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Lewis Hamilton names his three biggest rivals

McLaren-Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton has revealed who he regards as his fiercest competitors on the F1 2011 grid...
Former F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton has revealed the names of the three drivers he believes to be his greatest rivals on the grand prix grid – and McLaren-Mercedes team-mate and fellow title-winner Jenson Button is not amongst them.

When asked by Spanish newspaper El Pais who he rates as the most talented competitors currently in the top flight – aside from himself – Hamilton listed Mercedes Grand Prix adversary and former karting sparring-partner Nico Rosberg, defending F1 World Champion and early-season runaway pace-setter Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, with whom he fell out so spectacularly when the pair were teamed up together at McLaren back in 2007, the British star's maiden campaign at the highest level.

“We all believe we are the best, and that's what you have to do, unless you like to finish second,” the 26-year-old underlined. “[The best] are Alonso, Vettel and Rosberg, who I've known since I was 13. He (Rosberg) is about to burst through and he will at any time. Sebastian is in a great period with Red Bull and has a lot of confidence.

“Fernando is very talented and is fully supported by his team; the whole team supports and follows him. It is he who leads Ferrari. I'm not saying it's good or bad, it's just the route they have chosen.”

If Hamilton describes Alonso's situation at Maranello as unique, then Button reckons there are only limited parallels to draw between Vettel's meteoric early defence of his hard-fought drivers' crown in 2011 and his own flying start to triumph in six of the opening seven races in 2009 with Brawn GP.

“We had no money,” the 31-year-old told f1today.nl. “We had a good car at the start of the season but could not develop it. Red Bull can keep it up.”

Indeed, history weighs heavily in the young German's favour on the statistics front, with every other driver to have emerged victorious in five of the first six grands prix during a season as he has done in 2011 – Button in 2009, Michael Schumacher in 1994, 2002 and 2004, Nigel Mansell in 1992, Sir Jackie Stewart in 1969 and the late Jim Clark in 1965 – having gone on to lift the drivers' laurels that year.

“He is in great form in a great car and with a great team behind him,” mused former Benetton, McLaren and Williams ace Alex Wurz in an interview with Austrian newspaper Kleine Zeitung. “Only abnormal things can stop him now; the title for him is at-hand.”




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Jenson Button [Pic credit: Brawn GP]
Jenson Button, F1 Champion [Pic credit: Brawn GP]
26.05.2011- Second Practice Session, Nico Rosberg (GER), Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team, MGP W02
29.05.2011- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER), Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team, MGP W02 and Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team, MGP W02
25.05.2011- Nico Rosberg (GER), Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team, MGP W02
29.05.2011- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7
29.05.2011- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 race winner
29.05.2011- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 race winner
29.05.2011- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia 2nd position
28.05.2011- Saturday Practice, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
21.05.2011- Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
28.05.2011- Saturday Practice, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
28.05.2011- Saturday Practice, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
28.05.2011- Saturday Practice, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
28.05.2011- Saturday Practice, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
26.05.2011- Second Practice Session, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
20.04.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
20.04.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10 during pit stop

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oldtimer - Unregistered

June 02, 2011 2:58 PM

I think this direct put down to Button is a reflection of Sunday's result and Button's performance, it is a continuation of his talking up his abilities (I can beat Vettel driving a lawnmower etc, etc). I would think that Button is having a wry smile at least over this as he is totally in charge of his own mind and what he needs to do to win unlike Hamilton who is still driving like a rooky despite having had five years experience. He has not learned in five years what Vettel has done in one, hence the continuous verbals and differing results. It surprises me that McClaren don't slap him down but perhaps this is where their favoritism shows. I also think that he might jump ship in a fit of pique as he appears immature enough to do just that. Perhaps he will end up at Hispania!



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