Formula 1

Is Jenson Button happy at McLaren?

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The major story to come out of the race in Bahrain, apart from the improved showing of both Sebastien Vettel's Red Bull and the Renaults of Grosjean and Raikonnen was the inter-team battle going on at McLaren.

For a long period of time now, McLaren have had in place a clear way of running the team, with Ron Dennis deciding who to push for the title with and whether team orders should be put in place.

However, after the departure of Lewis Hamilton to Mercedes, Jenson Button was left as the most senior driver at McLaren, having been in F1 since 2000. It is perhaps fair for him to consider himself as more important to the team than his new teammate, Sergio Perez.

Perez has had a mixed start to his F1 career, with brilliant success such as the second place in Malaysia last year contrasted with over-zealous driving and unnecessary crashes.

However in Bahrain, it seemed that the management of McLaren did nothing to back up Button's preconceptions of superiority within the team.

Throughout the race, Perez and Button were fighting away for position, each trying to gain the strategic upper hand over the other and over their rivals, often ending up with close driving and in Button's opinion, dangerous and silly driving.

Button said after the race that: "I'm not used to driving down a straight and your team-mate wiggling his wheels at you and banging wheels at 300kph," and "That's things you do in karting but grow out of. Not the case with Checo."

Perez is an up and coming driver, ready to take on the best at what he loves to do, the fact that he is slightly more aggressive than say the passive Mark Webber or Felipe Massa does not mean that he is driving dangerously.

It is pretty clear that Button has little to complain about, and that these complaints are more about his mental state within F1 at this time.

It’s no secret that McLaren are struggling for pace, and while Button watches Hamilton pushing for poles and wins, he is sat in an inferior car. It is therefore even more important than usual for him to beat his teammate, especially one so young and so untested at a top team.

This is where the problem lies, at 33, Button is now an elder statesman of F1, he is no longer the new young star of F1 and the reality is that his days at the very top of F1 are numbered. The fact that he is accusing his young teammate of immature and dangerous driving proves that he is worried about his future in the sport.

Overall, it is not the job of the team management to give Button No.1 driver status, it is not the McLaren way, and Button is feeling the effects of a youngster truly challenging him for the first time.

Button's criticisms of Perez come out of jealousy and fear, and the only real way for him to prove that he is the better driver is to finish ahead of Perez, and racing him like the experienced racer he is, not just complaining to the media and the team management.


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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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