Let it rain on McLaren

Eddie Jordan talks to Al Jazeera about how Button dances in the rain and why the FIA should stop changing the rules.

McLaren may struggle at Silverstone but Jordan believes Button’s chances will improve if it rains [GALLO/GETTY] 

On Sunday, a swarm of more than 110,000 people will arrive at Silverstone hoping for a race as thrilling as the one in Canada a month ago. 

Despite a collision with teammate Lewis Hamilton, a two-hour rain delay and driver’s penalty, Jenson Button calmly made his way from last position to first, overtaking Sebastian Vettel on the final lap.

The race was the longest recorded in Formula 1 history and a huge victory for McLaren who proved Red Bull were not unbeatable. 
Former driver and Jordan owner Eddie Jordan has fond memories of Canada and certainly will not be upset if he opens his curtains to rain come Sunday, even if a few of the travelling fans might be. 

Part-time rocker Jordan believes the British Formula 1 team McLaren, and the race, would benefit from a standard dose of British summertime drizzle.

“If it rains in the middle of a race there’s nothing like a scramble…  I like the wet because in strange circumstances anything is possible”

Eddie Jordan

“I’d like to see a wet race as traditionally the most exciting races have occurred during unusual weather conditions. We all know what happened in Canada when there was a titanic battle won brilliantly by Button,” Jordan told Al Jazeera at Silverstone on Friday.

“If it rains in the middle of a race there’s nothing like a scramble. All the cars pit together, stacking up in one bay, it may be frustrating for the guy behind but it makes the race more exciting.

“I like the wet because in strange circumstances anything is possible.” 

Indeed, Button and Hamilton will be hoping anything is possible. After finishing well off the pace of the Red Bulls at the European Grand Prix, the pair admitted victory at Silverstone was unlikely.

The drivers were all smiles walking around the paddock on Friday but deep down they know they’ve got one heck of a battle on their hands.

If the weather is dry on race day, Jordan can see no other result than a Red Bull victory, however, he does not think anyone should rule Button out in the rain.      

“Button does have an uncanny way of handling the car and tiptoeing around difficult sets of circumstances.

“Button dances around the top of the circuit and doesn’t get himself embroiled in big scary moments over the grass. He seems to balance the car nicely and that’s a skill, a natural talent, and he has it.” 

Bullish leaders

Come rain or shine, Red Bull are favourites. The team continue to dominate the sport with an 89 point lead over McLaren in the constructors’ championship.

There was a buzz of expectation around the Red Bull paddock yesterday.

The high speed Silverstone circuit favours a team who recorded victories there in 2009 (with Vettel) and 2010 (with Webber). 

“The Red Bull car seems a lot better than last year. But you look at the grid and there is no surprise that Massa and Ferrari are right up there,” said Jordan.

Jordan interviews Vettel of Red Bull during his championship winning 2010 season [GALLO/GETTY] 

“The changes that have been made over the last few weeks (to engine mapping and the exhaust-blown diffuser) are an advantage to Ferrari more than anyone else.”

The British Grand Prix will see teams restricted in their use of new exhaust technology which involves blowing exhaust over and under the rear of the car’s floor, speeding up the airflow and therefore increasing down force and cornering speed.

The McLaren team who have spent a lot of time and money perfecting this technique are likely to fall further behind because of the changes.

“Nobody is happy about these changes mid-season,” said Jordan. 

“It kind of means a huge amount of work and development that went in to maximising the car has gone up in smoke. It upsets me.

“The FIA knew what was going on with the exhaust and they knew from the very beginning.

“If I was a team boss now I wouldn’t be happy with all the work, money and effort that has been put in to the technology for it all to start again.

“This is a change. Most people knew it wasn’t a big change but it is still a change.”

When you are taking on the might of Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel, these changes do not help Red Bulls’ rivals.

While engineers have the right to grumble over the FIA’s rulings, for Button and Hamilton the time for complaining is over.

It is time to race in front of their home crowd, come what may.

Source : Al Jazeera


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