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Worrying times for Button

How much difference a year can make!

In last year’s Canadian Grands Prix, millions of fans roared Jenson Button on to a famous victory, arguably the most impressive drive of his career, coming from last on the grid to blasting past Sebastian Vettel and taking a stellar win in a race that lasted over four hours and saw Jenson enter the pits six times.

It was 2011’s most dramatic moment.

In comparison Lewis Hamilton crashed out, that seemed to be the story of his 2011 campaign, just ask Felipe Massa.

Button went on to claim a very creditable second in the championship, beating his team mate.

Fast forward a year and it is Hamilton who was roared to Canadian success again, while Button languished in 16th place, these are worrying times for Jenson.

After a superb start to the season with a win in Australia, Button’s season has faltered. He was many people’s title tip after the opening weekend, but a poor sequence of 1 point in his previous four races has seen Jenson be cast adrift, and his poor performances in both Monaco and Canada where his car was generally a second slower than Hamilton’s have left many scratching their heads.

Jenson understandably cuts a frustrated figure in the paddock, unhappy and at a loss for his poor form, a totally different persona from the man who has arguably outshone Lewis Hamilton since joining the team back in 2010. Button, seen as a happy-go-lucky character, has admitted recently that he can become depressed over performances and results, it’s going to take great mental strength to earn a positive result in Canada. From being almost McLaren’s top dog, Hamilton is putting Jenson firmly back in his place.

It all stems from qualifying, Jenson isn’t a man known for his one lap pace and with the cars bunched tightly together he has been found ailing in the lower places of Q3.

Tyre management, once seen as Button’s forte, is also a big factor in his recent decline. On Sunday he was the only man to have stopped three times, resulting in his awful 16th placed finish as the Pirelli tyres suffered higher wear then on any other car.

Strangely McLaren are baffled, but that is the nature of this bizarre 2012 season no-one quite knows what is happening and why.

A pole position and win in Valencia next week will get Button’s title challenge back on track but he in serious risk of falling behind as the trio of Hamilton, Alonso and Vettel, generally seen as the top three drivers, start to move away at the front.

However, most would agree that victory in Valencia is highly unlikely, but in 2012 that means entirely plausible.








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The Journalist

Writer: Charlie Bennett Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday June 13 2012

Time: 3:00PM

 

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