Lewis Hamilton has repeated fellow Briton Jenson Button's claim that he would be happy to have anyone as his team-mate in 2010, after the two were rumoured to be paired at McLaren next season.
Button told reporters on Friday that he would not be fazed by partnering Hamilton, his predecessor as F1 world champion, should he decide to leave Brawn GP at the end of the current campaign, and Hamilton has since replied by paying tribute to his countryman's success as speculation about McLaren's 2010 line-up intensified at the season finale.
"I'm very happy for Jenson - I think he did an incredible job this year," Hamilton told Reuters
, "It doesn't seem to have changed him. He just seems to be getting stronger, and I think it's a great experience for him. I had an incredible experience [as world champion] and I can see how hard he has worked over his career, so I know exactly what he is going through."
Asked whether he had been listening to the suggestions that Button could join him in the McLaren camp next year, and what he thought about the idea, Hamilton insisted that, while he saw nothing wrong with his - clearly one-sided - partnership with Finland's Heikki Kovalainen, he would not be worried about a new face being brought in.
"I've heard the rumours, but the team haven't decided anything - and they certainly haven't told me anything," he pointed out, aware that both 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen and former karting team-mate Nico Rosberg have also been linked to McLaren for 2010, "I'm just sitting back and waiting to see what happens.
"I don't have any preference, if I'm honest. I've got such a strong relationship with Heikki - I really do think he is a great guy and also a great driver, and I'm happy with him being my team-mate - that, if things change, it will be unfortunate in some ways. But, whoever comes, I'll welcome [them] and, hopefully, they will help us win world championships."