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  • 3 weeks later...
Jenson button is the new worldchampion replacing Lewis Hamilton!

Just one race and the season's over :(

Winning so many races at the beginning of the season paid off to Jenson very well, as we can see. Lewis is 5th overall :|

I can't believe the season is over :( I've missed some races though... The season is over, and I perfectly remember watching GP Brazil a year ago :p and what I did that day, and discussing it the next day with my friends at school...

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I’m also a fan of Formula One. It was a really great race in Brazil! I found the situation between Jarno Trulli and Adrian Sutil funny!

I think the next (last) race will be very interesting, because it is on a new track. Jenson Button had good luck with the car. Ross Brawn is a genius! But I think the next year is the year for Sebastian Vettel to win the drivers championship! He is very young and showed a great performance in this year.

And yes, the break is very long to the next season! I can’t wait for the F1 season in 2010, because of the new teams, drivers and rules…

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i'v missed so many races this season, i had to work each sunday :(

I agree with you Taz devil, Vettel is an amazing driver, he has shown his qualities, i think he can bring it far with the right team :)

and i can't wait for the new season too, i heard alonso signed up with ferrari ?

And what will happen to Heidfeld since bwm is quitting?

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Hi Loor!

You are right! Fernando Alonso signed a contract with Ferrari for the next three years. Nick Heidfeld hasn’t a car for next year. It could be that he goes to McLaren-Mercedes. It depends, whether Nico Rosberg goes to Brawn-GP or to McLaren-Mercedes. I hoe Nico take the car of Brawn and Nick Heidfeld get the car of McLaren-Mercedes. Norbert Haug said Nick Heidfeld is an option for the car of Heikki. And Nick Heidfeld won the F3000 championship for Mercedes for some years.

Oh, and I’m sorry that you have to work on Sunday!

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  • 1 month later...
  • 10 months later...

Jenson Button has hailed the swift actions of his police driver after being confronted by an armed gang in Sao Paulo.

The Formula One world champion, his father John, manager Richard Goddard and trainer Mike Collier escaped unharmed following the frightening attack that occurred on their return to their hotel after yesterday's qualifying session for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

The quartet managed to flee the machine-gun wielding assailants as their police protector used the armoured Mercedes he was driving to barge his way through several vehicles.

"We were going back from the track and were outside a shanty town and moving slowly on a busy road," Button told the Mail on Sunday.

"I saw a dog come out, which was very cute. The next thing I saw was a man with a gun.

"I said 'isn't that a gun?' and as soon as I said that, the driver angled the car and floored it.

"That's when we saw six men, all of them brandishing machine guns.

"My driver was a legend. He bounced off about five cars. We were driving over the top of them. It was very scary.

"I don't know whether they knew who it was they were ambushing.

"But I am glad I didn't have my girlfriend Jessica (Michibata) with me. She would have been terrified."

Goddard also praised the officer assigned to protect them, an action purposefully instigated by McLaren given the level of gun crime in Sao Paulo, one of South America's most violent cities.

"We were about three or four minutes away from the circuit when the incident took place," Goddard told Press Association Sport.

"I would suggest there were more than four or five guys, something along those lines, who emerged from a block of flats.

"I initially saw one guy carrying this piece of wood, a baseball bat kind of thing, but I didn't spot the one who had a gun until someone pointed it out.

"It was pulled, and that was it really. You didn't really have time to think about what was happening.

"You hear about these kind of things in Sao Paulo, and because they don't come home to roost, you don't think about them.

"But when it almost happens to you then it's fairly worrying.

"We were very lucky to have a police driver looking after us because he got us out of what could have been quite a frightening situation.

"The real positive thing to take out of it is that we are all fine and we're all able to look back on it and see it for what it was.

"Obviously from our perspective, luckily it wasn't a lot worse, and luckily the sharp actions of our police driver forcing his way through the traffic like he did was great."

