Button Recalls Brawn’s Crazy Reaction to His Decision to Partner Lewis Hamilton at McLaren F1

Published 08/16/2021, 8:18 AM EDT
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL – OCTOBER 18: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and McLaren Mercedes appears at the drivers press conference during previews prior to the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at the Autodromo Interlagos on October 18, 2007 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)


After winning the championship with Brawn GP back in 2009, Jenson Button made the move to McLaren to partner Lewis Hamilton. The then Team Principal, Ross Brawn, had stated to Button that driving alongside Hamilton was crazy, and that he was making a mistake.

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However, the British racing driver wasn’t on the same page as his boss and felt that the Woking-based team was perfect for him. As he was lured by the opportunities that the team was offering.

Jenson Button was advised not to partner Lewis Hamilton at McLaren

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Button had won the 09′ championship, and many expected him to stay. However, the team didn’t offer a contract for the following year and hence he turned to McLaren for a drive in the 2010 season. But many individuals such as Brawn didn’t think this was the right move for Button since having Lewis as a teammate would be challenging.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 18, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen before the race Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron

Speaking on the High-Performance podcast, as quoted by GP blog, Button said, People said it was the craziest move to move to McLaren alongside Lewis Hamilton and even Ross Brawn said that.”

“I told the team I was leaving at the end of 2009. I spoke to Nick Fry who basically just shouted at me – he was one of the bosses with Ross Brawn at the time.”

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND: Santander Ambassador Jenson Button is pictured during the 20th Anniversary of the Formula Student competition at Silverstone Circuit in Northampton, England. (Photo by Patrik Lundin/Getty Images for Santander)

“I remember I was going into his office and telling him I was leaving and he just shouted at me and I basically just started laughing because it was a really uncomfortable situation.”

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“I kind of felt for him, for how aggressive he was. He just looked at me and was like ‘why are you laughing at me’? It was the situation and it was just what I didn’t expect.” [h/t gpfans.com]

“I told Ross and he was very friendly and said ‘I think you’re making a big mistake going up alongside Lewis’,” Button concluded.

What more did Button say about his partnership with Hamilton?

During his time at McLaren, if Button didn’t make the most out of the car, he would ask the team to build one that is suited to him. This is the reason why he believes Hamilton was annoyed at him during their time as teammates.

As quoted from PlanetF1, he said, “I jump into a car and if it isn’t suited to my style then it just doesn’t work for me. I’m not one of those drivers. I need a car developed around me and the team support around me to develop it in my direction.”

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SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA – Jenson Button of Great Britain and McLaren Honda in the garage during practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

“That’s what I did, and it worked for me. I think that mentally hurt Lewis a little bit at certain points of our time together,” Button concluded.

Do you think Button’s tactics at McLaren helped Hamilton develop into a better driver? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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Arpit Gomes

861 articles

Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.

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