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Button insists McLaren rivalry healthy

ESPNF1 Staff
June 10, 2010 « Ferrari renews Massa's contract until 2012 | »
Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton gave each other a slightly frosty reception after the Turkish Grand Prix © Sutton Images

Jenson Button insists that any in-team rivalry between him and his opposite number at McLaren Lewis Hamilton is entirely healthy.

The pair took a 1-2 finish in Turkey after their main rivals Red Bull took their on-track rivalry a step too far and crashed in to each other while leading the race. Button and Hamilton also had a close fight on track, which was later revealed to have been the result of a misunderstanding within the team, but Button said there was no favouritism and that the competition at McLaren was a positive thing.

"I know 100% we get treated in the same way," he told the Press Association. "I don't mean with regards to equipment, I mean the way the people are around us. My mechanics probably want me to win and his want him to win. It's that in-fighting which is exciting, but is not over the top. It's the way it should be, and it's working very well for us."

Despite signs of animosity and unease at Red Bull, Button still thinks they will provide tough competition in the championship.

"I'm sure in speaking to Red Bull after the previous race in Monaco they would have thought 'Wow, we've such a margin of performance we are going to walk it,"' added Button. "In Turkey we proved we are as quick if not quicker, although we still need to work on qualifying. But you can't say it is between me and Lewis because anything can happen. Red Bull bring new parts to every race they go to and they are always improving. They are a fantastic team and it's going to be hard for us to challenge them at every race we go to, but that has to be our aim. In Canada we should be quick here, and then it's just a fight as to how many updates you can get on the car to consistently fight for victories and not slip up."

But Button did not give a prediction on who would come out on top in Canada, saying anything could happen at what has proven to be a very unpredictable venue.

"It's an extremely fast circuit, but isn't a place that tolerates even the slightest mistake because of the proximity of the concrete walls," said Button. "It means Canada is always an unpredictable weekend - a bit of a one-off, which is great for Formula One - and I think this year's race has all the ingredients for a classic."