Button-Hamilton turnaround exposes sham of F1 driving talent
Here Mitch Phillips gives one view of the current state of Formula One while below Alan Baldwin has a different take on the argument.
Imagine if Usain Bolt returned to the track this year only to find that all his rivals had developed new starting blocks and suddenly the triple world record holder and Olympic champion was not even good enough to make the final of this year’s world championships?
Ditto Tiger Woods. After months away from the game recovering from knee surgery, the all-conquering number one looks round to a dozen golfers with new go-longer drivers and unmissable putters and instead on winning majors, he starts missing cuts.
Maybe a welcome back for ex-England cricketer Vikram Solanki, an elegant batsman who made little impact on the international scene despite being highly rated by many well-qualified observers?
But, armed with some mystery technical advance to his bat, he returns to the England team and smashes four centuries in five innings.
Welcome to the world of Formula One, where in this new season the argument has surely been settled once and for all, that, to paraphrase one Mr L. Armstrong, it absolutely is about the car.
Jenson Button, who managed a solitary grand prix victory in his first 155 drives, now sits proudly on top of the driver’s championship having won four of the last five.
His team are suddenly now so dominant that there are allegations they were able to choose which of their drivers won Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix (a charge Brawn GP denies).
Lewis Hamilton, world champion last year and feted by some as one of the best drivers of all time, finds himself tootling along with the Escorts and Datsun Sunnys, scrabbling for odd points if enough other drivers crash or fail in front of him.
Maybe it’s time to scrap the drivers’ championship altogether and pour everyone’s energy into the manufacturers’ title. It’s certainly time to stop feting drivers as if they are great sportsmen.
PHOTO: Brawn GP Formula One driver Jenson Button of Britain holds up his trophy on the podium after winning the Spanish F1 Grand Prix at the Catalunya racetrack in Montmelo, near Barcelona, May 10, 2009. REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino