Jenson Button has added his opinion to the discussion surrounding the impending departure of McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton, and insisted that the Woking squad will continue to give both of them the opportunity to win grands prix.
Hamilton announced his intention to join Mercedes for the next three years during the Singapore Grand Prix weekend, with McLaren signing Sauber's Sergio Perez as his replacement, but Button admits that he is not sure that his fellow countryman is doing the right thing, despite signs of tension between them.
"He has chosen to go his own way at the end of the year, [and] it is his decision, although I personally don't think it is the right decision," Button told Britain's Guardian
newspaper, "We are not close friends, [but] we work together and have a good working
relationship. If we think there is something wrong with the car we will work on it."
While Button and Hamilton defied the sceptics by forming a potent combination at McLaren over the past couple of seasons, a couple of cracks started to show this year, with the latest seeing Hamilton having to backtrack on claims that his team-mate had 'unfollowed' him on Twitter
, not realising that Button had never been a 'follower'. The pair share different off-track interests and social circles, but Button insists that there are no problems between them in the garage.
"It is amazing how opinionated people are with this team - and none of it is true," he insisted, "The atmosphere in the team is fantastic and, as far as I can see with Lewis, he is focused and wants to win races. Nothing has changed, it is just the view of a few people with a wide audience and they need to get their facts straight."
Winning races is what Hamilton needs to do between now and the end of the season if he is to resurrect championship hopes he has already dismissed as 'over' following a miserable Korean Grand Prix on Sunday, and Button has no doubts that the pair will be treated equally over the remaining four races as McLaren attempts to claw back an 83 point deficit to Red Bull in the constructors' championship.
"The team will give Lewis everything they can, because Lewis can give the team chances of winning races - just as I can," he maintained, "The team care about the drivers, but also they care about winning. There will not be any change in this team at all in the way we go racing with two drivers."