[I wrote this originally as a comment on Sidepodcast. This was in response to a number of people saying that it was already becoming boring that Brawn were winning all of the time. Here is a link to the context: http://www.sidepodcast.com/2009/05/26/daily-26th-may-2009/]
I like Jenson but I don’t think he’s as good a driver as some of the others on the field. However, some are saying that Jenson doesn’t deserve to win. It’s difficult for me to understand what “deserve” means when this season shows so strongly how important the car is to a driver.
It’s fair to say that Lewis beat / is beating Hekki pretty easily. And depending on your opinion he beat Alonso in his rookie season (if you don’t believe that bit then read the sentence as “he got very close to Alonso in his rookie season”). Jenson hasn’t really been able to dominate his team-mates. That has always worried me about him.
Jenson deserved a win (or several) to make up for all the years of terrible cars that he had. But then people started asking the uncomfortable question… Does he deserve to win the world championship. Like they did with Massa last year.
It’s the same question people have been asking about Brawn earlier. Do they deserve to win when they just arrived in the sport?
The answer to all of these questions is very simple for me. Formula 1 is not a driver sport, it’s a team sport. The team works together. The team are hugely influential on the drivers performance.
Jenson had faith in Ross Brawn. Brawn knew that if he built Jenson a good car he could win the championship. They, as a unit, have pulled off possibly the largest upset in F1 history. And people are asking if he or they deserve the championship?
Regardless of the jokes that people make, your granny could not drive an F1 car. It is hard to do. But a large part of the sport is working as a leader in your team. It’s what Schumacher did before and in many ways it’s what Jenson is doing over at Brawn. He is the lead driver at Brawn.
Lewis works for McLaren, the mechanics don’t seem to look up to him. Who do the mechanics look up to at Ferrari? Nobody. The mechanics are unled. They don’t want to do it for their driver. But I bet everyone in that Brawn team over the off season knows how much Jenson committed himself to that team. They know that he cut his salary to keep the team going. They were working for their driver.
That doesn’t make Jenson a faster driver, no. But it might well make him a better driver. And Brawn definitely deserve it.
As Bernie said when Ferrari won all those times, “it’s not Ferrari’s fault they are so fast, it’s everyone else’s fault that they are all too slow”.
But yes the racing isn’t very close, moment to moment, the racing isn’t as exciting as it could be. But what Brawn are doing as a whole really is very exciting. At least it is to me.