McLaren insists that there is no rift between Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton after their clash in the early stages of an unpredictable - and sometimes controversial - Canadian Grand Prix, which saw the latter sidelined and having to watch his team-mate take a sensational last-lap victory.

Despite having started on the extreme wet-weather tyre and with a supposedly more suitable set-up than their rivals, both McLarens found the conditions tricky in the early laps, swapping places on a couple of occasions due to 'moments', but the latest test in the drivers apparently strong relationship came on lap seven, as Hamilton attempted to make the most of his team-mate's slow exit from the final chicane.

Deploying KERS, the 2008 world champion moved to the left in an effort to pass Button around the outside of the slight kink in the main straight, but also be on the racing line. Button, meanwhile, had the same intention, and also moved left, leaving Hamilton with nowhere to go as the pit-wall loomed.

"I couldn't see anything when he was alongside me," Button insisted, "I couldn't see anything in my mirrors except a blur of Vodafone red, but that could have been my rear wing as, obviously, it's the same colour as Lewis's car. I moved to the left, which is the racing line, then I felt a bang, and I feared it was game over for both of us."

Although television pictures showed that Button checked his mirrors as he moved left, the level of spray suggests that the Briton could indeed see very little, with Hamilton's right front corner making contact with Button's left rear, before being spat hard against the pit-wall. The secondary impact was enough to break both left-side wheels on the #3 McLaren, and also damage a driveshaft sufficiently to prevent Hamilton making it back to the McLaren garage.

With the race red-flagged due to worsening conditions shortly after the incident, Button sought out his team-mate during the ensuing two-hour interval and attempted to explain the incident from his point of view, with both drivers - and team principal Martin Whitmarsh - confirming that the entente cordiale that has marked the latest McLaren era was intact.

"Lewis knows that I didn't do it on purpose, and I know that he didn't do it on purpose either," Button acknowledged, "I spoke to him before the race restarted, and it's all good."

"Of course I don't think it was intentional," Hamilton confirmed, "I know Jenson well enough and I know he wouldn't do that - he's a good guy.

"The conditions were very tricky from the start, I had pretty good grip and I was doing the best I could to keep the car on the track. After I fell back behind Jenson, he outbraked himself into the final chicane and got a poor exit, so I was able to get a good run on him. It felt to me like I was halfway alongside him down the pits straight - but, as he probably hadn't spotted me, he continued moving across on the racing line. There was no room for me, so I hit the wall."

Having given his explanation of the incident, Hamilton showed the new conciliatory Lewis - which he is attempting to cultivate following his Monaco outburst - and praised his team-mate's success.

"I have to offer my heartfelt congratulations to Jenson," he insisted, "He drove an absolutely incredible race and thoroughly deserved this victory. It was an utterly fantastic performance, from a truly great driver. I'm only sorry for the team as they've worked really hard this week and we could have done with the points that a two-car finish would have earned us today. I think I had pretty good race pace, and I didn't have any particular problems."

Button's victory, allied to his podium finish in Monaco two weeks ago, was enough to vault him above Hamilton and into second place behind runaway championship leader Sebastian Vettel - who he passed on the last lap at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve - and team boss Whitmarsh said that he hoped that McLaren's second victory of the season would help kick-start its attempt to take the fight to Red Bull through the rest of the campaign.

"The 2011 Canadian Grand Prix may well be remembered as one of the most eventful, exciting and suspenseful races in F1 history," he noted, "In our view, [the clash between Button and Hamilton] was just a racing incident, and both Lewis and Jenson share that view. So did the FIA stewards, who did an excellent job in tricky conditions today. Sometimes an accident is no-one's fault, and this was one of those occasions.

"Our car's race pace has been consistently strong in Montreal today, in Monte Carlo two weeks ago, and in Barcelona a week before that; next we'll go on to Valencia, where we'll be hoping to build on this victory and that consistent baseline of competitive speed. Like Jenson, Lewis is already looking forward to Valencia, where I hope - and expect - that MP4-26, and both its drivers, will be capable of scoring another win. Bring it on!"

Both Button and Hamilton were involved in clashes with other drivers, during the race, with the latter turning Mark Webber around on the first lap after the safety car start and the eventual winner doing likewise with Fernando Alonso shortly after the race resumed following the red flag. Hamilton assumed responsibility for his moment, while Button was cleared of any wrong-doing by the stewards.

"I touched Mark's car after he braked a bit early into the first corner," Hamilton confirmed, "He left me enough room, but I touched the inside kerb and understeered into him. Now, I'll just focus on the next race and the rest of the season. It would be great if we could qualify a little higher up the grid in order to stay out of trouble in Valencia, but our race pace is good and I really want to do well there."