“Eventually, other drivers began to realize that. You began to see ‘Jenson’s gone for inters’ [so] everyone’s bundling in for inters now or ‘Jenson thinks it’s wet enough that the full wet will be quicker than the inter now’, everyone’s going to dive into the pits.
“People would follow suit in that way, by copying Jenson’s wisdom. More than I’ve seen them do any other driver ever really.”
Lap 19 and Button got past Petrov for seventh, but then another deluge moved in. TV shots show almost zero visibility at the final hairpin, cars only coming in view at the last moment.
Not for the first time, the McLaren was quicker than most to react and came in for full wets again.
Button was looking to make his sixth-sense count once more, but it soon all came to a halt when conditions were decided to be too foul to race in.
As the cars came in, Bishop had a minefield of a PR situation on his hands.
“I remember realising that we were going to have to do interviews, which was a unique situation, halfway through a Grand Prix, to have media scrums with Jenson being interviewed by one lot of journalists and Lewis being interviewed by another.
“We had the issue of knowing that at that point the question they would be asked was ‘Your team-mate shunted you, what do you think?’”
In a bid to maintain team harmony, Bishop deployed a couple of white lies.
“I did a little bit of sleight of hand at that point and said to Lewis ‘We’re going to have to do interviews now, you’ll be asked about the shunt. I’ve already spoken to Jenson. He doesn’t blame you at all.’
“Then I went to Jenson and told him vice versa about Lewis.
“As a result, they spoke in a very kind of measured and statesman-like way really considering that they have had the shunt with their team-mate!”
The drivers might have been placated and eventually so was the weather, meaning that two hours and four minutes later the cars headed for the race to get back underway.
After completing eight more circuits behind the safety sar, the was field off the leash on lap 34.
“Jenson would ask questions on the radio which sometimes astounded us”
Down in 10th, Jenson disposed of Pedro de la Rosa before electing to make yet another stop, the track being dry enough now for intermediate tyres.
It was a brave move when the car was running well on its current rubber, but Bishop wasn’t surprised.
“He had a mental bandwidth available — just a bit, but enough — in order to think more analytically about what he was doing.
“Jenson would ask questions on the radio which sometimes astounded us. ‘I’ve just passed the big screen. Looks like Massa is on inters. Can you tell me why? And when he went on them?’ You’d think ‘What are you talking about? How can you do that?’ Let me tell you, very few drivers can do that.”
With the race only 50% run, the McLaren driver had already made four pitstops.
Further pitstops rivals brought Jenson up to 11th, but also into the wake of Fernando Alonso.
As the Spaniard exited the pits on cold tyres, Jenson spied an opportunity to get ahead.
The Brit put his car up the inside of the Ferrari at the first chicane, but Alonso made the decision to turn in all the same.
The pair connected and the Ferrari was spun round. Button had a front-right puncture and broken front wing, whilst Alonso was beached and out of the race.