When that possibility was first mooted a while ago my immediate reaction was that he’d be crazy.
He doesn’t have a good track record in choosing teams (remember Buttongate?), but maybe he has a different manager now. And maybe he’s learnt from the experience.
There’s been a lot of comment about how McLaren is Lewis Hamilton’s team, how the car has been designed around Hamilton’s completely different driving style and how Button is only any good if the car is absolutely to his liking.
But, at the end of the day, I have to assume all these factors have been taken into account.
After all, Jenson and his manager will be fully (painfully?) aware of them, and I’m sure the question of moving from ‘his’ team to ‘Hamilton’s’ team will have been discussed ad nauseam.
On the plus side (and something which has been largely ignored), remember that Jenson out-drove Rubens in the last 4 races of the season.
Yes, he screwed up in qualifying, which put him further back on the grid, but during each of those last few races he made up places on Rubens – at least 3 each time.
And Rubens is no slouch. He was fired up in his challenge both to his team mate for the championship and to protect his second place from Vettel.
So I say ‘Good luck Jenson, I really hope it goes well’.
In a straight fight with Hamilton, in the same car, this is Jenson’s best chance yet to demonstrate his true skills.
As we’ve seen so many times, the smallest things can make the difference in F1. Luck, mechanical failures, tyre failures, even a bit of unexpected oil on the track can mean the difference between 10 points and 0 points at the end of the race.
I hope Jenson retains his title. But either way I expect him and Hamilton to be within a few points of each other at the end of the season.