F1 2015 Driver Review: Jenson Button

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Jenson Button

Team: McLaren Honda
Car No.: 22
Races: 18
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: 6th (USA)
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 16
Laps Led: 0
Championship Position: 16th

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

It’s been an odd year for both Jenson Button and McLaren. Following troublesome seasons in 2013 and 2014, 2015 was supposed to be the year that everything began to turn back in the right direction with the reforging of the famed partnership with Honda. In reality, the fortunes of the team nosedived, taking Button with them.

JB’s career has been full of trials and tribulations. His last experience with Honda back in 2008 was demoralizing, but this came as a greater surprise. Many thought that McLaren Honda would be bad in 2015 after the initial tests, but not this bad.

Button kept fighting as he always does. Points came when there wasn’t so much of an emphasis on engine power or grunt in Monaco and Hungary, and he managed to make the most of the madness in Austin to run up to sixth place thanks to the damp conditions.

But what else is there to say? Button has another season to move up the field after McLaren passed on its option to terminate his contract, and we can only hope that the Briton gets a better, deserved season in 2016.

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

If there’s a positive to be said for the 2009 World Champion, it’s that Button’s been through as many valleys as peaks throughout his now 16-year career. And usually, in years following a dip in his car’s form, he’s been able to rebound nicely either the next year or the year after.

The less said about 2015 the better, quite frankly. Seeing Button and Fernando Alonso struggle to make it out of Q1 was just sad to watch. All the while, both drivers – publicly anyway – did a great job of sugarcoating how tough it was. To Button’s credit, on the few opportunities points were available, he seized them.

So the early guess is that 2016 has to better. In 2001, Button scored in only one race and finished 17th in points; he scored in seven and was seventh the next year. In 2008, of course, he was 18th in points, and courtesy of the miracle that was Brawn GP in 2009, he became the champ. Can another sub-teen points result come good with a distinct turnaround next year, if the reliability turns? We sure hope so.