Can Button Win In 2006?

Can Button Win In 2006?

Jenson Button Testing - 2006 SilverstoneHonda have ben extensively testing their new car over the Winter, and if the lap times are anything to go by, the Japanese squad look like they are potential race winners. Whilst Renault have continued their form, and McLaren and Ferrari have made progress, it is the newly bought (and renamed) BAR team that look like the biggest gainers since last year.

2005 wasn’t a good year for Honda, as the BAR team ran into trouble with the FIA regarding the rules and regulations. However, it wasn’t just a technical infringement that upset the team, as the car looked to be a step backwards from the 2004’s ‘almost winning’ car that did so well against the dominant Ferrari.

This year, Honda appear to have sorted a few issues, and combining this with a superb driver line-up, surely they are ready for a maiden victory? But which driver will get it?

Jenson Button has shown a lot of promise over the years. He had a great first year with Williams and looked like a great British champion in the making. But a few mediocre cars and some rather difficult (and very public) decisions since have diminished Jenson’s stock. He remains though, a very fast and very fluid driver who never seems to rattle the car much. And combined with a coolness and mature head, Jenson is a good driver who is maybe on the verge of greatness. Sometimes I feel he isn’t pushing as hard as others, or working as much with the team, but this maybe just his persona rather than a sign of a poor attitude. However, one fact remains that doesn’t serve the Brit too well – he still hasn’t won a race. They say the first one is the hardest and it gets easier after that hurdle, but is Jenson able to conquer this hurdle? Anyone remember Chris Amon (often considered to be the greatest driver who never won a race)?

Rubens Barrichello, on the other hand, is a proven race winner. He sat next to Michael Schumacher for many years at Ferrari, forever being the number two and often forced to move over for the German world champion. Despite this though, Rubens managed a few wins, and some of his drives were awesome, particularly his maiden win in Germany. Rubens is a determined fighter, whether he is running around the midfield, or up front pushing the leader. This determination will pay dividends at Honda, and combined with his experience, should make him a potential glory-stealer from Button.

I think Jenson can win in 2006, and I also think Rubens can win. Which one will get there first is anybodys guess, but I’m certain a Honda driver will be hearing his national anthem before the 2006 season is over.

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