Okay, so I don't often do sports analysis, but I wanted to point out some things after listening and reading last weeks buildup to the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.
Last week was a good example of how NOT to be influenced by the media hype surrounding Jenson Button at the moment. A huge amount of the media focus last week was focussed on how button, by gaining five points more than his teammate Rubens Barrichello.
Now, that sounds like an easy task, but in truth it wasn't so, and for several of the following reasons:
1) The BGP-001 was never going to be the strongest car at Suzuka. It's a low downforce circuit, and a much colder circuits than those white-and-green cars like. A brief explanation on the cold: F1 cars are all about grip. you can have the best engine and aerodynamics package in the world, but if you can't put all that power and aero performance through those four pieces of rubber on the track it doesn't mean a thing. And one of the things that affects that is tyre temperature. The warmer your tyres are, the more grip you have.
And the Brawn GP cars very much like the warmer weather. The car itself is very easy on the tyres - its why they were so strong on the circuits in hugely hot weather - but when they're on a circuit where they need to get the heat into those tyres by force, they just cant seem to do it.
What this adds up to is a huge drop of pace on the initial part of the race. It wasn't until much later on when Button began to equal the pace of the race leaders - and in a sport where the spread between the racing pack's lap times is three-and-a-half seconds, that isn't nearly enough.
2) Five points is a very big gap to maintain. Given that Button and Barrichello - the two main championship runners (even after Vettel took a chunk out of button this week) are driving the same car, it's an incredibly difficult task for Button to Gain five points over Barrichello. Only in couple of races have the cars been more than 2 places apart. With Barrichello on a resurgence since the European Grand Prix in Valencia, beating him out by five points was going to be near impossible. As it was, Button Prevented Rubens from getting more than a point over him.
3) The Red Bulls were going to be strong at Suzuka. Its the kind of circuit the RB5 excels on, and with Vettel setting pole on qualifying, the one worry is that he's put himself into a championship position that Button and Rubens both need to defend.
All of this, combined with a poor start off the line, led to Jenson Button NOT winning the title in Japan. But what it made much more likely was Button, like Lewis Hamilton last year, winning the title at the Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Here's my thoughts on this:
1) Brazil is a Hot circuit. Barring the patchy rain we saw in the season finale last year - which handed Hamilton the title, as Timo Glock forgot to chenge his Toyota's tyres to the Intermediate weather tyres - the weather will be somewhere in the 30 degree mark in full sunshine, with 18 degrees or so for clouds. Wet weather changes any formula one race, but lets go with the theory of it being dry for now. all this equals - yes, you guessed it - Higher tyre temperatures.
2) The track is smooth - making it a faster circuit for those, like Button, who are easier on the tyres.
3) The RB5, though arguably the best track in the field, has suffered from reliability problems on hotter tracks all season. if Vettel struggles with eavena fraction of these, it makes it a two horse race between Button and Barrichello.
4) Button is currently 14 points ahead of Barrichello and 16 ahead of Vettel. At Suzuka, to become champion, Button had to GAIN five points over Barrichello. at Interlagos, all Button neds to do is remain WITHIN four points of Barrichello and within six points of Vettel.
If Jenson goes into the last race with a ten point lead, then he is the champion, because all either Barrichello or Vettel can do is tie on points with him. And if that Happens, it comes down to the amount of Grand Prix's won this season. Thanks to Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen's resurgences, Rubens has won two Grand Prix with two left, Vettel has won Three.
Even if they tie on points, Jenson Button has won six Grand Prix with two left to take. Neither of the other contenders can win on Race Titles. They HAVE to outscore Button, and if Button has proved anything this season, its that he can defend that lead.
I just watched the replay of the F1 forum on BBC online, and Martin Brundle just pointed out that all Button needs to do is finish fourth at Brazil and he is guaranteed the championship.
He may not even have to do that.
On a similar note, Congratulations to Colin Turkington on Winning the BTCC Championship.