Are any of you old enough to remember Archie Bell? Probably not but this song is right there in my head as we celebrate yet another British World Champion.
Jenson Button signed off on a fairytale season in Brazil by winning the Drivers’ Championship in Formula 1 and ensuring that his team, Brawn, won the Constructor’s title.
Jenson, Jense, JB however you cry him, becomes the 10th British F1 World Champion, following in the hallowed footprints of Mike Hawthorn, Jimmy Clark, James Hunt, Sir Jackie Stewart, John Surtees (on two wheels as well), Graham Hill, Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill and Lewis Hamilton.
The facts say that this is the first time in 40 years that British drivers have won back to back titles. So well done Lewis and Jense.
The real story behind this year’s fight is not all the F1 political rubbish – the rows about the double diffusers, the scandal of Nelson Piquet and Renault, the story is about Brawn GP and Jenson Button.
Barely a year ago, in the off season, Honda pulled the plug on their F1 racing game. Hundreds of jobs were at stake in Brackley, Oxon, and around the F1 valley of suppliers. A management team, headed by engineering and technical guru Ross Brawn, bought into a dream and took charge of the team. At the start of the season it was such a fairytale. Button won the first six races out of seven and everything looked glorious.
Then the other teams got to grips with the technological developments and not just caught up, but overtook Brawn. Adrian Newey’s car (Red Bull) proved faster again and again and Brawn, a privateer team could not keep up.
The Championship was not a done deal. Vettel started winning, Mark Webber won and in the Brawn team, Rubens Barrichello started to outdo Button.
This weekend just gone, the teams were in Brazil, at Interlagos – one of the few truly iconic tracks left on the calendar. Qualifying was a ridiculous hit and miss weather affected scenario. Typical Brazil.
Then came the race. Button was near the back of the grid, Vettel also. Rubens on Pole – his home race. But as expected, lap one resulted in crash chaos and everything changed. While the chaps at the front did escape, some chaps behind got a get of jail card and could change their strategy.
Webber chose well, converted to a one-stop and drove sublimely to victory. Jense made up places and then as the race unfolded, drove like a fiend to overtake and overtake and bloody deserve his ultimate victory.
Rubens was unlucky – a puncture in the late stages ensuring that he finished behind his team-mate – but that’s the way of life. Them’s the breaks and Jense built his championship on superb early season victories.
Earlier in the day, another Aussie, Casey Stoner, rode quite brilliantly to a win at the Phillip Island circuit. Chased hard by the GOAT (Rossi), he proved to all and sundry that he has recovered from his illness and is right back where he wants to be.
Sweet Jorge crashed out on the first lap, so Rossi goes to the penultimate race with a 38 point margin, but for next season, Casey has shown he’s right back there.
Back in the UK, there were gymnastics going on in the place I can’t help thinking is called the Dome. I know, I know, it’s the O2, but – nah – it’s the Dome.
Anyway, although there was a bit of a nasty injury to the young Columbian girl, ultimately there was joy unbounded as Beth Tweddle – her of the teeth – won a gold medal for Floor.
That’s excellent stuff – Team GB is getting good at stuff like cycling (Bradley Wiggins just took his first Pro stage victory at the Herald Sun Tour downunder), rowing (we know we’re good at that) and all sorts of sitting down sports. Now we doing jumping up and down stuff and, as far as motor sport is concerned, we’re back where we belong.
No other nation has as many champs as we have. Even in the Schumacher years of domination, there was always Ross Brawn. Michael couldn’t have won without him.
This year is the joy unbounded. Jense gets the Driver’s title, Ross and the boys get the Team plaudits and bloody well deserved.
Roll on the last F1 race in Abu Dhabi, roll on Malaysia for the two-wheelers.
While cricket lurks (and get well again please Tresco) – waiting for the trip to South Africa, lets enjoy the last flings of the motorsport season.