SYNOPSIS: Formula One’s Silly Season is in full swing but one rumour that might turn out to be true has Jenson Button leaving McLaren-Mercedes to drive alongside Fernando Alonso at Ferrari in 2012.
Hard as it might be to believe, Britain’s News of the World confirmed on Sunday what F1 insiders have been suggesting for some time now – that Jenson Button will be heading to Scuderia Ferrari in 2012 to replace Felipe Massa.
Two things suggest the story is true.
One, Button has not "rubbished" it and, in fact, his silence on the matter is deafening.
Second, Button continues to be furious about his McLaren-Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton’s bone-headed move early in last weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix at Montreal when he tried to pass Button on driver’s left going along the main straight toward the first turn.
That Button then went on to drive the race of his life – it may very well have been one of the great drives in the history of Formula One (six pit stops, including a drive-through penalty which put him at the back of the pack) – is small consolation if you think your teammate is distracted and performing foolishly.
If it happened once, it could happen again.
Hamilton’s troubles are grist for a future column. This one is about Button and why a move to Ferrari would make sense.
Massa has not been the same driver since his horrible accident at Hungary in 2009. He’s still among the best in F1, but that’s not good enough for Ferrari, which needs someone to really push its No. 1, Fernando Alonso.
Button is demanding and disciplined, just what the Scuderia needs as it tries to regain the dominance it once had in F1 when Michael Schumacher was demanding and disciplined.
Ferrari would be the perfect place for Button to end his career. He was a talented, knockabout driver for years until he came into his own with Brawn GP and won the world championship. To put an exclamation point on his accomplishments while driving for F1's most famous team would be the perfect ending.
A Ferrari source told the News of the World at the weekend that Ferrari was checking out Button’s availability.
Will it happen? Who knows? But it would be a win for both sides.