>Today saw another fantastic win for Jenson Button, making it 3 out of 4 Grands Prix so far this season, in Bahrain.
The Brawn team had done their best to play down expectations, saying that they were well off the pace and they had severe cooling issues with their engine. This had me sitting on the edge of my seat, barely able to breathe, worrying right to the end that the engine was going to blow up. Thankfully it didn’t.
We saw Ross Brawn work in this kind of blissful harmony with Michael Schumacher for so many years and we’re starting to see a similar symbiotic relationship develop with Jenson Button. And who’s the team-mate that has to cope with this? Rubens Barrichello again. Bless him. Mind you, he’s used to it, and he was so good at playing second fiddle before. I would love him to have the chance to shine before he finishes in F1 for good, though.
The win today needed Jenson’s driving and Brawn’s strategic brain. It was imperative that Jenson re-take the place he ceded to Lewis Hamilton at the start and he did in a gorgeous passing manoeuvre very early on. This enabled Brawn to time the pit stops to perfection and leave Jenson far enough ahead by the time he had to put the medium, slower tyres on that it didn’t matter. Toyota did screw up, though, leaving Trulli on the medium tyres for a very long stint in the middle.
Ferrari, thank heavens, avoided the ignominy of recording their worst start to a season ever with Kimi Raikonnen winning some points. Incidentally, David Coulthard has lost no opportunity to paint Kimi as, basically, a lazy team-mate who relies on talent alone. He had another pop this afternoon suggesting that Kimi would not have been too bothered about winning today as there was only rosewater and not champagne at the end.
The bad boy of today was without doubt, for me, Lewis Hamilton. In a pre-race interview, Jake Humphrey asked him straight out whether he was enjoying being an F1 driver which led him into a big whinge about how he didn’t like the politics. The boy needs to grow up. If he wanted to avoid politics, might I suggest that telling the truth to stewards and not trying to stitch up your competitors might help.
He also whinged about not being able to go out and buy fish and chips without being papped. He lives in Switzerland, earning a fortune and gets to do what he’s wanted to do all his life. He should show a bit more humility and respect. Honestly.
The EJ/DC banter did not disappoint again today. Both Jake Humphrey and DC turned up in pink shirts which did clash rather horribly with each other. EJ was quick to take the mickey out of them.
It was Martin Brundle who made me laugh most, though. The Crown Prince of Bahrain has featured strongly in the BBC’s coverage with people generally falling over themselves to see who could be most obsequious. When Brundle caught up with him on the grid, he started off all “Your Highness” this and “Sir” that, but when he finished the interview, it was with a “See you later, cheers”.
Brawn is clearly ahead, but Red Bull and Toyota are coming along very well. I’m looking forward to two of my favourite races, Barcelona and Monaco in the next month and we’ll see how much Brawn’s dominance can be challenged.