Button makes a case for veterans

I’ll be honest, these days I see outrage for just about every type of “ism” but when it comes to ageism, I see very little outrage—actually I see the opposite, I see people fully engaged in slating those they deem “old”. I find that odd if I’m honest.

I like the idea of Jenson Button being in Formula 1 and was saddened to see Mark Webber retire as well as David Coulthard. I like elder statesmen in a series that, like current culture, seems to worship at the alter of youth. We’ll get to see that on display this weekend in Japan as 16-year-old Max Verstappen takes the wheel of his future Toro Rosso car in Free Practice 1.

So now Button is left with the prospect of trying to make a case for his continued presence at McLaren as a veteran who would be key to helping the team navigate those complicated cultural nuances of Japanese engine provider, Honda. Jenson was quoted in AUTOSPORT as saying:

“It would help them if they had experienced drivers driving their car for development reasons,” Button said.

“It is a power unit that you are going to be trying to fill in a lot of holes with the ERS, so you need driver input and feel, from experience – you definitely benefit from that.”

Now I don’t doubt him on this notion and that’s assuming he’s a really good car development guy—to be fair, I’ve never heard anyone say he isn’t. It may boil down to the future thoughts on Kevin Magnussen and if McLaren feel they have a title-winning driver in him or if they need to go hire that Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel factor as Kevin has some more learning to do.

If Kevin is your guy, then maybe this is a Vettel/Webber scenario and Button could stay but I sense McLaren might be looking at all options at this point.

Truth is, Button is more Hannibal than Face and perhaps that makes Kevin more like Bosco Albert or BA. Guess that makes Eric Boullier, Howling Mad Murdock doesn’t it?

As Hannibal, Button needs to find that edgy, unorthodox approach to F1 now and lead the team, not wait for a car. He could be integral in the assimilation of the Honda engine, he knows the culture and people very well. Let’s hope we see Jenson in F1 for 2015 and not Cowboy George.


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