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Enough with all the bad F1 news.

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For a very “lighter side” feel today, F1B proudly points you toward a Q&A with World Champ Jenson Button and the man he calls “the big boss.”

No, not Ross Brawn.

Nope, not Rubens Barrichello.

Not even Max Mosley.

One Bernard Ecclestone.
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I honestly cannot decide if I want to laugh or cry. The interview is entirely managed, tightly, but there still are some funny moments. I just can’t tell if they are intentional or not. [There are some obvious attempts to be funny; you’ll have to decide if they are.]

One thing before I post some excerpts: I suppose their buddy-buddy act could add more -fuel to the “Brawn got favorable treatment with the double diffuser” issue. I’m not adding that, I’m just saying it could.

Anyway, for your reading pleasure and to provide a quick bit of escapism from the harsh F1 news of the week:

Jenson Button: Hello big boss!

Q: Why do you call Bernie the ‘big boss’?
JB: Because he is.

Q: Bernie, what did you whisper in Jenson’s ear after he won the title in Sao Paolo?
Bernie Ecclestone: I asked him why he was so insensitive by finishing the job in Brazil and not waiting for the last race in Abu Dhabi like I wanted.
JB: (laughs) We could have called the last race the ‘World Cup’. Then in addition to the world champion you would have had a world cup winner.
BE: Sure. Then you could jump on the gravy train a second time.
JB: Exactly!

[snip]

Q: Bernie, who from a sporting and marketing perspective would have been the best champion for you? And what do you expect from Jenson?
BE: First of all he should stay as he is. He’s very natural and laidback. There is no need to act. And he has to have the ambition to defend his title. Nobody expects him to go for an Oscar, but he has to understand that as champion he has an obligation towards the public. Some of his predecessors have ignored that. Jenson is the perfect champ, even though he fell into some sort of deep sleep during the midseason.
JB: Wasn’t that exactly what you told me to do, to keep the championship sizzling? But seriously, over 17 races you experience some ups and downs. Even a seven-time champion had it. Remember Suzuka in 2003? Michael (Schumacher) needed only one point to win the championship and he had real trouble doing it. That shows how big the pressure is. The last couple of months were pretty tough for me, especially when the car lacked performance. Then I made some mistakes and the team did as well. But we didn’t cave in and delivered a strong race in Brazil – the perfect way to win the championship!
BE: Everybody has some rainy days once in a while. All that matters is to make the most out of them. That is what Jenson did.

Q: Jenson, will you now marry your girlfriend?
JB: Ah, nothing of what was printed in the papers is true. If I had said at the beginning of the season that should I become world champion I would propose to her, it wouldn’t have been a surprise. But it should be a surprise.
BE: Note, he didn’t just say that he will not marry – all he said is that the quotes were wrong.

Q: Would you encourage him to marry?
BE: You’re asking the wrong guy.

[snip]

Q: Would you have bet on Jenson becoming champion before this season?
BE: Forget it. I wouldn’t even have bet on them being on the grid at the first race.
JB: That was really nail biting. We knew if we made it to the grid we would have a great season. True, there was no thought of winning races or even both championships, but we knew we had a good car.

[snip]

Q: Bernie, there have now been two British champions in a row. What is the biggest difference between Lewis (Hamilton) and Jenson for you?
BE: Lewis is much younger. Jenson has a little less time before he’s going to get a pension. (laughs)
JB: Nice to hear.
BE: Jenson had a much bigger mountain to climb than Lewis. Lewis came into Formula One racing a car with the potential to win.
JB: Yes, our route to the title definitely was different.

You gotta love the marriage question and Bernie’s answer.

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  • J0J0

    They should have asked Jenson what Bernie think of the splendid Jessica Michibata. I bet Bernie think all she does is run the washer for Jenson’s racing overalls, cooks him sushi and changes the bed’s sheets.

  • Ah, nothing of what was printed in the papers is true. If I had said at the beginning of the season that should I become world champion I would propose to her, it wouldn’t have been a surprise. But it should be a surprise…good one.