I understand completely why so many have given up hope of Jenson Button ever fulfilling the promise he showed when he first arrived in F1. Year after year he has carried English hopes into battle, only to disappoint through no fault of his own. It is no wonder that we despair of him ever getting the right drive at the right time.
And I have tried so hard to be loyal, even sticking my neck out and predicting a championship for him this year. Who could have guessed that Honda were about to confuse themselves utterly with a car that just does not do what it’s supposed to? Once again it looks as if I will have to shelve my hopes until next year.
Except that now there is a new hope from England, the amazing Lewis Hamilton who has done everything right so far, even picking the right team at the right time at his first attempt. The temptation to desert poor Jenson and join the masses betting on Hamilton is very strong.
But I will soldier on for a while yet, believing that miracles are still possible and Honda will work out their problems before long. Fat chance, I know, but this is probably Button’s last chance and I’m not ready to give up on him yet.
It does not help that Mike Lawrence has written a very good article for Pitpass dot com, analyzing Honda’s weaknesses, most of which I agree with. He places much of the blame on Nick Fry’s shoulders and it is hard to argue with his assessment; the buck stops inevitably with the boss of the outfit.
I think Mike makes a mistake in dragging Henry V in as an example, however. It’s an unfortunate choice that weakens the force of Mike’s argument. Henry was England’s hero, not only because he gave them victories, but also because he stood with them in their troubles, sharing their hardships and inspiring them to great things. Shakespeare’s version of Henry’s speech before the Battle of Agincourt may be romanticized but it is as good a guess as anyone else’s; the fact is that Henry’s troops fought as well as they did because they loved him.
“And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember’d;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.”
Extract from Henry’s speech, Henry V, Act 4, Scene 3
The whole speech can be read here, if you’re interested. I know it’s a bit off the subject of motor racing but hey, it was Mike who introduced the idea. And I would hazard a guess that, were Nick Fry to have anything like the leadership qualities of Henry V, Honda would not be in the mess they are now.