Jenson Button says he is surprised by some of the praise directed towards Fernando Alonso following his win in the European Grand Prix in Valencia, arguing that – despite the Spaniard doing a good job in the race – it was Sebastian Vettel who was the real star.
Vettel had dominated the race for Red Bull before alternator problems forced him to retire, with Alonso able to pick up the pieces to take his second victory of the 2012 season – giving him a 20 point championship lead in the process.
Although he admitted that Alonso had done a 'great job' to win in Valencia from eleventh on the grid, Button said it was the performance of Vettel that should give people cause for concern and that he was surprised how complimentary people within the paddock were now being.
“Been a lot of ****-kissing going on,” he told the Express
when discussing Alonso's victory. “I don't know what's happening, it's quite strange. Most of the drivers in Formula One are immensely talented and many will challenge for championships in the future. But Fernando is one of the stand-out drivers.
“He won his home grand prix, when everything fell into place. Sometimes when you make those moves, they don't work out. And you end up in the wall. Was his performance scary? No, he just did a great job, and so did his team with strategy.
“The scary one is Red Bull. The pace that Sebastian had was amazing. He was on fire, and had a massive difference in pace to the rest of the field. We haven't seen that before for a while.”
Button added that he was hoping that Alonso's victory run for this season is now at an end as he seeks to return to the kind of form that saw him top the standings earlier in the year – with a recent run of poor results having cost him dear in the title race.
“He [Alonso] has really got his team behind him. I don't begrudge him that,” he said. “He is in a great position but I don't think he gets different equipment to Felipe. He is just doing a better job with what he has been given and maybe he has had more influence.
“When you race against him and beat him, it feels special. I respect him a lot because he is not just very quick, his talents are more in the race than qualifying and surrounding himself with the right people in the team.
“He is a clever driver, so that is why he is dangerous, but I hope his winning is over. He has his home grand prix and hopefully we can take over now.”