Saturday April 14th, 2001
Jenson Button has a natural talent that will see him through tough times at Benetton, his former Formula One team boss Frank Williams said on Saturday.
"Jenson last year was outstanding...and that sort of talent doesn't go away," said Williams after Button was left on the back row of the grid in qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix in an uncompetitive car.
"It is innate and Jenson will be back."
Former driver Gerhard Berger, now BMW's motorsport director, said Button had been "extremely lucky last year to get into a top team to show his potential in 2000.
"Jenson is just going through now what others have to do in their first year."
Button remains under contract to Williams, who loaned him on a two-year deal to Renault-owned Benetton to make way for Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya.
Last year, the Briton became the youngest driver to score a Formula One point and qualified third at the Belgian Grand Prix. But he was slower than one of the Minardis on Saturday.
His Italian team mate Giancarlo Fisichella fared little better, also slower than Minardi's Fernando Alonso after scoring the team's first point of the season in Brazil two weeks ago with a surprise sixth place.
"This does not look good for us and I'm very disappointed," said Fisichella, 19th fastest. "We thought that we could be more competitive but I hope we will have a reliable race tomorrow to increase our morale."