Forget The Stats: Lewis Hamilton Defeats Button In The Dry
Not since Bahrain had we seen a dry qualifying session followed by a completely dry race day.
For one team it showed an alternative to the formulaic driver results that we had been witness to this season.
When Jenson Button announced his transfer to Mclaren last year we were all weary. How could the Englishman who some commented had lucked into a title win compete with immediately celebrated talent Lewis Hamilton.
The star of the first half of last season had been paired with the star of the second half of last season in a battle that we all expected would result with Hamilton as the crushing victor.
Button though had other ideas. He answered critics early on into his Mclaren career with two accomplished and mature victories in Australia and China.
They were however both victories of circumstance; the result of beautiful decisions that were mixed with a dash of opening heavens which left rivers floating on usually undisturbed dry tarmac.
So we never really understood who controlled the proceedings at Mclaren.
Jenson held the championship lead and rushed ahead of Hamilton with two triumphs to zero. Yet Hamilton was by no means out of it. He had displayed stunning resilience in Bahrain and also in China as he offered himself two podium finishes.
These podiums were arguably more driver orientated than Buttons two wins, and afforded us the distinguished opinion that whilst Button could master the rain, Hamilton could master the tracks and his competition.
And today should have been the same.
Last season in Italy an inspired and determined Lewis pushed himself and his Mclaren to the limit in pursuit of race victory. That event sadly ended with him throwing his car into the wall, in an accident he took full responsibility for.
Today however another late accident proved to be no fault of his own. A left front puncture forced him off the track, ending his hopes of a third podium finish.
Such an occurrence would have further highlighted his brilliance behind the wheel, as he had afforded himself a spot ahead of rival Sebastien Vettel. This was truly something remarkable considering the Red Bull’s flat out dominance in speed that had been seen in qualifying.
Hamilton has remained upbeat in the aftermath of his poor luck. Maybe it is because he knows that we as spectators have once again recognised his excellence behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car.
And despite his teammates Championship lead he has also reinstated himself as the number one driver within his team.
Whilst he may not have the destructive gap in force that we would have expected over Button, he still showed us that he was able in normal weather conditions to achieve the better optimum from his Mclaren.
Button instead was left languishing behind a resurgent Michael Schumacher, and quite a distance from his team mates podium position.
It is a little early to determine whether this trend will continue into further races. Button does indeed lead the Championship and he will take just credit for his performances thus far.
Hopefully these will spur him on to defend his current lead, as opposed to the possibly predictable outcome of finding himself overtaken by various rivals as the season progresses.
We will still envision his credentials as those of an underdog, who may have to rely upon the misfortunes of others to keep him closer to reeling in future bouts of triumph.
One thing though is for sure; Lewis Hamilton is most certainly back in the driving seat.
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