McLaren F1 Development Changes ‘Mentally Hurt’ Lewis Hamilton: Jenson Button

Published 05/14/2021, 9:28 AM EDT
Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and McLaren is interviewed by the media during previews to the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)


Being the teammate of Lewis Hamilton is one of the worst possible scenarios for any F1 driver on the grid. Coming second best to him almost every race as if battling with others wasn’t enough is mentally taxing.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Just ask Valtteri Bottas, Heikki Kovalainen, Fernando Alonso and Nico Rosberg. However, one man who got the better of him during their time together has revealed how he did it.

From 2010 to 2012, Jenson Button was Lewis Hamilton’s teammate at McLaren, creating a British super team. Over the course of their 3 seasons together, he managed to outscore Hamilton. Something that seems almost unimaginable now.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

VALENCIA, SPAIN – AUGUST 21: Jenson Button (R) of Great Britain and Brawn GP talks with his race engineer Andrew Shovlin as prepares to drive during practice for the European Formula One Grand Prix at the Valencia Street Circuit on August 21, 2009, in Valencia, Spain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

So, what was his secret? “The important thing for me was to get a team behind me. 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,” Button told Sky Sports F1. (via PlanetF1)

“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 compares Lewis Hamilton to Fernando Alonso from McLaren

Hamilton wasn’t the only well-respected World Champion who shared the garage with Button. The 2009 Brawn GP driver also drove alongside Fernando Alonso in 2015 & 2016 during the ill-fated McLaren-Honda spell.

So, he’s observed the two up-close and is the right person to draw a comparison, “Fernando was a wily old fox. He knew exactly what he needed to do to win.

DIVE DEEPER

Fernando Alonso Finally Concedes Lewis Hamilton’s F1 Greatness

about 2 months ago

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

“He had the speed but he also understood strategy and he knew what he had to do with the engineers to get them on his side. Lewis was straightforward, super-quick and could drive anything you put him in, really…

“Back then it was just driving every lap flat out, and now he understands what he needs to do to get the best out of the car from A to B.”

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL – OCTOBER 18: (L-R) Mclaren Mercedes team mates Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Fernando Alonso of Spain appear at the drivers press conference during previews prior to the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at the Autodromo Interlagos in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

That just explains to you how much the current Mercedes metronome has grown in the last 10 years. He’s become arguably the most complete driver on the grid. While some may feel he’s not unbeatable, you need all the stars to align on a given race weekend to overcome him.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Bharat Aggarwal

755 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT