons dad said don't worry to the manager he'll do it, Button jumped back into the car and broke the lap record - which still stands today (Oulton Park)

Next up testing for Prost, it was raining Button was setting competitive lap times within 7 laps of sitting in an F1 car for the first time, Prost tried to sign button as a test driver.

Then at Williams after the first few aborted runs the first time Button got some hot laps in Patrick Head said the pit crew went crazy, and he tried to calm them down before Jenson got back - you do not go that quick that quickly unless you are truly special, if Button has the skill to take in F1 speeds straight away and be quick, then he has the spare mental capacity to think about racing and what's going on around him whilst driving, this is why I think Jenson is not a liability - of course he'll make mistakes, Jordan built more cars when Running Fisichella and Schumi Jnr together than they had built in most seasons combined! - young drivers make mistakes, expect them from Jenson it doesn't mean he is too young or inexperienced.


This season is going to be great, Button, Nick Heidfield and Gene (who's been a bit of a revelation) starting to make the elder statesman quiver, this is the next generation.
Nick is going to retire Alesi who will not cope with Nicks speed.
Gene should have already put Luca Badoers F1 dreams to bed by his performance last year.