Hamilton and Button off to a smiling start but the test is yet to come

Posted on Author Keith Collantine

All smiles for Hamilton and Button at the McLaren launch
All smiles for Hamilton and Button at the McLaren launch

If yesterday’s Ferrari launch left us all worried that all the 2010 F1 cars were going to look like fat RB5s, the revealing of the McLaren MP4-25 put that thought from our minds.

But just as interesting as the car was our first glimpse of how Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button get on as team mates.

McLaren tend to pick explosive driver pairings – or, in the words or Martin Whitmarsh, they “have a philosophy of getting the best drivers we can.” There’s no arguing that McLaren have usually got the best drivers available to them, but whether that’s been a beneficial or destructive philosophy is up for debate.

Paiting any two F1 drivers together involves a clash of egos, whether it’s Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa or Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg.

But put two champions together and you magnify the potential for problems – which is probably why no-one’s tried it since 1989 Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost raced together at the same team.

Today McLaren’s latest power pairing were all smiles. Facing the press Button batted away questions about whether he earns less than his team mate. Then Hamilton waded in, telling a reporter “don’t believe everything you read. He’s the world champion and he’s been welcomed into the team.”

Button returned the favour later while answering questions from fans. One asked Button, “With refuelling banned, will your driving style give you an advantage over Hamilton?” “I think we can call him Lewis,” he quipped back, patting his new team mate on the back.

It doesn’t take a cynic to see that teams stress the ‘mate’ in ‘teams mates’ while privately the pair work on every way they have of beating each other.

But as Hamilton admitted, tight testing restrictions means they only have seven days each in the car each between now and the start of the season to suss the MP4-25 and help the team out-develop Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull and the rest. And that means working together.

Once that’s done and the serious business of racing begins, that’s when we’ll see how well this all-champion, all-British line-up will work.

Image (C) www.mclaren.com

52 comments on “Hamilton and Button off to a smiling start but the test is yet to come”

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  1. Great choice of picture to go with this article. ;)

    1. yes the black and with pictures are great. And nowadays we miss theire beauty for the colored ones.

      1. The calm before the storm me thinks!! Yesterday Lewis & Jenson seemed to be more like bessy mates plotted up on two bar stools then arch rivals. – will it last??? don’t think so but it’s another plot in the up and coming 2010 season.

        Oh Keith I actually have the ” let’s call him Lewis shall we” moment on film. It show a great insight to the way the pair interact.

  2. I think that we should completely forget about the upcoming F1 championship and just focus on the prospect of having some really good ‘spats’ among team mates. Or we could watch Eastenders.

  3. CounterStrike
    30th January 2010, 19:10

    never mind them.

  4. I thought the body language between the two drivers was genuinly friendly but caucious as you would expect…

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