But admits that “he’s built on all that talent and hard work and he’s a more rounded character as a result.” adding “He’s matured, become a bit of a statesman and a great representative of the sport.”
Button, whilst promoting his new autobiography, has revealed his experiences with previous team mate Lewis Hamilton to The Sunday Times Magazine.
Interestingly he makes his case for ‘beating’ Lewis during their 3 year period together at McLaren from 2010 to 2012. Indeed TJ13’s controversial analysis of their time together does corroborate Jenson’s opinion.
“I scored more points and it’s all about scoring points, Formula 1. You look at Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, you’d say Ayrton was the quicker driver but Alain was ‘The Professor’,” Button says.
“He knew how to get to the end of the season with the most points. He never wanted a crash – he knew that would lose him the most amount of points – whereas Ayrton was the driver that was extremely fast but he would push it too far. As Alain said, Senna would ridicule him, but in doing so he put himself on the edge and he crashed. So, yes, in Formula 1 it’s not just about outright speed; it’s about getting from A to B as fast as possible, not just one lap.”
The 2009 champion reveals how he upset the apple cart by moving from Brawn GP (who became Mercedes AMG F1) over to ‘Lewis’ team’ McLaren saying “I don’t think that I was to his taste, if I’m honest.”.
“Personally, he was fine with me, no issues at all at this stage of the game, but you could just tell he was a little bit peeved.
“That thing about it being his team? It was right on the money. And, if you ask me, he was finding it difficult to get a handle on the fact that it was our team now.”
McLaren liked to portray us as bantering rivals,” Button says. “The rivalry was real… but there wasn’t a great deal of banter.”
“As people, we had a lot in common. There was our shared karting history, not to mention the fact that his dad was a customer of my dad. And, unlike a lot of drivers in Formula 1, neither of us came from an especially wealthy background; we’d achieved what we had through talent and a lot of grafting.
“When we spent time together it was nice, and he’d always strike up a conversation with dad, and we’d hang out a bit. But at the same time there were an awful lot of awkward and uncomfortable silences, and often I’d think: ‘What’s going unsaid here?'”
Button stood down as a full-time race driver for McLaren at the end of last season and, despite holding a contract to return next year, has reiterated he will not drive again in the sport.
“I’ve still got an option to race next year, but I’ve done my time in Formula 1,”