Honda team is setting their sights on season 2009, but before that they have to survive the season 2008, and if possible, not as the weakest team … They might not have the best car at the moment, but they do have 2 good drivers – Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello.
Jenson Button – Great Britain
Born: 19 January 1980
In F1 since 2000 Williams, 2001 Benetton, 2002 Renault, 2003 – 2008 Honda (BAR)
Best Result: 3rd in 2004
Career wins: 1
Pole positions: 3
Podium Finishes: 15
Jenson Button starts his 6th year with the Honda team, after joining them in 2003 while the team still raced as BAR. His best ever season came in 2004, when he was a regular on podium. He was kind of unlucky that the best car the team built in their history came in the season that so dominated by Ferrari. Third place overall was the best he could hope for. In 2006 he went to win his first and so far the only race in the wet conditions in Hungary. He was kind of right to expect better things to come. Instead the horrible 2006 RA107 appeared and the RA108 does not look to be any better so far. He has to pin his hopes on some wet races when many of the differences between cars are erased and drivers skills count more. Some of Button’s best results came in rain – the race win in Hungary in 2006, 5th place in China last year. His smooth driving style may also come handy in the new era without the traction control and other driver aids.
Rubens Barrichello – Brazil
Born: 23 May 1972
In F1 since 1993, 1993 – 1996 Jordan, 1997 – 1999 Stewart, 2000 – 2005 Ferrari, 2006 – 2008 Honda
Best Result: 2nd in 2002, 2004
Career wins: 9
Pole positions: 13
Podium Finishes: 61
Looking back 2 years it seems like Rubens Barrichello did not pick the right moment to leave Ferrari. A year after Barrichelo had left Schumacher retired. In the first post Schumacher year Ferrari won both titles while Barrichello in Honda failed to score a single point. He can’t expect much better showing this year so the only realistic goal for Barrichello in 2008 is to break the F1 longevity record of 256 races set by Riccardo Patrese. But if he plans to keep racing in F1 beyond 2008, he will need to raise his game. There were voices coming from inside the Honda camp after 2007 season questioning Barrichello’s form and racing attitude. His future with the team did not seem to be that sure. Only after arrival of Ross Brawn did the team make it clear they will retain Barrichello for 2008.
F1Wolf’s prediction for Honda drivers in 2008:
There will not be number 1 and number 2 driver in this team as it does not make much sense that far down the grid. But expect Button to outperform Barrichello. If the team finds some speed later on during the season and they fight for points, it will Button who bring them home. Barrichello may end up again with no points to his name and this may be his last season in Formula 1.
2008 F1 Season – Team Mates – Ferrari
2008 F1 Season – Team Mates – McLaren
2008 F1 Season – Team Mates – BMW Sauber
2008 F1 Season – Team Mates – Renault
2008 F1 Season – Team Mates – Williams
2008 F1 Season – Team Mates – Red Bull
2008 F1 Season – Team Mates – Toyota