Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Button One - Proud to be British - for once

This season, Formula One got back to its roots.

...and let's be honest, it was about bloody time. Before this year's season, F1 was getting pretty damn boring!

There was too much money involved, the major teams were dominating the races and the whole thing seemed to have descended into a competition to see which pit crew could change tires the fastest.

But then along came Brawn.

Brawn GP was an entirely new racing team, created from the remnants of Honda F1 and headed up by former Ferrari strategist Ross Brawn.

It was a real throwback to the golden age of racing - a dedicated racing team, operating on a shoestring budget and with a dynamic personality leading the charge. Brawn were gritty, tough underdogs going up against seemingly implacable racing institutions like Ferrari and McClaren.

And they kicked ass. [To use an America expression - Editorial Bear.]

Right from the green light, Brawn GP raced ahead of the competition. Despite having none of the financial or technological advantages of the 'big dogs,' this shoestring British team blitzed the other constructors to take title after title.

Their lead driver, Jenson Button, had the season of his life - and we all loved him for it. Poor old Button had once been Britain's great, hyped hope - but his disappointing record had meant that this talented driver had largely been dismissed as a never-was (not even a 'has been.') Now he was back - and proving to everybody that he'd had what it took all along...

And this Sunday, at the Brazilian Grand Prix, both Brawn and Button beat the odds to collect the Constructor's Championship and the Driver's crown. It was one hell of an achievement for a team that logically shouldn't have been able to match - let alone trump - the better-funded competition.

Okay, Sunday's race was a bit an anticlimax. Instead of a victorious 1-2 result, Button pulled in fifth and teammate Barrichello cross the finish line eighth (after a puncture.) That meant they technically took the championships in rather muted fashion (although with Button wailing Queen's 'We are the Champions!' into his radio when he passed the chequered flag, muted is probably not how his teammates would have described his reaction!)

Regardless, it was a great achievement - true Formula One history and one of those rare occasions when I felt unashamedly proud to be British, supporting a British team.

Congratulations Brawn.

1 comment:

Joanna Cake said...

Not quite as nail-biting as Lewis Hamilton's win in the final straight last year but no less satisfying :)#

As you said, seeing rules brought in to make things more equal has made the sport far more interesting. If only they could do something similar for football where the Clubs with the most money win everything.

As a Martin O'Neill fan and, therefore, Villa supporter, it has been a pleasure to watch him successfully build a mainly British team to challenge the big guys with very little money... and infuriating to watch the Clubs with the big bucks try to steal his home-grown players away as soon as they start to show their talent.

Hopefully Jenson will not be swayed by the mega money offers which will probably start coming in from other teams and renew his campaign next year in a similar vein. The first handful of races that he won back to back was extremely gratifying :)