Aces High?

Why is it that so much of the media refer to Jenson Button as an “F1 ace”?

I’m not necessarily referring to TV as I don’t believe I have heard the term used on ITV (even from James) and I don’t see any F1 coverage on any other channel, I still can’t even get Channel 5!

Many newspapers though seem to use this term quite liberally.

When I hear the word ace (referring to a person rather than a playing card or a tennis match) I immediately think of a fighter pilot. My limited understanding of such things would suggest a fighter pilot who had shot down five enemy aircraft.

Now, don’t get me wrong I am quite happy for this term to be applied to a Formula 1 driver. Indeed it doesn’t take many leaps of imagination to suggest a multitude of parallels between a fighter pilot and a Formula 1 driver, especially regarding beating the opposition, which is the primary aim of both (surely?)

To pursue a direct comparison though, would it not be reasonable to only use the phrase to describe a driver who had actually won some races? I’m not sure why in the fighter pilot case it would be five (if indeed it is!), and I’m not saying it should be specifically tied to a number either, but five race wins would be a good measure to prove that wins aren’t just a fluke and would hopefully demonstrate some consistent form.

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