Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2009.
There will be the mark of what could be a championship-winning race.
For Jensen Button that is…
If you have been following the Formula One world championship in 2009 then you know the dream story of Button’s six wins out of seven at the start of the season.
You also know the lacklustre results from then on in. So that now begs the question: Is Jensen Button worthy of becoming a world champion?
Really we should be asking, "Is anyone else worthy of being a world champion?"
Looking at the entire grid, including Jensen’s nearest rivals and those not in the title hunt, has anyone done anything to prove that they should be world champion this year?
Let's look at the other challengers.
Rubens Barrichello has won two races compared to the six of Jensen Button, his teammate. But he has out qualified the Brit 8-6 this season so far.
His strong qualifying form has only beaten the championship leader from the British Grand Prix onwards, before that point China was the only race in which the Brazilian beat his closest rival to the grid.
Sebastian Vettel has won one more race than Barrichello and out qualified him by one at 8-7. The German has retired twice more than the two Brawn drivers. But has his one extra race win and qualifying points done enough for him to deserve the title?
On performance merit, up until the British Grand Prix, Jensen had the edge.
But after that point, the race wins have been divided between no fewer than five drivers, and not one of those drivers include Jensen.
From the last time Button won a Grand Prix, he has only visited the podium once, compared to Vettel at four times and Barrichello three times.
From the rest of the grid, we have seen some brilliant drives from Kimi Raikkonen who won the Belgian Grand Prix at spa, and a commanding drive from Mark Webber who took his first F1 victory at the Nurburgring in Germany back in June.
Then there were the two victories for the reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton who helped his troubled team turn their dismal first half of the season around.
With solid performances in a “dog of a car” as he once said, Lewis Hamilton has pushed 100 percent to achieve the maximum that the car could deliver. Compared to his team mate Heikki Kovalainen, Lewis took two victories, out qualified Heikki 12-3, finished higher 10-4 and has finished two more races.
The mere fact that he claimed to be pushing too hard at the Italian Grand Prix, when he went off on the last lap, proves that he has never given up throughout the season.
With Lewis Hamilton doing what a reigning world champion should be doing in an inferior car (i.e. beating his teammate consistently) and Button’s stunning first half of the season, the rest of the highlights seem to be shared among drivers.
Let me put it this way, had Bernie Ecclestone’s medals system been in place, or the FIA’s variation of that as it was planned to be, then Jensen would have taken the title in Singapore when Hamilton took the chequered flag.
That would have left three races and three drivers needing four wins just to catch up to Buttons' six.
Things now look a little rosier for Jensen to be worthy of the title.
He hasn’t been consistent throughout the entire season, but then again neither has anybody else. So his first six wins out of seven will have served him well if he was to win the title.
If anyone else does win the title, they deserve it because one man failed to hold onto the lead.
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