Here’s a reminder, as if one were needed, that Ross Brawn didn’t just win seven world championships with Michael Schumacher by accident.
It seems that two wins from pole position aren’t enough to make arguably the most respected engineer and race strategist in Formula One rest on his laurels.
In fact, Brawn thinks that Jenson Button should still be able to raise his game if the team is to capitalise on its excellent start to the season and put itself in contention for a fairytale world championship win.
And he’s been so impressed by the 29-year-old Brit’s recent driving that he’s beginning to regret not signing him for Ferrari in 2004.
Manchester-born Brawn told the Daily Telegraph in Kuala Lumpur: “He is such a smooth driver it is incredible.
“I think the car is hopefully going to get better over the next few months and he is going to naturally improve because he is hugely talented and two years of beating your head against the wall takes it out of anyone.
“Now you can see he is revelling in it and he is driving very well. I’ve been very impressed. He is working very diligently with the engineers and has been kind of revitalised. That is understandable, if you have got some equipment you can use.”
When asked if he regretted passing up the opportunity to work with Button sooner, he said: “That might have been a mistake. It’s just so difficult to judge people.
“I mean, Jenson is a pretty low-profile guy in many ways. He doesn’t bang his own drum and he gets on with things discreetly and quietly. It’s a bit like his driving style, very smooth and very controlled so I am very happy.”
The article also reveals Button’s nickname for Brawn is Big Bear. In a week when Ferrari engineer Rob Smedley was publicly heard referring to his charge Felipe Massa as ‘baby’ we say: enough with the sharing already.
Button may come to regret this statement as there are overtones to this nickname that he almost certainly wasn’t taking into account at the point when he uttered the phrase.
It seems Formula One is not the square-jawed, flinty-eyed environment we imagined. Certainly not at Ferrari, anyway. What on earth happened to Italian machismo?
It’s almost enough to make you wish the radio transmissions were private again…