Date:Wednesday September 12 2012
At the back end of last month, we asked the question whether McLaren should now back Lewis Hamilton for the F1 World Championship.
What we meant asking that question was whether or not Jenson Button should now take the supporting role in the team, like Felipe Massa does with Ferrari.
In the Italian Grand Prix, we saw a clear indication of where Massa ranks in the team, as soon as Alonso was behind him on the track, Massa slowed and surrendered the position to his team-mate.
In the past we've also seen Massa, try tyre strategies ahead of Alonso, to maximise the Spaniard's chances of taking home the maximum points available.
This tactic works up and down the pit-lane and wins teams championships and invariable those that leave their drivers to race lose titles [McLaren - 2007 just one recent example].
So with Button at that stage 41 points behind Lewis Hamilton and trailing championship leader Fernando Alonso by 88 points, the VF1 front page poll asked: Should McLaren back Hamilton for the title?
It was quite easy to say that the users were split!
Yes, Button should support him received 50% of the vote, whilst No, Button should race his own championship took the other half of the vote.
Those who voted no would have felt justified when F1 returned from the summer break in Belgium, with Hamilton failing to score and Button taking the victory.
That left Button just 16 points behind Hamilton, with the lead to Alonso closed to 63 points.
But the pendulum swung again following the Italian Grand Prix, with Button retiring and Hamilton taking victory, the margin between the two team-mates was restored to 41 points, while Alonso's lead over Button was extended to 78 points.
With 175 points to potentially play for the championship does remain wide open, mathematically at least for both drivers and whilst that remains the case, McLaren will stick with their ethos of letting their drivers race.
'At the moment, the dynamics are right within the team and it will be some time before we change our approach.' McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh told the BBC.
Jenson Button will also not be taking the decision into his own hands just yet adding: 'I'm out to race. I think Lewis doesn't need my help.'
'Lewis is doing a great job as it is, As always, I go out to win. I'm not going to go out and pedal round and sit behind my team-mate.'
Is it the right tactic to make?
If Hamilton signed a new contract with McLaren tomorrow would he gain support more support in his title quest?
Date:Wednesday September 12 2012
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Wehrlein sidelined due to back injury (Monday February 20 2017)
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Wolff backs Bernie's influence (Monday February 6 2017)
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Brawn becomes F1 director (Thursday February 2 2017)
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F1's new owners could save British Grand Prix (Thursday January 12 2017)
Paddy Lowe leaves Mercedes (Wednesday January 11 2017)
Pirelli uncertain over new 2017 tyres (Tuesday January 10 2017)
Silverstone considers dropping British Grand Prix (Monday January 9 2017)
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Sky and Channel 4 announce F1 races for 2017 (Monday January 9 2017)
Ricciardo would not swap Red Bull for Merc (Friday January 6 2017)
Expect field to be spread in 2017 says Newey (Thursday January 5 2017)
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Honda wants to supply second team in 2018 (Thursday December 22 2016)
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No room at the Red Bull Racing Inn (Friday December 16 2016)
Mercedes now regret Hamilton instruction (Thursday December 15 2016)
Mercedes to take no action on Hamilton (Wednesday December 14 2016)
Aston Martin continue Red Bull partnership (Tuesday December 13 2016)
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Mercedes offer €10million for Bottas (Monday December 12 2016)
Formula One to return to France (Monday December 12 2016)
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Vettel's future is clear (Wednesday December 7 2016)
Wolff rules out big name driver for Mercedes (Tuesday December 6 2016)
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Button philosophical following race retirement (Monday December 5 2016)
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Rosberg retires from F1 (Friday December 2 2016)
New contract for Italian Grand Prix (Friday December 2 2016)
Hamilton blames Mercedes for lost title (Thursday December 1 2016)
Hamilton receives team boss backing (Wednesday November 30 2016)
What did Merc think of Hamilton's 'dirty tactics' (Tuesday November 29 2016)
Hamilton's dirty tactics? (Tuesday November 29 2016)
Blog: Abu Dhabi GP Report (Monday November 28 2016)
AND NEW Formula One World Champion - Nico Rosberg (Sunday November 27 2016)
2016 Abu Dhabi GP - Race (Sunday November 27 2016)
Blog: Abu Dhabi Qualifying (Saturday November 26 2016)
2016 Abu Dhabi GP - Qualifying (Saturday November 26 2016)
2016 Abu Dhabi GP - FP3 (Saturday November 26 2016)
2016 Abu Dhabi GP - FP2 (Friday November 25 2016)
2016 Abu Dhabi GP - FP1 (Friday November 25 2016)
Blog: Abu Dhabi Preview (Friday November 25 2016)
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Hamilton plays down title chances (Wednesday November 23 2016)
Drivers make their tyre choices for Abu Dhabi (Tuesday November 22 2016)
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Blog: Brazilian GP Report (Monday November 14 2016)
2016 Brazil GP - Race (Sunday November 13 2016)
Blog: Interlagos Qualifying (Saturday November 12 2016)
2016 Brazil GP - Qualifying (Saturday November 12 2016)
2016 Brazil GP - FP3 (Saturday November 12 2016)
2016 Brazil GP - FP2 (Friday November 11 2016)
2016 Brazil GP - FP1 (Friday November 11 2016)
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