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Hamilton downplays fears of a rift with Button

McLaren-Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton insists that whilst they are 'both racers', he and team-mate Jenson Button are also 'both sensible' enough not to fall out and in so doing harm their title chances in F1 2011
Lewis Hamilton has been quick to dismiss suggestions that his relationship with McLaren-Mercedes team-mate, compatriot and fellow world champion Jenson Button will not last the course in F1 2011 – insisting that whilst 'we're both racers...we're both sensible', too.

Hamilton and Button, if you recall, were predicted to fall out no sooner had the F1 2010 campaign – their first alongside one another at Woking – got underway, but as things transpired, their partnership was one of if not indeed the most harmonious on the grand prix grid, a far cry from McLaren's previous experiences of trying and spectacularly failing to manage two cohabiting title-contenders.

BBC F1 commentator Martin Brundle has opined that looking ahead to the forthcoming campaign, 'when we see them (Hamilton and Button) in an absolute head-to-head, I think we might find a different dynamic between the two', pointing to the underlying tensions of Istanbul last spring as evidence of potential for upset [see separate story – click here].

What's more, many are forecasting that the arrival of Pirelli rubber and the swift deterioration of the Italian manufacturer's super-soft compound during testing thus far will play directly into the hands of the ultra-smooth Button, whose ability to preserve his tyres is practically unrivalled in the field – whereas Hamilton's contrastingly balls-out, famously uncompromising aggression could leave the 2008 title-winner in trouble, experts fear.

Brundle believes that should the duo cross each other's path on-track too often in 2011, it could just lead to dissension amongst the ranks and a Red Bull Racing Vettel/Webber style fall-out – a notion to which Hamilton offers short shrift.

“We're both racers, but we're both sensible,” the 26-year-old told the official F1 website. “We both know that to win in F1 you need the best equipment. Is there any sense in Jenson and me fighting against each other if it damages our chances of having the fastest car?

“As we've said all along, we need to work together to develop our car, move it into the best possible position – and only then can we start thinking about the world championship. What's the use in battling tooth-and-nail over tenth place?

“Having said that, Jenson and I also get on very well together – we've both grown up within British motorsport, we've shared a lot of the same experiences and it's brought us to the same point in our lives, driving for McLaren-Mercedes and doing our very best to win the world championship for ourselves and our team.”

As to the potential of the new MP4-26, meanwhile – with testing at Jerez last week having been beset by a lack of spare parts and mechanical woes – the 14-time grand prix-winner insists it is still impossible to measure the car's outright pace against its immediate rivals.

“Performance is relative,” he stressed. “You can pull out all the stops over the winter and still not know what shape you'll be in at the first race. All I can say is that every single person within our organisation has been flat-out to ensure the car is the best it can be. Will that be good enough? We won't know until we get to Bahrain...”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
12.02.2011- Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
12.02.2011- Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
10/2/201- Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
10/2/201- Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26 with message for Robert Kubica (POL), Lotus Renault GP, R31
10/2/2011- Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
10/2/2011- Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
12.02.2011- Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren Mercedes, Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button
04.02.2011 Berlin, Germany,  Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren Mercedes - Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-26 Launch - Formula 1 World Championship - www.xpb.cc, EMail: info@xpb.cc - copy of publication required for printed pictures. Every used picture is fee-liable © Copyright: Davenport / xpb.cc
Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton. McLaren MP4-26 launch [Pic credit: McLaren]
Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren Mercedes - Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-26 Launch
28.04.2017 - Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 and Otmar Szafnauer (USA) Sahara Force India F1 Chief Operating Officer
28.04.2017 - Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
28.04.2017 - Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
28.04.2017 - Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren MCL32
28.04.2017 - Pirelli Tyres

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Alan D - Unregistered

February 14, 2011 8:23 PM

tobi lerone "crying already" Do you bother to read the articles before you think up your jibes? Where exactly is anyone "crying" in this article? Or winging? Or complaining? Or making excuses?

Ralph Cornforth - Unregistered

February 14, 2011 8:10 PM

I just wish the media and others would stop trying to provoke dissent between F1 team drivers, and between Jensen and Luis in particular. Reporters are supposed to report news, not try to create it by triggering conflict where none exists.

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