Button lacks Alonso ‘spark’ – Gascoyne

Wed, 7 February 2007, 10:20

Honda driver Jenson Button lacks the “spark” that separates world champions like Fernando Alonso from the rest of the F1 field.

That is the suggestion of renowned grand prix engineer Mike Gascoyne, who worked with the now 27-year-old Briton when he drove for Benetton/Renault early this decade.

Button scored his first formula one win after more than 100 starts in the rain-affected Hungarian GP last year.

“I agreed with Flavio (Briatore) when he replaced Button with Alonso (at the end of 2002),” Gascoyne, now leading the engineering team at Spyker, told PA Sport.

“Fernando won the championship last year when the car wasn’t at times the quickest — does (Button) have the race craft and the ability to do that? That’s a question mark.”

Gascoyne thinks Kimi Raikkonen also possesses the indefinable “spark”, doubting both Button and Honda’s ability to mount a challenge for the ’07 title.

Criticising Brackley based Honda’s annual round of championship-charging predictions, he commented: “(They) can’t help but to talk themselves up at the start of the year.

“(Button’s) a race winner, but it’s whether or not he’s a championship winner.”


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