To say Jenson Button has not had the best of years would be an understatement. In truth, it’s been a rather horrid half year in F1 for the Brit: the last two finishes have brought about a 10th and 8th place finish. For someone who is considered to be amongst the roster of talented, championship-winning drivers, it’s a poor return.
Especially poor, given that he started the year so well: a first place finish in Australia and a 2nd place finish in China in the first three races would have given Button a sense of confidence about his chances for the rest of the year. The Chinese race provided the last time that Button was on the podium.
…undergoing something of a resurgence…
Through a combination of bad luck, technical malfunctions and retirement, Button has not been able to recreate that early season form. Considering that his team-mate, Lewis Hamilton, is undergoing something of a resurgence in recent months, it all serves to put Button out of the conversation with the focus turning to Alonso, Webber, Vettel and Hamilton and leaving Button some distance behind.
It’s not, you’d think, where Button would like to be. Qualifying as he did in 18th place for Silverstone and finishing in 10th place, guaranteeing one point. A point is better than no points. For someone as committed, and as ambitious as he is, it’s not good enough. The McLaren does not appear to be the equal of its main competitor Red Bull, with Ferrari possibly overtaking them in the last few weeks; Button does not have the car he needs to compete. But as Fernando Alonso has shown throughout the year, a relatively poor car is not enough to keep you from being competitive. If Button is to regain his mojo for the second half of the year, he needs to pull his finger out.