Monday, 27 July 2009

Can Button win the F1 Drivers’ Title?

Yes, in a word. The Brawn has been a dog in the last three weeks, with Button not troubling the podium and, contrary to my rather woeful tip, came 7th in Hungary. The Red Bull is the best car on the circuit and Webber and Vettel are both good drivers.

However, Button has a few advantages which should see him continue to stay top of the table.

Firstly, four weeks stand between Hungary and the next race, a big window for Brawn to figure out why their car has transformed from a class act into a dog.

Secondly, McLaren and Ferrari are effectively Brawn’s friends now. By taking the top two slots at Hungary Hamilton and Raikonnen helped Button out big time and may well continue to reduce the points Red Bull can accrue. Similarly Alonso may damage Red Bull’s hopes.

Thirdly, Vettel (despite not finishing in four of the 10 races so far) is close enough to Webber for Red Bull to be unlikely to line up behind either driver for the next few races at least. So the two drivers will probably take points from each other.

The Constructors’ Title is distinctly shakier for Brawn, and I’d be mildly surprised if they, rather than Red Bull, won it. Presently Brawn leads by about 15.5 points, and given the car’s poor performance and Barrichello not performing as well as he should (admittedly at times due to strategic decisions worthy of Varro) I think Red Bull should take that title.

Morris Dancer


Anonymous said...

Good analysis - only slight disagreement is on point 2.

The other teams could interfere to Red Bulls advantage. If they are able to win races - a big if admittedly - then the other teams could reduce Button's points haul. It might work in the way you suggest but this is also a plausible alternative to be considered.

Icarus said...

I thought Alonso had been banned for the next race.

Morris Dancer said...

Yes, Alonso is barred from the next race after his wheel came off. I didn't know that at the time of writing.

Regarding the Anonymous message, that is possible but I maintain more competitive teams are to Brawn's advantage.

If you have 4 teams capable of winning then it will reduce the points any one team receives. Brawn's solid lead means that the bites Red Bull take out of it will probably be reduced overall by Ferrari and McLaren getting their act together.

Squiffy said...

Actually it is Renault that is banned from the next race and not Alonso. I would be prepared to bet that Alonso will be driving a Ferrari in the next race alongside Raikkonen.

For next year I think he will drive for Ferrari also, alongside Massa if he gets better, or Raikkonen if Massa can't drive next year.

Steven Ronald said...

Yes, with his points total accumulated so far Button is the worthy favourite.

With regards to other teams helping/hindering Red Bull - ...yes it could go either way - although I think this could end up being a major problem for Button. If Brawn slip to 3rd of 4th team then they would be severely limited in their ability to add to their points total whereas if Red Bull were 2nd or thereabouts Vettel and Webber can chip away at the lead at 5ish points a time.

Sam said...

The problem for Brawn now is the same that McLaren have been suffering from all year - they can't test. They know their problem is keeping heat in the tyres, but something they've added in the past few races has made it worse.

They may have a month until the next race, but any advantage is negated by the two week factory shutdown that everyone has agreed to.

The third problem you say is in Brawn's favour - but surely a resurgent McLaren mixing with Red Bull and the fact that Brawn are going to be starting amongst the KERS-equipped Ferraris at the next couple of races is going to mean that Button loses a fistful of points he could usefully have used?

There's nothing that beats leading from the front...

Matthew said...

Michael's return should make it harder for a Red Bull driver to win the WDC.