Much controversy was made about Brawn GP and the driver lineup that was selected this off season. Granted we here at openpaddock.net were stunned to see Rubens Barichello survive, some are questioning Ross’s decision in keeping Jenson Button. One of the leading voices in this argument is none other than John Surtees. Usually we have former champions making weird comments all season and really playing Monday morning quarterback, it is sort of surprising however that after a stellar testing session for Jenson Button and Brawn GP that folks are questioning the decisions made by F1’s newest team.
As we remember in the beginning of Button’s career, he was tipped to be the saving grace of British F1. It would be foolish to believe that he lived up to the title and further more foolish to believe that he will ever live up to the lofty standards set at the beginning of his F1 life. That being said, Jenson has not completely disappointed. During the Dave Richards era Jenson Button ran very quickly and finished on the podium his fair share. Further more in 2004 Jenson finally breaks through and wins the Hungarian Grand Prix that seen wet weather and a number of the top drivers crash out.
Since the 2004 season, Honda has put together some really terrible cars, Dave Richards has moved on, and oh by the way Honda has pulled out of the sport all together. Enter Ross Brawn and the off season drama that we have all painfully sat through. Was it going to be Rubens? Was it going to be Jenson, or the up and coming Bruno Sena? In the end Ross kept Jenson and Rubens and added a highly powerful Mercedes were fast. Track record fast in the case of Rubens. So why would Surtees call for Button’s head?
Surtees states that Button is not giving 100%. The past champion believes that if the driver is not 100% focused they should be fired. I wonder how focused Mr. Surtees would be in the worst car on the grid. Even to the point that your sister B team is consistently handing you your backside. It is the opinion of Mr. Surtees that Sebastian Vettel is a real driver. Granted I completely agree, I wonder how much of this is Sebastian really being flavor of the week.
So in closing, I am not going to throw Jenson under the bus. I think that the new team and the lightning bolt car that Ross put together is enough for me to allow him a year or two more. Rubens F1 life is nearly over and you need a senior driver to help develop your young talent. Jenson has the race craft to help the Sebastian Vettels further their F1 career. Also, as we have seen the car is lightning which is the breath of fresh air Jenson needed to further put in the 100% that John Surtees thinks is necessary. Ross knows it and i am sure this is why he kept the Brit in the car. All of the rule changes make this year uncertain and Ross as we all know is a technical genius giving his new team a very good shot at developing and staying with the power curve. So I for one will listen to Ross and endorse Jenson for Brawn GP but I am a realist and know that Button reaching Hamilton talent is not going to happen, but I really do think Ross made the right choice.