McLaren have confirmed the Sao Paulo authorities will today provide additional security to transfer Button, team-mate Lewis Hamilton and other senior personnel to the Interlagos circuit ahead of the race.

The incident is not the first of its kind in the Brazilian city as four media personnel with Toyota also avoided injury after they were threatened by a gunman in their car.

The group were returning to their hotel when they were approached by a group of teenagers after stopping at a set of traffic lights.

One of the youths attempted to kick in a window before shots were fired as he attempted to rob the group, only for them to make good their escape.

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Button: "I'll go hell for leather"

Jenson Button has vowed "to go hell for leather" this weekend as he seeks an unlikely Brazilian Grand Prix victory.

Given the facts Button has not been on pole all season and his last triumph was in China in April, it would be surprising if he took the chequered flag at Interlagos.

Even then that might not be enough for the 30-year-old given he is 42 points adrift of championship leader - Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

But with nothing to lose, despite knowing he might no longer be F1 world champion come late Sunday afternoon, it is a relaxed Button who takes on the renowned Interlagos circuit.

"People are obviously concentrating more on the other four," Button said, referring to Alonso, team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull duo Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel.

"It's a nice position to be in because almost all this season, and obviously last season, it's been full-on focus, not just me, but a lot of focus on what I do.

"So it's been nice to be able to relax and just go and do my own thing, and it's nice to come into this race and be that relaxed, to be able to enjoy it.

"To still be in with a chance of winning the title with two races to go, and to be in the position I am, it's great."

Button knows, though, it is a case now of all or nothing, adding: "I know my chance of winning the championship is small.

"Because of that I have to go hell for leather, to give it all I can and just enjoy it.

"I have to finish first. There's no point finishing second because it's not like I'm racing one other guy.

"I'm racing four others and if one has a bad race, maybe the others won't, so I've really got to win the race.

"It's going to be very tough around here with both Ferraris, both Red Bulls and my team-mate being competitive, but that has to be the aim."

Button finished Friday's two 90-minute practice sessions down in seventh place, with the gap to Vettel a yawning 1.2 seconds, which does not bode well for the weekend.

"In high speed the car is good, but at low speed I'm struggling for balance and I've just no grip, which is something we need to work on," bemoaned Button.

"It's not great, but then on higher fuel the car was much better and I was a lot happier, and that's the important area.

"If the car works well in dry conditions on high fuel then that's what we want, and tomorrow should be dry."

Button's reference to the conditions is due to the fact rain is forecast for qualifying which could throw the situation wide open.

Appreciating his lowly 12th in the wet in Korea two weeks ago when he was unable to get his tyres working, Button added: "That was a pretty bad race for me in the wet.

"But every other race this year in the wet has been pretty good as I've won two races in wet conditions, which I enjoy, so hopefully I will get a good car in the wet here."

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Hamilton: Reliability will be key

Lewis Hamilton is hoping reliability emerges as the difference over the next two races between glory and being an also ran.

The chasm that exists between Hamilton and Red Bull duo Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel was evident again after a dominant day for the Milton Keynes-based team in practice for Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix.

Hamilton found himself half a second adrift in the morning - a time that stretched to almost seven tenths of a second in the afternoon - and that does not bode well ahead of Saturday's qualifying.

"The car felt good, but it felt low on downforce. I need more grip, but we just don't have it," said Hamilton after the two 90-minute sessions.

"Unfortunately our limit is still half a second off the pace of the Red Bull, even though I'm getting everything I can out of the car.

"You can gain a tenth here a tenth there, but when you have such a big gap, those guys can relax a little more.

"I'm at the maximum, but the car won't stick to the road like the Red Bull does, so in terms of pure pace in the dry, we simply can't compete with them.

"They're ahead, but then with rain, engines, reliability, they are all going to play a major part in these next two races.

"I hope our reliability is an advantage for us."

The one variable that could shake up matters is that rain is being forecast for qualifying, which Hamilton believes could help his cause.

