Brawn GP team principal Ross Brawn has paid tribute to lead driver and championship leader Jenson Button. Button has excelled so far this season in a car which has finally allowed him to show off his talent, and his boss led the accolades after Button’s win in Bahrain.
“His speed is quite exceptional, yet you would never know it watching him because he’s so incredibly smooth.”
Brawn told journalists after the grand prix that he had always believed in Button’s skill, which apparently even showed through last year, when the Honda RA108 car was uncompetitive.
“Even with the car we had last year I saw little flashes of something exceptional from him and the guys on the team that had been here a few years were always telling me he was a bit special,” said Brawn, quoted by the BBC. “I just had not been privileged to see it on a regular basis.
“But now with a good car he is able to deliver and I think that first proper win from the front in Australia [Button’s Hungary win in 2006 was by all standards an unusual race] has given him a confidence that has brought an extra dimension.’
Button has always been a good driver, in the second rank of talent behind the real phenomena who arrive and change the sport, such as Fernando Alonso or Lewis Hamilton. A good way to judge the relative talent of a driver is how he deals with uncompetitive machinery, and a Hamilton or an Alonso will shine despite bad cars, something they both are proving this year.
However, there is a school of thought which suggests that because of Button’s uniquely smooth style he needs a stable car to show his talent. This year he certainly has that in the Brawn BGP 001, and is showing his dominance over team-mate Rubens Barrichello, something he did not always do last year.