• McLaren

Button: Hamilton one of the fastest ever

ESPN Staff
September 11, 2014 « Verstappen completes 'very impressive' Toro Rosso test | Sato signs up for Formula E opener »
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Jenson Button believes Lewis Hamilton is one of the fastest drivers in F1 history and says he is impressed with the mental strength his former McLaren team-mate has shown this year.

Button and Hamilton were team-mates between 2010 and 2012 at McLaren, during which time they recorded 18 wins together. Although their partnership was not without controversy, with Hamilton colliding with his team-mate at Montreal in 2011 and tweeting confidential telemetry information in 2012, Button says he has fond memories of their time together and holds his compatriot in the highest regard.

"He's one of the fastest to ever jump into a Formula One car," Button said. "His natural ability is probably better than anyone in terms of outright speed. But we all know Formula One is not all about natural ability, it's about how you build on your natural ability and also how your engineering skills are and how you work with hundreds of people within a team to develop a car.

"I think he's good [at that] and when we were team-mates we had a lot of fun racing together. Some of it was controversial, but not a lot of the time."

Hamilton's mental strength was called into question earlier this year after his reaction to Nico Rosberg's mistake in qualifying, which meant he had to abort a lap he thought would earn him pole. But Button thinks Hamilton has shown greater maturity this year than he ever did during the pair's time together at McLaren.

"For me, watching him on TV and speaking to him he seems very comfortable in himself which is not the Lewis I knew when we were team-mates. He seems to be taking it on the chin, with the problems he's had I think he comes across really well.

"I don't know if it's just a front or if it is that he feels confident inside that he can still come back after these problems and fight for the world championship, but I really think he can."

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