In need of a strong result to keep his title hopes alive as he is 21 points behind Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, Hamilton added: "What I know is this year's car is much better than last year's in the wet.

"So I feel confident if it is wet we should be able to fight to get into Q3 and fight for the front row.

"The Red Bulls and Ferraris seem to be generally quicker, so they must have more downforce than us, which will help them, but being wet it makes it more of a lottery.

"We'll have a good go at it. The car is quite good in the wet, so hopefully it will make it a little easier for us."

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Button: I don't accept team orders

Jenson Button will never accept team orders but will know when the time is right to help team-mate Lewis Hamilton's title challenge.

Standing 42 points adrift of Formula One championship leader Fernando Alonso, nothing but a win will do in Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix if Button is to remain in the hunt heading into the final race in Abu Dhabi.

Button is adamant team boss Martin Whitmarsh has enough confidence in him to trust his judgement and serve the best interests of the team without ordering him to do so.

Button told Press Association Sport: "I will not be ordered, I will never be ordered to do anything.

"I think Martin and myself, in the short period we've been together over the last year, we've learnt a lot about each other and Martin knows he doesn't have to talk to me.

"He knows I'm intelligent enough to make my own decision, and the right decision.

"Of course, my main focus is to go out and try to win the race, and if that's not possible, we'll see what happens.

"But second to that the team is important to me, so yeah, I will do what I feel is correct.

"I think we have a very good understanding within this team," added Button.

"Naturally I want to win the championship. I don't want anyone else to do so.

"But if I suddenly find myself in a position where I can't win it, you are a team, so you do what you think is right.

"It's very like NASCAR in a way. You have two or three team-mates, and you can't win a race unless your team-mate pushes you around the circuit.

"It needs to be down to you as an individual to make that decision, definitely."

It is the harmonious relationship that exists between Hamilton and Button that ensures if push comes to shove, the latter will play his part.

That is a source of great comfort to Hamilton, who finds himself 21 points behind Alonso and in need of all the help he can get if he is to overhaul his former team-mate.

"It's a different scenario for all three teams," said Hamilton.

"The Red Bulls are really battling it out, neck and neck.

"Then you have Ferrari where (Felipe) Massa has supposedly said he is going to do everything to help Fernando, which is a completely different situation.

"Then you've the position here where we're both trying to win.

"But we have a great relationship, one generally where you would assist in a way maybe.

"Obviously it's all very hypothetical, but I feel it's a positive thing, which is what we all want. It's nice to know we are a team."

Seemingly the same cannot be said of Red Bull, where Mark Webber claimed yesterday the emotion within the team is with Sebastian Vettel, and that his championship challenge this season has been "inconvenient".

Button knows exactly what Webber is going through as he endured something similar at Renault where he felt he was an outsider.

"I think we've all found ourselves in a situation where we don't feel happy within a team, where you don't feel you're really wanted," Button said.

"That is important to me, to know you are wanted. I had that at my previous team and I was worried in moving teams I wouldn't have that, but I found it very quickly and I feel very at home here.

"I'm only going on what I've read and heard Mark say, but it doesn't look like he's very loved there.

"That must be tough and a difficult position to be in."

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Vettel hits back at Webber

Sebastian Vettel has hit back at Mark Webber's claim that Red Bull are emotionally favouring the young German.

Webber on Friday suggested his tilt at the Formula One title this year had been "inconvenient" to Red Bull.

Team principal Christian Horner dismissed Webber's comments, insisting the Australian had received the team's full support.

It prompted what appeared to be a heart-to-heart between the two men on Friday night outside the team's hospitality unit in the paddock at Interlagos, with Webber in particular quite animated.

Now Vettel has had his say, notably via one comment aired on German television station RTL in which he said: "If Mark needs help then he should take the medical car."

It further underlines the divide which exists between the drivers and seems a clear indicator that Vettel will not aid Webber's cause at any stage.

