At Imola, Michael Schumacher encountered opposition for the first time this season - not from Williams-BMW or McLaren-Mercedes drivers, but BAR Honda's Jenson Button writes CAR deputy editor John Bentley.

At last Michael Schumacher and Ferrari have some opposition. But it's a real indictment of both Williams and McLaren that the challenge had to come from Jenson Button and BAR-Honda.


Button was cool, calm and collected under pressure, and can only get better as he gains more experience with a good car underneath him. He might have faded somewhat in his second stint - apparently a less-than-perfect set of tyres was to blame - but he showed he has the temperament to lead races and dictate matters from the front. We will see in time whether he has the aggression to actually wrest the lead from the acknowledged tough men of F1.


Talking of tough men, Juan Pablo Montoya did himself no credit when he whinged about being put on the grass by Michael Schumacher on lap one. Sad, because it was an audacious passing manoeuvre by the Williams driver that would have been hailed as a remarkable achievement had it succeeded. Instead, he simply looked like a petulant wannabe hero at the press conference.


Had he got past Michael on that frantic first lap, think what the race result might have been. Would Michael have been able to get past again given the difficulty of overtaking at Imola? It just might have handed un upset victory to the BAR-Honda team... -