Marbles ~ Laura Marieee: 11-20-09

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For those of you who may be worried that Marbles has disappeared, rest assured, I’m still here! This week has been a hectic week for me, and it seems that the F1 world has been just as hectic: whoever said the off-season was boring!? It seems whenever I get a spare five minutes and log on to Twitter, there’s some story for me to catch up on… Button’s visit to McLaren, Mercedes buying 75% of Brawn and renaming the team Mercedes F1, and then, on the same day that I got the chance to meet some of Twitter’s finest F1 fans, the “British Dream Team” is confirmed at McLaren for 2010. What can I say, that’s F1 for you, blink and you’re at risk of missing something important… So what about this Dream Team? Todd has already reported about it, but I thought I’d do my own thing with the story… So can Button be McLaren’s number one driver? And just who would win the fight of the British champions?

Laura Marieee

Let’s face it- McLaren has been dubbed “Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren team” in the press for quite some time now, and for our new world champ Button to sign with the team on the back of a world championship, is something that quite a few people (including myself) never expected- at least not so soon. It just wasn’t going to happen- he was bound to stay at Brawn- or Mercedes- or whatever it calls itself these days, as that was the team he won the championship with- surely!?

But no, within days of it being reported that Button had visited Woking and the McLaren Technology Centre, he was confirmed at the team by the BBC, and later the official McLaren Twitter page, @TheFifthDriver, for 2010. Of course, an all-British team, with back-to-back champions was endearing for McLaren, and while you may not have expected it so soon, it was likely to happen at some point.

But the question now is: has Button done the right thing? McLaren has very much been about Lewis since he arrived in F1 in 2007, and while Button may have the number one on his car when he arrives in Bahrain next March, just how long will it take for the Woking-based team to fall back into the routine of favouring Lewis? Of course right now for McLaren, they’ll be working on a car that’ll be good enough to retain Button’s title or to put Hamilton back at the top, but you can’t help but wonder whether this was really a sensible move for Jenson. It doesn’t take a lot to figure that while McLaren will welcome Button and give him the best possible opportunity of retaining the title, Hamilton is always going to be favoured, especially when he drives to the limit and beyond in hope of gaining those extra points, and McLaren don’t seem to be able to fault that determination to go one better either, (Monza this year springs to mind). So when it comes down to it, will Button just be the number two in the team, while Hamilton pushes to take back his crown?

Though, without a shadow of a doubt, Button has the potential to beat Hamilton. He proved this year that they are on par as far as performance is concerned. An impressive six out of seven wins at the start of the season is something not even Hamilton managed to achieve, and when you look at it like that, Button has the potential to wipe the floor with Lewis, just as much as Lewis has the confidence and determination to push to the limit all the way to the end of the season. While it is easy to praise Button for his string of impressive wins, you have to give credit where credit is due to Hamilton too for his determination to win, something Button doesn’t seem to show, despite his smooth driving style. The two, in very different ways are just as good as each other, and it could just be what they both need to push each other further. Not to mention, a straightforward fight between two teammates who want to be the best, could be an exciting prospect for next season, and somewhat of a challenge for Hamilton, who in the last couple of years has won the fight for best McLaren driver hands-down.

Ultimately though, a British team is endearing, and after the recent Hamilton and Alonso pairing, a British pairing will give the Brits a chance to support a British team, get behind them, no matter who triumphs. While many think it’ll be hard for Button to beat Hamilton in the same car, just the thought of two champions bringing home a championship for Britain is exciting enough. But no matter what, no matter what I have to say, the garage will still be divided. There’ll be Hamilton fans, and there will be Button fans, and while we should enjoy a true British team, the nation will no doubt be divided again, I just hope that Button does a good job- let’s face it, Hamilton will push to the ragged edge, and that’s going to be hard to beat…

And that’s it for another week of Marbles… Normal service will resume next week, so I’ll see you on Wednesday…

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