Mark Webber Throws Serious Shade at Jenson Button
It seems that Webber could care less who, if anyone at all, drives for McLaren in Monaco.
While everyone is talking about Fernando Alonso skipping out on the Monaco Grand Prix to race in the Indy 500, there is another side to the story. Semi-retired Jenson Button will be taking his place at the fabled Formula One race.
Button's promotion from brand ambassador and reserve drive came as no surprise to anyone. Should the McLaren-Honda be able to go a full race distance, Jenson is the man to drive it. McLaren could have called upon any number of young drivers to fill in, but they went with Button. He has won at the track before and is mostly up to speed on the current car. Plus, it's his job. He is officially the team's first choice as a reserve driver.
Button is maybe not taking this as seriously as he should be. He seems content with doing simulator runs. He and the team chose to pass on the chance for him to drive the new car at the Bahrain post-race test. Button told Sky Sports "There is so much more to learn again, but you jump into the simulator and after five laps it's like 'oh, okay, I've still got it then!'"
In the same Sky Sports interview, Button seems excited about the one-off race. He called returning for Monaco "a dream".
Unless something very dramatic happens, it will likely be the last Formula One race he drives in. Being that he didn't really get a proper send-off at the end of last season, this could be a very special and emotional race for Button.
Former F1 and WEC driver Mark Webber doesn't see it that way. Webber told Crash.net that Button is a "non story". He had some other choice comments about the whole thing as well. Make sure you envision Webber's Aussie accent, with a very annoyed overtone, when you read what he had to say.
"It's a non story," Webber said. "That's a non story, Jenson at Monaco.
"He goes out, has fuel pressure problems on practice one, qualifies 17th, race retires Lap 12. Whatever. Who cares.
"Jenson is a world champion. He's won Monaco. It's a story if he can win the race, but… to get some points, he'd be lucky.
"I think we saw with Jenson, he doesn't do any test in Bahrain," Webber said. "He doesn't take it so seriously. This is 'I want to stay in America and do my triathlon. I'm not bothered to do the Bahrain test' which to me was a surprise.
"So for Jenson, the first session in Monaco will be 'wakey-wakey'. I don't think he's very interested."
Though, Webber is a tad right. It will be a difficult weekend for Button. I'd like to think he's up for the challenge. And who knows, maybe something magical will happen (figuratively and literally).
Monaco is a track where top speed doesn't matter. The McLaren has shown to be a quick car in the slow speed corners, which is pretty much all of Monaco. With a little luck and the right pit stop strategy, who knows. Maybe Button will have a fairy tale last race.
If I were a betting man, I'd put $20 down Button winning. But if you're going to do that, you might as well put $20 on Alonso winning at the Indy 500, too.