Asked specifically if he felt the team were emotionally rooting for him, Vettel said: "No. Obviously a lot of things have been said or written.

"Everyone has his own opinion, but for me we both have the same chance every weekend to do well.

"The team supplies us with a very good car and that's ultimately the situation that you want to be in, having a car where you can win races and fight for podiums.

"Mark has been in Formula One much longer than I, but I remember my time three years ago, I was dreaming of being a guy able to finish on the podium, able to win races.

"I'm enjoying a lot what I'm doing and I'm very proud and happy to be in the position I am now, and happy to be in a team like I am."

Vettel also feels he has had the rougher ride this year in terms of mechanical issues.

He suffered a spark plug problem that dropped him from first to fourth in Bahrain, a wheel failure that pitched him into the gravel in Australia when he was leading and a blown engine while also leading in Korea in the last race.

It was also Vettel who came off worse when he and Webber collided in Turkey, as he retired while his team-mate managed to keep going after spinning off, eventually finishing third.

"I think I've had lots of ups and downs this year, but if something has broken then it has tended to break on my car," Vettel added.

"But do I think there is any conspiracy in the air? No, it's the last thing I think about.

"I always approach things by thinking there is a reason something has happened.

"If it does I speak to Christian, I speak to Dietrich (Mateschitz), the people responsible for our team.

"If something is not right, not happening the way I feel it should, then I say something. That's what everyone does.

"I am who I am and I always say what I think. Sometimes I might hold back on my opinion because I think it's the smarter way.

"But I'm the last guy to cause conflict when it's not necessary."

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Vettel and Webber the men to beat

Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber will again be the men to beat in the Brazilian Grand Prix after another dominant day of practice.

Vettel and Webber have locked out the front row of the grid at each of the last two races in Japan and Korea following qualifying, and they look poised for a hat-trick at Interlagos on Sunday.

However, there may yet be a fly in their ointment as heavy rain is being forecast which could turn the formbook upside down.

But on a day of dry running, with afternoon temperatures hitting 30 degrees centigrade, it was Vettel who again led the way, with team- mate Webber forced to settle for second best.

After finishing just under half-a-second clear of Webber at the end of the morning's 90-minute session, Vettel saw that gap cut to just over a 10th of a second later on.

The 23-year-old German, in desperate need of a victory to ensure he remains in the hunt for the title going into next weekend's closing race in Abu Dhabi, posted his fastest lap in the afternoon with one minute 11.968secs.

Around the 4.309km circuit, the second shortest on the calendar behind Monaco, Webber was a mere 0.104secs adrift, with Fernando Alonso third.

It is understood championship leader Alonso is currently walking a tightrope as the suggestion is he is on his final engine that has already run a number of miles.

Ferrari have been desperately attempting to manage the engine situation with Alonso's car as he used up his permitted eight for the season some time ago.

Since then they have been swapping and changing engines, trying to extend their life, only for one to give way in the dying moments of first practice.

It was evident, however, they were already aware of the situation as they admitted just as practice started they would be changing it anyway given the lack of life left in it.

Alonso managed 36 laps in the afternoon, finishing 0.360secs down on Vettel, with Lewis Hamilton fourth in his McLaren, sandwiching the Ferraris as Felipe Massa was fifth.

But in a further blow to the Maranello marque, Massa stopped at the same place as Alonso had done earlier 30 minutes from the end of the second session with a suspected hydraulics issue.

Renault's Robert Kubica was sixth, followed by reigning champion Jenson Button in his McLaren, the Briton 1.238secs off the pace and apparently struggling with rear wing issues.

Sauber's Nick Heidfeld was a creditable eighth, with the Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher ninth and 10th.

Renault's Vitaly Petrov, who crashed into a tyre barrier in the morning, was 15th following sterling work from his engineers to ready his car again during the two and a half hours between runs.

Virgin's Timo Glock brought up the rear, a coup for Hispania who normally find themselves in such a position.

