Related News

Home » Sports » Motor Racing

Coulthard's concern for Button

FORMER racer David Coulthard has warned Jenson Button that he can probably kiss goodbye to his Formula One career if Honda fails to find a new owner in the next few weeks.

"You cannot say 100 percent that's the fact. But it would be very difficult to imagine if this doesn't work out where he goes from there. It is a fickle business," the Briton, who retired last year, said.

Coulthard, whose compatriot is a friend and fellow Monaco resident, was in a similar position to Button at the end of the 2004 season when his McLaren contract ended and nobody else wanted him. It was only when Red Bull bought Jaguar that he was thrown a late lifeline.

Button, a race winner with Honda in Hungary in 2006, is pinning his hopes on the team finding a buyer after the Japanese manufacturer announced in December it was pulling out due to the credit crunch.

All the other places on the starting grid have now been filled.

Coulthard, speaking at the launch of Red Bull's new car in Spain on Monday, said it would be hard for the 29-year-old to come back if he was forced to take a year out.

"The way the sport is now, there are so many young drivers coming through and there are so many opportunities for teams to pick up these guys," he said.

Even if Honda is saved, with a management buyout now looking the most likely option, the resulting team will be a far cry from the big-budget operation of the past and Button could find himself frustrated again.

"Honda, off the back of a bad season, suddenly when they realize they are up for sale start talking that this (their 2009 car) is a winning design and it's a great opportunity for anyone to buy this winning design," Coulthard said.

"I don't think it is a given that it will suddenly be a winning design.

"You would like to imagine that it would be better than what they were given last year but I think the team at the back of the grid potentially could be Honda."


Button has been with Honda since 2003, when it was BAR, and has been financially well-rewarded by the team even if its recent results have been dismal. Honda scored just six points in 2007 and only 14 last season, something many see as a contributing factor to the parent company's decision to depart.

Coulthard said Button had been training as normal but, assuming Honda survived, would inevitably have a different approach to the season starting in Australia on March 29.

"Whereas going into previous years with Honda he was all full of hope and expectation that this could be the year that Honda will step up, he has to take a different view now," he said.

"He has to now consider himself as driving for a mid-grid, privateer team. Whether they can deliver to his expectations or not is more difficult to judge going into this season and presumably longer term he has to be looking to try to make a step up to a manufacturer team," added the Scot.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend