European GP preview: is Button the man to stop Vettel?

After the high, fist-biting drama of Canada, this weekend’s European GP at the Valencia Street Circuit has a hell of a lot to live up to. Clocking in at 4 hours, 4 minutes and 39 seconds, the rain-sodden race at the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit was officially the longest in F1 history and saw the safety car deployed a record six times. It was – apart from the excruciating two-hour rain delay that saw Martin Brundle and David Coulthard’s commentary skills pushed to the absolute limit – one of the most exciting races we’ve ever seen.

So while a more sedate afternoon’s entertainment in Valencia seems inevitable, in the context of the championship, things are starting to look rather tasty indeed. True, Vettel could sit out the next two races and still turn up at the Nurburgring with a ten point lead at the top and a firm grip on a second title. Plus, having bossed last year’s race from pole position, he obviously goes into the weekend the firm favourite.

But that thriller in Canada taught us three very important things. Firstly that, in race trim, McLaren have the fastest car on the grid, in any conditions. Secondly, that Jenson Button – the man who made a jaw-slackening 34 overtakes on his way to victory in Canada – has had enough of living in Lewis Hamilton’s shadow, backed up by JB telling the media last week that he still believes he can turn the season around and spoil Vettel’s party. And thirdly, that Lewis’ season is on the verge of a particularly messy implosion. The 2008 champ has been involved in four incidents over the last two races and spent more time in front of the stewards than he’d care to remember, leaving him facing criticism from all sides. Even wise old F1 grandad Stirling Moss has spoken up on Hamilton’s recent reckless behaviour, saying that Lewis ‘goes a bit too far’.

All of which creates an extremely interesting dynamic inside the McLaren garage. Though they’ve now got race-winning pace, they’ve also got a potential liability in Hamilton – a driver who’s used to being the team’s number one but, based on his performance in recent races, is making that team position look dicey. So, should he find himself staring at Jenson’s gearbox again in Valencia, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that the notoriously competitive driver may attempt the same sort of kamikaze move that ended his race in Canada. He has a point to prove, after all, a point made all the more urgent by rumours that Hamilton is eyeing up a drive at Red Bull, having met with team principal Christian Horner in Montreal.

Still, even if it does turn out to be another Vettel-led procession, perhaps Mark Webber will at least treat us to some more death-defying acrobatics. Remember this utterly insane backflip from last year’s race? Because you can bet your trousers than Marko does.

Anyone else now thinking of The Fast Show?

Once again, here’s our wildly inaccurate prediction for qualifying. As ever, feel free to throw your proverbial hat into the ring, or simply shout us down (to be fair, our predictions can only get better).

1. Sebastian Vettel
2. Mark Webber
3. Lewis Hamilton
4. Jenson Button
5. Fernando Alonso
6. Nico Rosberg
7. Michael Schumacher
8. Nick Heidfeld
9. Vitaly Petrov
10. Kamui Kobayashi

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Since when did it become a must, for a teammates to finish as close to each other as possible.?

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1. Sebastian Vettel
2. Lewis Hamilton
3. Jenson Button
4. Fernando Alonso
5. Mark Webber
6. Nick Heidfeld
7. Vitaly Petrov
8. Felipe Massa
9. Michael Schumacher
10. Nico Rosberg

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I’m sure Felippe Massa will be in Q3!

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With all due respect to Mr. Silent, I’m thinking there may be a change in the guard:

1. Fernando Alonso
2. Jenson Button
3. Sebastian Vettel
4. Michael Schumacher
5. Mark Webber
6. Kamui Kobayashi
7. Vitaly Petrov
8. Nick Heidfeld
9. Felipe Massa
10. Adrian Sutil

I think that both Schumacher and Kobayashi are finding their groove, while Vettel, as invincible as he’s been, is going to have to actually drive to win this weekend. I also think that Alonzo will be bolstered by racing on home turf, finding his groove and pulling this out out in another stunning win.

Maybe…….

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I would say you could hzave the prediction for the grid a bit wrong mine is
1 vettle
2 button
3 webber
4 petrov
5 Hamilton
6 Messa
7 Schumacher
8 Perez
9 Alanso
10 Sutil

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I’ll go with the Stig predictions albeit I think Alonso may split the 2 Mclarens.

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I also recon that Vettle will will win the race by a substantail margin. Second position will be foughtout batween webber, hamilton, button and schumacher.

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hamilton:what a git.ballsy driver but a complete simpleton.by now you would’ve thought he’d learn a few tricks,like at least finishing a race and not going crazy trying to go past your own team mate in noah’s ark biblical rain type conditions.
maybe mclaren should have him watch some tapes of alain prost.teach him how using your brains can sometimes be just as powerful a weapon as lots of talent

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I never shouted so loud at the tv as I did for the last 3 laps of Canada. What a stormer Button played and if the last race showed us anything its that it makes no differance where the top dogs are on the start grid and Vettel should fear those who start behind him. So all Button (and Hamilton??) has to do is turn up the pressure and that finger of Vettel’s will snap. I love to watch Button race as he always drives like he is having the time of his life. Vettel will probably still be on pole for sunday but frankly, I dont think that means as much anymore.

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Im going for:

1. Vettel
2. Button
3. Hamilton
4. Webber
5. Alonso
6. Shumacher
7. Massa
8. Kobayashi
9. Heidfeld
10. Petrov

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Predictions:
1-Vettel
2-Alonso
3-Hamilton
4-Massa
5-Webber
6-Rosberg
7-Shumacher
8-Button
9-Petrov
10-Heidfeld

And if things go right with Button then maybe then he changes position with Massa

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prediction-
1.button
2.alonso
3.vettel
4.schumacher
5.massa
6.webber
7.kobayashi
8.hamilton
9.rosberg
10.petrov

everyone thinks buttons doing good because of last canada, but remember, if it wasnt for the safety cars in monaco he wouldve won that too! alonso spurred on by home advantage. vettel to screw up. schumi, massa, and webber to show good form. kobayashi starting to get a little more confident. and im sorry but i just cant see hamilton changing his attitude and/or form any time soon! GO BUTTON GO!

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My predictions for qualifying:

1. Sebastian Vettel, 2. Fernando Alonso, 3. Lewis Hamilton, 4. Jenson Button, 5. Mark Webber, 6. Michael Schumacher, 7. Felipe Massa, 8. Nico Rosberg, 9. Vitaly Petrov, 10. Paul Di Resta

My predictions for the race however are different:

1. Lewis Hamilton, 2. Fernando Alsonso, 3. Sebastian Vettel, 4. Jenson Button, 5. Mark Webber, 6. Felipe Massa, 7. Vitaly Petrov, 8. Michael Schumacher, 9. Paul Di Resta, 10. Nick Heidfeld

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Vettel does not snap under pressure(what we saw in cnada was not him snapping). He drives very hard when he needs to.. Vettel is not invincible but he is the best driver we have seen since the Schumi era .. maybe the 2nd best driver in F1 history? He is not as dramatic as Hamilton and does not pull as ballsy passes as Ham does, but he is a more well rounded driver than Hamilton can ever be. Alaso is a more well rounded drivers than Hamilton is.. just saying.

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Mclarenf1: if it was not for 5 safety cars in Canada, Vettel would have lapped the entire field, Button would not stand a chance.. Go Vettel!

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@NeuR32- yes i totally agree with you. i just felt like pointing out buttons good form recently! you must admit 34 overtakes total and six pits to take the win is impressive no matter what! but qualifying’s over and vettels back on pole, so unless we see another miracle play out he switches w button on my race prediction. alonso stays second imo.

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and boy oh boy please dont make bold claims that he’s the 2nd best in history… he’s got a loooong way to go. fangio,ascari,moss,SENNA AND PROST! please dont forget them.

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my predictions for qualifying are

1.vettle
2.webber
3.button
4.alonso
5.schumacher
6.hamilton
7.massa
8.kobayashi
9.petrov
10.rosberg

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vettel has a long way to go but he already has a couple of records and are just piling them up as time goes by… we will see many more championship from him .. no driver is history was as good as schumi was .. none.. thats a fact.. vettel is the next legend.. much respect to all the drivers mclarenf1 mentioned.. grteat drive from button is canada. vettel indeed is the best driver in the field, no matter how much you like him or hate him, its a fact.. hamilton comes close, but thats it, close.. just saying

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first driver in history to score no less than 2nd n first 8 races of a season.. a legend is born

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