BREAKING: Jenson Button Signs With McLaren

Illustration for article titled BREAKING: Jenson Button Signs With McLaren

Making the dissolution of Brawn GP complete, Formula One world champion Jenson Button has stepped into the fun of being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate at McLaren for 2010.

It’s probably been Formula One’s worst kept secret these past few weeks, but it’s official now: after Rubens Barrichello’s leave for Williams and Brawn GP’s sale to Mercedes-Benz, Jenson Button has left the team to join McLaren for the 2010 Formula One season.

Illustration for article titled BREAKING: Jenson Button Signs With McLaren

The legend of Brawn GP, with its single season in Formula One which has resulted in both the drivers’ and the constructors’ title, is thus complete.

As for Button’s new job, consider that Lewis Hamilton has consumed two teammates over the course of but three seasons: Heikki Kovalainen over 2008–2009 and double world champion Fernando Alonso in 2007. Both left McLaren in a very unhappy state of mind.

Hamilton is McLaren’s home-grown talent, nurtured since age 13, and while he is undoubtedly scary fast in a well-sorted car, he is also a vain man known for public temper tantrums whenever things go even slightly wrong. Like in the first half of the 2009 season, when McLaren had the misfortune to produce a dog of a racing car.


So while the BBC is calling the Button–Hamilton lineup a “dream team at McLaren,” with both of them British and both of them world champions, expect rifts. McLaren already has a “one driver” and his name is Lewis Hamilton.

Photo Credit: FRED DUFOUR/Getty Images, Mark Thompson/Getty Images

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To Mr. Button and Mr. Hamilton,

Congratulations to the both of you on now having put together what is, seemingly, one of the strongest pairings of drivers in recent Formula 1 history. If you both work hard at pushing eachother, I am sure you can McLaren the dominant force in the sport.

Now, allow me a sobering word or few-dozen.

Do not ruin this by being egomaniacs. You are both famous. You are both talented. You both seem like relatively good people. Together, you can become what every good car manufacturer strives to make its cars: better than the sum of its parts. Alone, you can be famous. Yes. But together, you can replace something that has been missing of late from the world of professional sports: a great team.

Winning is a goal, and it is entertaining. But true teamwork between two former rivals to achieve that same goal is inspiring.

Please don't hate each other.

Best of luck in the Spring.