Jenson Button has claimed that had he been at McLaren-Mercedes this year, he would have been Formula 1 World Champion rather than Lewis Hamilton – and suggested that the sport's new youngest-ever title-winner would not have done as well as he did in the under-performing Honda.
Button notched up just three points in 2008 courtesy of a sole sixth place in the Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona – eight points fewer than the tally registered by team-mate Rubens Barrichello, and his worst total since his sophomore campaign in the top flight back in 2001.
Despite that, the 28-year-old – whose mantle as top British driver was stolen by Hamilton last year – is adamant his Stevenage rival would have done no better.
“Lewis is a worthy world champion,” Button told Sunday UK newspaper The People
, “but he wouldn't have done as well as me in my Honda.
“I mean, the guy has never been in a bad car. I think you learn from it and become a better driver trying to work with a bad car.”
Only the Force India and Super Aguri F1 drivers ended the 2008 season lower in the standings than Button, but the Frome-born ace – whose sole grand prix victory came at Budapest in Hungary two years ago – is adamant he too could be in Hamilton's position right now.
“If I'd had Lewis Hamilton's car then I'd have been world champion too,” he stated.