Instead, Bruno Senna and Christian Klien were 22nd and 23rd, but with the bottom trio all just over four seconds behind Vettel.

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Alonso: All eyes on feuding Red Bulls

Fernando Alonso says all eyes will be on feuding Red Bull duo Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber in Brazil.

Vettel and Webber have hit the headlines again this week for all the wrong reasons to further give Red Bull the air of a team divided.

For the penultimate race of the season they start second and third on the grid behind Nico Hulkenberg in his Williams who secured an astonishing pole position, his team's first for five and a half years.

With Vettel 25 points adrift of championship leader Fernando Alonso and Webber 11 points down, anything could happen given the apparent animosity that exists between them.

"There has been some talk about them, so maybe they will take more care because there will obviously be a lot of eyes on them at the start," said Alonso, who starts fifth, also behind McLaren's Lewis Hamilton.

"But with Red Bull in front of us, that's no surprise. It has been this way on a Saturday this season. It was more or less expected.

"In a way we are happy. Pole position is always our aim, but in a difficult qualifying like today it would have been easy to have gone out of Q1, easy to have been knocked out in Q2.

"At the end we saved a tricky day with fifth, which is more or less our position in the dry as well."

Alonso fears, given Red Bull's pace in dry conditions, and with a sunny day expected in contrast to today's dark cloud and rain, his lead could be eroded.

"Fifth place is not the end of the world," added Alonso.

"Many times this year the two Red Bulls have been out in front and Hamilton's McLaren has been in the fight with us for third place.

"In the race we will have to try and make the most of our strong points, especially our race pace.

"The start will also be important when we will try and make up some places, while keeping an eye on what our rivals are doing, because it will be a crucial moment for them too.

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Alonso keeps his cool about title

Fernando Alonso heads into Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix in a calm, relaxed mood, despite the pressure of winning the Grand Prix.

It was certainly an at-ease Alonso that addressed the media in the cramped confines of Ferrari's hospitality suite at Interlagos.

The Spaniard currently leads Mark Webber by 11 points, with Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel still far from out of the hunt on 21 and 25 points adrift respectively.

After a run of four wins in the past seven races, another Alonso victory and with his trio of title rivals far enough behind him, then he will become only the ninth driver in F1 history to win at least three titles.

Asked as to how he was feeling knowing what is at stake, Alonso said: "I feel relaxed, although on Sunday I'll tell you how I feel.

"This is an important race, but then it was important in Monza, in Singapore. The last four or five races have been very important for us.

"If anything had happened in those races then we may well have had to say bye bye to the championship. It means we've been racing with a lot of pressure.

"But everything has gone well. We were focused and made no mistakes and that is the way we need to continue."

Alonso will need to keep his cool given the flak he is likely to face this weekend from the Brazilian fans still fuming at what unfolded in Germany in mid-July.

That was when Felipe Massa was forced to give up victory to Alonso who had bemoaned being stuck behind his team-mate over the in-car radio.

It led to a series of coded messages to Massa to cede first place, which he eventually did, only for Ferrari to land in hot water for flouting the regulation that bans team orders.

Massa, on pole for this race in 2006, 2007 and 2008, has revealed he may have to give way again should the need arise, as he did in 2007 for Kimi Raikkonen who won the race and the title.

However, a local magistrate, Paulo Castilho of the special criminal tribunal of Sao Paulo, has remarkably claimed he will arrest Massa for fraud should he again allow through Alonso.

As the villain of the piece, Alonso has attempted to smooth the waters by claiming he would love nothing more than to see Massa take the chequered flag.

"I think the best thing for us, for me in the championship, for the numbers, is to have Felipe winning the race because he takes 25 points from everybody else," said Alonso.

"This year, from first to second, there is the biggest difference in points - seven, but from second to third, third to fourth, there are very small differences which may allow me to keep the advantage I have.

"So the worry for me is the 25 points, if one of the other drivers takes those points.

"Hopefully Felipe can win both races. It will be the best thing for me."

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