At the height of the Ferrari/McLaren spy row, Ron Dennis said: “I don’t need my character building any more.” You really do wonder if Jenson Button might soon be saying the same, if Honda don’t make some pretty rapid improvements in the off-season.
He’s doing his very best to take the positives from his awful 2007 season – and the epithet “character-building” is about the most he can come up with.
Musing on the last few months for the official F1 website, he said: “It goes without saying that 2007 has been a very tough season for me and the Honda Racing F1 Team.
“However, a year like this brings out the real character of a team. We’ve had to pull together, keep motivated and try as hard as we can even though the performance of the car was far from what we expected.
“I’m pleased that we were able to do that and achieve points finishes when others had faster cars and didn’t.”
He said that starting further down the grid and having to fight his way to a decent race position in the second half of the season “has actually been quite fun, particularly in Turkey, Italy and China where I managed to do a lot of overtaking.
“This all helps to develop your race craft for the future.”
He is hopeful that the problems with the horrible RA107 have been identified, and that the team will be able to come up with a much more competitive car for next season.
“For my part, I will be focusing as always on my physical fitness and preparation for the new season, and we will hope to make a fresh and positive start to 2008.”
Well said, Jense. Let’s just hope that Honda can come up with the goods…