We all know there are some crazy conspiracy theorists out there in the Formula 1 world and this joke from Jenson Button about crashing into Nico Rosberg could well trigger them.
The British driver was being interviewed by British GQ when he said Lewis Hamilton could pay him to crash into Rosberg, to give his former team-mate the drivers’ title.
There’s a 12-point gap between Rosberg and Hamilton ahead of this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix season finale. Hamilton has to win the race with Rosberg fourth or lower to win.
Meanwhile Button will be pottering around in the midfield with his Honda-powered McLaren, saying the only way he could go full Maldonado is when Rosberg laps him.
“Well, unless one of us crashes into him,” he said, when asked if Nico Rosberg will win the world championship this weekend.
“I mean, Lewis [Hamilton] is very rich and has a lot of money, flies around in a private jet, so I’m sure he can afford to pay me. The only possibility, however, would be when Nico laps me because we’re not fast enough. Anyway, I’m open to offers. And ave tanyway, I’m retiring… sorry, taking a sabbatical.”
It was actually quite a refreshing and funny interview, hardly surprising for Button but unexpected for F1 interviews in general.
When asked about his scariest moment in racing, he replied:
“Once last year when I went through turn one and the car in front sucked up one of the drain covers as it passed over it. They are welded down, but it just came loose. It flew up and hit my front wing and damaged the suspension. I suppose I was lucky in that had it been a foot higher it could have been much worse… so that was scary. The worst moment was 2003 in Monaco. I came out of the tunnel, doing about 180mph, and locked the rears during braking. I hit the inside barrier, then slid across and had a second impact at something like 35Gs.
“That’s a lot. And it knocked me out. I remember waking up and Sid Watkins, the F1 doctor who is no sadly no longer with us, was stood over me smiling. There were people cutting off my suit and injecting me with painkillers and he said: ‘Where does it hurt?’ And I said: ‘My left leg really hurts.’ And he said, ‘Really?’ And I said, ‘No, it’s my right leg.’ And he said, ‘Really?’ And I said, ‘No, it’s my arm… my left arm.’ And then I just started laughing. It was because of all the stuff they were pumping in to me.”
And if he had to go out for dinner with four other racing drivers?
“Definitely Ricky Bobby, Daniel Ricciardo. Second, Felipe Massa because he really is retiring. Fernando [Alonso] can actually be quite fun. Now I’m stuck… I’ll tell you what, Sebastian Vettel sent me a WhatsApp the other day. I was shocked! Not just because he sent me a WhatsApp, I was shocked by the content. Unbelievable! I still wouldn’t invite him though.
“It would probably be Daniil Kvyat, because he’s a lot of fun. And it’s funny because we racing drivers often swap crash helmets after a race, and recently he asked me if he could have mine. And when I asked him why, he said he had a story: he told me I was the only driver he had ever asked for an autograph. He said: ‘I was trying to get in with this girl, so I got your autograph for her.’ This is something like ten years ago, before he was in F1. So yeah… I’ve got a fan. Apparently it didn’t work out with the girl though.”
Sebastian Vettel has Whatsapp? Who’d have thought it.