They became team mates at McLaren last year – but their F1 careers up to that point were very different.
Both made their F1 debuts with top British teams – although Williams had gone two years without a win when Jenson Button made his debut with them in 2000.
He was something of a stop-gap appointment by the team who had just lost Alessandro Zanardi but had Juan Pablo Montoya arriving for 2001. That left Button on his way to Benetton where he had a poor second season.
Despite a better year in 2002 alongside Jarno Trulli, Button was dropped by the team. He switched to BAR, beginning a seven-year stint with the team which would change names twice.
He finished runner-up to the dominant Ferraris of Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello in 2004. Two years later, after the team became Honda, he broke his Grand Prix duck in a wet race at the Hungaroring having started 14th.
Hamilton arrived in Formula 1 the following year – and their fortunes during that season couldn’t have been more different.
The McLaren driver had a championship-contending car at his disposal and used it to great effect. He finished his first nine races on the podium, matched world champion team mate Fernando Alonso blow for blow and came within a point and a gearbox glitch of winning the title.
Meanwhile Honda produced a disastrous car and Button usually languished at the rear of the field. The following year brought more of the same, but this time Hamilton went all the way and clinched the title in the final race of the year.
But their fortunes reversed in 2009. McLaren lost their way and only a late-season recovery allowed Hamilton to win twice.
Meanwhile Button’s uncompetitive Honda metamorphosed into the stunningly quick Brawn. He won six of the first seven races of the year, putting him so far ahead in the championship that even as other teams caught up with them Button couldn’t be surpassed.
For 2010 the pair teamed up at McLaren. Although Button was perceived by some to be joining ‘Hamilton’s team’ he won two of the first four races of the year.
Hamilton pegged him back as the season went on with three wins of his own, and ended the year ahead of Button in the championship.
Which of these drivers should go through to the next round of the Champion of Champions? Vote for which you think was best below and explain who you voted for and why in the comments.
|Lewis Hamilton||Jenson Button|
|Second in title year/s||Felipe Massa||Sebastian Vettel|
|Teams||McLaren||Williams, Benetton, Renault, BAR, Honda, Brawn, McLaren|
|Notable team mates||Fernando Alonso, Heikki Kovalainen, Jenson Button||Jacques Villeneuve, Rubens Barrichello, Lewis Hamilton|
|Wins||14 (19.72%)||9 (4.76%)|
|Poles||18 (25.35%)||7 (3.70%)|
|Modern points per start1||12.31||6.16|
|% car failures2||2.82||13.76|
|Modern points per finish3||12.67||7.15|
|Notes||Finished on podium on debut and won his sixth race||Impressed in debut season for Williams|
|Became champion in his second season after narrowly missing rookie title win||Broke Grand Prix duck at Hungary in 2006|
|Formerly the youngest ever world champion||Surprise championship winner in 2009 for one-hit-wonders Brawn|
|Bio||Lewis Hamilton||Jenson Button|
1 How many points they scored in their career, adjusted to the 2010 points system, divided by the number of races they started
2 The percentage of races in which they were not classified due to a mechanical failure
3 How many points they scored in their career, adjusted to the 2010 points system, divided by the number of starts in which they did not suffer a race-ending mechanical failure
Which was the better world champion driver?
- Lewis Hamilton (73%)
- Jenson Button (27%)
Total Voters: 810
Read the F1 Fanatic Champion of Champions introduction for more information and remember to check back tomorrow for the next round.
Have you voted in the previous rounds of Champion of Champions yet? Find them all here:
Champion of Champions
- Ayrton Senna voted Champion of Champions by F1 Fanatic readers
- Champion of Champions in stats
- Champion of Champions Final: Senna vs Schumacher
- Ayrton Senna vs Juan Manuel Fangio
- Michael Schumacher vs Alain Prost
- Ayrton Senna vs Jack Brabham
- Juan Manuel Fangio vs Jackie Stewart
- Alain Prost vs Niki Lauda
- Jim Clark vs Michael Schumacher
- Jack Brabham vs Lewis Hamilton
Images ?é?® www.mclaren.com