Yesterday in an interview with the British newspaper Metro, David Coulthard believes that Jenson Button will have to perform during the 2014 season if he wants to finish ahead of new team-mate Kevin Magnussen. Coulthard who is a former McLaren driver himself has stated he believes that rookie driver Magnussen looks like the “real deal”.
In his interview with Metro, Coulthard said the following when asked how the British drivers on the grid would perform this year:-
‘The UK is well represented at the present with Lewis [Hamilton] and Jenson. They are two different personalities and Lewis looks to have the brightest future at the moment. Jenson is more experienced but may need a big year just to stay ahead of the challenge from exciting young Danish driver Kevin Magnussen at McLaren. He looks the real deal.’
Coulthard does have a valid point to an extent. I do believe that from I have seen from Magnussen so far from the pre-season test has been positive. I have been impressed by the form and performances that he has put in and he may surprise a few people with his form this year.
In terms of his views on Button and Hamilton, as much as it pains to me to write this, Coulthard may have a point. Hamilton might have a bright future in the sport, but I do believe that Button could also still stay in the sport until 2016 if McLaren would like him to stay driving with the team.
Let us not forget that Button is the most experienced driver on the grid and has been racing in Formula One since his debut with Williams in 2000. Button has achieved what many drivers have not been able to and has won a World Championship in 2009 with the Brawn GP and achieved 15 Grand Prix wins so far in his career.
When Button is given the right resources and everything comes together in a Grand Prix weekend, for me, he is one of the best drivers out there. Button quite simply is a born racing driver. His driving style and pace is consistent, reliable and competitive just like drivers such as Hamilton and Vettel.
He has proved time and time again when he has the car underneath him that he can deliver. There is no question at this current stage of the season; the signs are looking positive for McLaren so far. They have so far consistently challenged in the top five in the timesheets during the pre-season tests and have managed to gain valuable track mileage when others teams such as Red Bull and Toro Rosso are struggling.
In my view, I personally feel that 2014 will be an important year for Button without question. McLaren have with the partnership of Button and Magnussen currently I believe have the perfect mix and balance; experience and new racing talent. Button will no doubt impart his experience gained in his career towards Magnussen and Magnussen will also provide the same to Button.
I will admit that the future of Button may not be as secure as it would have been a few seasons ago. With the McLaren team announcing earlier this year that they have signed Stefan Van Doorne as a new addition to the McLaren Young Driver Programme will have been noticed by Button.
I believe 2014 will be an important year for Button. Despite all the personal hardship that Button and his family are going through at this difficult time, I believe that this will only spur him on to make sure that his 2014 season has the best start he can possibly can.
In my view if McLaren build on the promising foundations that they have managed to achieve so far, there is no question that not only will Magnussen will perform but also Button too. McLaren have two talented drivers within their team who will not only work together for the team but will also be competitive and try to out-perform each other as well.
Do I think Button will perform in 2014? I believe that he can to the best of his ability. Will he manage to keep his McLaren seat for 2015? I really, really hope so as Button in my eyes fully deserves to keep his seat for 2015.