Don’t get me wrong. It’s fantastic to see two British F1 World Champions installed in one of our greatest British – well, sort of – racing teams. This hasn’t happened since 1968 when Jim Clark was partnered by Graham Hill. Hurrar!
It’s also a dream ticket for the sponsors. They’ll be cock-a-hoop.
That said, what must have been going on in those meetings for Brawn GP – and now Mercedes-Benz – to let the World Champion slip through their fingers, and Jenson abandon the safe haven that was Brawn to join forces with the enemy.
For those of us who follow such things, the whole saga defies logic. Drivers who really want to win world titles stay with the team that supports them the most – that provides them with the stability they crave.
Button has made a number of sacrifices over the last few years and behaved honourably. He deserves a pay rise. Then again, he couldn’t have won this year’s World Championship without Brawn’s team and a damned good car.
So, has Jenson lost his scruples overnight and decided to move for the money?
He and McLaren say no. Brawn GP says it offered Button’s negotiators what they was asking for, but it was they who upped the ante. We’re also being led to believe that Brawn GP’s management pocketed a great deal of money from the deal with Mercedes-Benz and perhaps Button’s negotiators felt Button was entitled to a share.
Who knows? Perhaps all will become clear over time.
What we do know though, is that McLaren is Hamilton’s turf and Jenson’s the new boy, World Champion or not. Jenson is facing an uphill battle to get his feet under the table.
The McLaren machine’s going to be hot at the start of next season. Wonder boy Hamilton is going to hit the floor running. Will Jenson?
I’m told that Hamilton used engines tuned by Jenson Button’s dad – John – to win one of his karting championships. Apparently, there’s a bit of history between both boys’ fathers. It will be interesting to see how the relationship between the racers develops.