One of the many elements that is making the run up to this season’s opening race so exciting is the prospect of seeing Button and Hamilton driving the same car.
Hopefully McLaren has got their act together after a disastrous first half of the 2009 season. If they do, then we are in for one hell of a ride, but I suspect who ever comes out on top, people will still find reasons to argue and by the end of the season it will still be inconclusive.
For me, even though he is the World Champion, Jenson has still yet to prove himself. Last season’s dominance in the first 7 races by Brawn was extraordinary. But not extraordinary in the sense that one team has put together an unbeatable package, Williams, McLaren and Ferrari have all done that in the past. It was extraordinary in that one team’s interpretation of one aspect of the new rules has meant that they were basically operating a different kind of car. It was very much an abnormal situation.
I suspect it is partly the reason why he has made the move, to be able to pitch himself against a hungry young gun in the same machinery.
Lewis, on the other hand, has the experience of coming up against the then two times world champion Alonso, and, outside of all the controversy, at the very least proved his equal in both qualifying and race. Alonso, at the time, was thought of potentially becoming one of the sport’s true greats, and some say the man who retired Schumacher.
The BBC’s Mark Hughes has a good entry about how high the stakes are for the two. I agree that it will be explosive (and look forward to it) but I can’t agree a negative outcome will be damaging to either of their careers. For this to happen, one will have to fall way short of the other, and I doubt either will.
I predict that their times will be closely matched and there won’t be much in it. If I’m pushed for a name, then I’d say Lewis, because he seems to be just that little bit hungrier.