It’s true! This time last year nobody would have guessed that at the end of the penultimate race Jenson Button would be crowned world champion. I am not going to give any sort of sporting analysis of the race rather point out a few points that caught my eye today and indeed throughout this tempestuous season.
There is one thing that can be said about this years season and that is Jenson has done this all alone! From his first drive in a Williams I have always had a hope for this feisty little bugger, in fact people got bored of me saying “give Jenson a competitive car and the world championship is his”. I know it is easy to say following the success of the Brawn GP team but I have always had faith in him. So much faith in fact I actually own the 2005-2006 season Honda winter Jacket. The season started with Jenson leading the way and clearly he had finally received that winning car/team combination to push him to the top. The whole world seemed to be behind Jenson, the press and media were happy plastering his face all over their pages but as the season progressed a terrible trend appeared. It appeared that no matter what Jenson did it wasn’t quite good enough for Eddie “the poison Dwarf” Jordan. Jenson never did a good lap, he did a lap half a second slower than Lewis “the cheating scumbag” Hamilton. It seemed that the public and press were doing exactly the same it was only going to get worse as most of this criticism was given when he was winning!
The season progressed and the criticism got worse, the competitors cars got upgraded and Jenson’s winning streak was over. Most reports were simply stating he isn’t a naturally born champion like Hamilton, or it was his car that did all the work? This really wound me up because the same was never said about Hamilton when he swerved, cut up and cheated his way to victory in the previous two seasons. Jenson has always been a true sportsman and you knew he always put 110% into his racing even if he was driving a car not much quicker than a three legged rocking horse. There was however one person who like me stuck with Jenson through it all and that was David Coulthard (DC), who at times appeared to be as pissed off as me by the comments coming from the little Irish poisoned one!
The Brawn GP team have done the sport proud this season with a fine mix of internal rivalry and unsurpassed support for both their drivers through good & bad times. Today’s race really showed the true sporting hero’s of the Formula One teams, this can be summed up by the actions of the Brawn GP pit crew when Heikki Kovalainen was released by a rather sleepy pit crew and dragged a fuelling hose down the pit lane nearly barbecuing a Ferrari. By the time he had realised he had come to a halt right outside the Brawn garage. Now the last time this happened it was Massa who wanted to take the hose with him and when he came to a standstill he had to sit and wait for his pit crew to arrive to remove the hose. Everybody just stood there looking at the car and the pit crew running towards the stricken car. However in today’s race the Brawn GP team leapt into action and started working trying to remove the hose. It wasn’t a contrived effort, there were at least 4 people pulling at the hose, 1 on standby with the fire extinguisher and even their “lollipop man” came out. Now at this point of the race Brawn’s chances of winning were under threat from McLaren so it would have been in Brawn’s favour not to help, but that wasn’t the case. Once they had successfully released the hose the Brawn “Lollipop man” checked the pit lane and ensured that Heikki was released safely. When I say safely I don’t just mean he strolled over and said “off you go buddy” he got down to his knees in view of the tiny wing mirrors and gave him thumbs up and waved him off.
You just don’t see this level of true sportsmanship anywhere any more and it warms my heart to know that the Brawn GP team were the ones delivering it. At the end of the race where the attention was unceremoniously taken from Mark Webber (who actually won the race against all odds) and all the interviews and post race analysis was given there wasn’t a single mention of it. There was however lots of talk about how close everyone else came to winning and how the race came to Jenson.
Next year I fear is going to be more of the same for Jenson, if he fails to deliver in anything next year he will be dragged over the coals for it! Just please remember when you are slagging him off that he is a true sporting hero, never do you see him cutting other drivers up, cheating or playing the system to gain an advantage unlike another alleged champion!
One more thing before I finish this, due to a little bet I made right at the beginning of the season I will be changing my name by deed poll. So as soon as the paperwork comes through I will have Jenson as my new middle name!