Button should have been sacked Former Formula One and motorcycle world champion John Surtees has said he would not have confirmed Jenson Button at Brawn GP for 2009, claiming his fellow countryman didn't give 100% in 2008 at the wheel of the il-loved RA108. Having signed a multi-year deal with Honda before the Japanese company pulled out of the sport, the management-led buyout decided to honor his deal, albeit with Button taking a significant pay cut.
Speaking in an interview with Italian website 422race.com, Britain's Surtees said he'd have sacked Button. “The most brilliant driver we have today is Vettel, he's a good example of a real driver! Look at Button instead, frankly, I wouldn't have confirmed him.
“I would have replaced him because if you don't give 100% even when the car is not so good, you have to be sacked!” continued Surtees. “You can't be good just when you have a good car, but even when you don't. I think that rather than constantly changing the rules for the team, they should support the young drivers more.”
Meanwhile, Surtees also condemned Honda for their abrupt pull-out from the sport in December 2008, saying that the Japanese company should never take part in F1 again. “[Honda's pullout] was a shame! I was part of Honda and always gave my support, but the management and the program were a shame! Based on how they managed things in the later years, I think they should never take part in F1 again. Honda should be ashamed for how things went.
1964 world champion Surtees raced for Honda in 1967 and 1968, scoring one race victory and an additional three podium finishes before the company pulled out of the sport at the end of 1968.
“The philosophy was very different from the one of the '60s. Back then we didn't have enough money to send the engines back to Tokyo, so we didn't have the engines to race. And when I thought we found the way to win consistently with the car we should have had, the 1969 one, Mr. Honda and the banks didn't agree and stopped the project,” Surtees told 422race.com.
“But Honda was a society which raced and made people grow to send them to the race team: when I was with them they did mistakes, but they improved and built winning engines. This time they can't act a part as it was before. Japan doesn't seem to be an excuse for the bad organization.”