F1 enthusiasts wondered whether the expert drive from Jenson Button would be the catalyst needed for him to challenge Fernando Alonso for the 2012 Drivers’ Championship.
With a big points difference between Button and Alonso even after his Belgian victory, the British driver admitted that he would need to beat Alonso in each race between then and the rest of the season to secure an unlikely second championship.
Coming into today’s Italian Grand Prix Button was on course as the race got underway, and for much of the race was doing exactly what was needed in his McLaren and leading the Ferrari.
But by the end of the race it was a different story, with Button retiring from the race and not scoring any points, while Alonso came third to pick up valuable points and extend his lead over Button.
But the real story of the day came from two different Grand Prix drivers – Monaco resident and team-mate to Button Lewis Hamilton and Mexican driver Sergio Perez who surged from twelth place on the starting grid in his Sauber to finish second.
Hamilton moved to Monaco before the start of the 2012 season, and he will be an even more exciting prospect in the future at the prestigious Monte Carlo Grand Prix.
Lewis is second in the Drivers’ Championship with 142 points, while Alonso still leads with 179 points – the gap has closed and a few more victories from Hamilton and McLaren could see him win it – Button meanwhile must surely count himself out of contention.
There have been rumours that Hamilton might leave McLaren for Mercedes next season, but that could be a backward step, and possibly mean more Monaco apartments for sale in the future if his Grand Prix career stutters to a close.
And the emergence of Sergio Perez as a real contender who is picking up odium places for Sauber must be a concern for every driver who is calculating how many points he might win between now and the end of the season – Perez drove a superb race and is going to be the talk of many a sports blog today as the new kid on the block.
Speaking after the race he commented that it was a great race for both him and Sauber, and that today’s Monza Grand Prix was very special for him.
After collecting his winners’ trophy, Hamilton commented to journalists in the post-race press conference that it was fantastic to win at Monza and that he was happy for McLaren, giving no indication of a possible move away for next year.
There is now a two week break before the next Grand Prix, moving away from the European circuits to Singapore – last year won by Sebastian Vettel. It will be shown live on BBC television.