This week in the Bay, it’s all about Team Britain, otherwise known as McLaren. This season, the Woking outfit has worked hard to turn a what was seen as a dog of a car into a race winner, with Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton taking two victories apiece. But, push come to shove…

“Who is the team leader at McLaren?”

Photo Credit: Moy/Sutton

As with the past few weeks, Badger has put the question to the faithful fans, and they haven’t disappointed! Which 3 did we pick from all the entries?

First up is…Oliver Pearse, from Somerset, who takes a pretty fair view on the situation and uses his abacus;

At the beginning of this season I thought that, with two English drivers, McLaren was the team to follow for patriotic English Formula 1 fans. They’ve certainly grabbed their share of screen time, as this year we’ve seen both victory and defeat for Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.

As the season has progressed we’ve seen the contrasting racing styles of the drivers shine through into one of the most interesting Formula One racing teams.

This year it’s hard to think of brave, daring overtaking, conflict and collision without thinking of Lewis Hamilton. His combative racing style make him the must-watch driver that grabs attention and commands respect from the camera. The audacity and passion of his racing makes him the most exciting driver on the track today.

For the more mature and balanced fan however, Jenson Button has shown that when the track conditions are changeable, victory comes to those who can handle it. His determination and ability to judge the day and seize the moment have allowed Button to snatch victory when other drivers hesitate.

At a glance I would say the 2011 McLaren team shows the best in bravery in both drivers. Mixing Jenson’s patience with Lewis’s daring to create a truly great racing team.

On the balance therefore it has to come to race victories and points. At 2 wins a piece both drivers have shown that they’re more than capable, but on points Jenson Button’s 167 beats Lewis Hamilton’s 158. Therefore in my view Jenson Button is the leader at McLaren. – you can also follow Oliver on Twitter @Olly31770.

The next participant is…Richard Craig, who looks at what’s happening off the track as well as on it;

In monetary terms, it’s Lewis, who the press claim earns twice as much as Jenson. I don’t know why: he certainly isn’t twice as good. In media terms, it’s Lewis as well. The red-tops love him because he looks cool and goes out with someone who gyrates her pelvis for a living. Never mind that out of the car he makes as charismatic an interviewee as a Give Way sign. Tabloid race reports will mention Lewis first and deal with everyone in the last sentence, even if Button started the race from the car park in Woking and still won by 40 seconds. A typical (and highly fictionalised) report might read:

‘LEW STEWS AT SCHU: Lewis Hamilton raged at Michael Schumacher yesterday, whilst saying he can still win the title and will never change, despite his sixth consecutive self-enforced exit ….meanwhile hurricane strikes circuit, appalling casualties, including several drivers.’

Sponsorship ads are the same; a current one for Santander features a podium with no fewer than three Hamiltons all congratulating each other. Photoshop has obviously been used: they aren’t scowling. Button is nowhere to be seen, meanwhile. He’s probably peeping out from behind a tree in a different campaign, like the squirrel in the O2 ad.

But does it matter? Hamilton is a brand, Jenson is a driver. You don’t get championship points for looking blingin’ at film premieres.

A parallel: Williams in ‘86/’87. Nelson Piquet was the more famous, highly rated and better paid driver. Didn’t stop Nigel Mansell from beating him. – Richard is also on Twitter @ReverendFrog and you can see his blog here

Last, but by no means least, to take part is…Fleur Christie, who has picked one of the two and stuck by it;

The Oxford Dictionary describes a leader as “the person who leads or commands a group, organisation or country.” And that is exactly what Jenson Button is doing, leading. Using his 10 years plus experience in F1, his maturity and his knack for being a bloody nice bloke, he is showing McLaren and the rest of the F1 community that he knows how to get the most out of, at times, the lack-lustre MP4-26. If you were to take Button out of his working environment and place him in any business he would display all the traits of a great leader – judgement, courage, energy and integrity.

He started the season showing that he could make the best call when it came to tyre strategy, but as the F1 juggernaut has made its way around the world he has shown moments where it was more than a good tyre call. His fluid, relaxed nature with an ever present underlying desire to win, is delivering results. Consistently. And that’s what you want from a team leader, someone who can bring home the proverbial bacon time after time. – follow Fleur on Twitter @f1_christie

And there we have it for another week! Thanks for everyone’s contributions, unfortunately we can’t publish them all but keep your eyes peeled for another Scrutineering Bay question – it could be your turn next week!

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