Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, McLaren, Singapore, 2011

Hamilton vs Button: Who will win the battle of the McLarens?

2011 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, McLaren, Singapore, 2011
Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, McLaren, Singapore, 2011

Lewis Hamilton bounced back from a five-race losing streak against team mate Jenson Button in the Korean Grand Prix.

Hamilton has never been beaten by a team mate over the course of a season, but is 26 points behind Button with three races to go.

Who will come out on top?

Lewis Hamilton: Down but not out

The reasons for Hamilton’s recent troubles have been much speculated on. Whatever the root cause, he’s had several poor results this year.

While his qualifying pace has tended to be better than Button’s, at times he’s struggled to get good life from his tyres in the races. Frustration in the races has led to costly collisions and penalties.

Hamilton went into the Korean Grand Prix weekend having been beaten by Button in the five previous races. He bounced back, becoming the first driver to beat Red Bull to pole position.

He wasn’t able to convert that into victory in the race, but was able to take his first podium finish since his German Grand Prix win.

It’s been a season of extreme highs and lows for Hamilton. He needs more of the former and less of the latter in the final three races to safeguard his record of never losing to a team mate in F1.

Jenson Button: His best season yet?

When Button arrived at McLaren in 2010, even with the number one on his car, he was widely expected to come out second best, taking on Hamilton at the team he’d made his own.

That was the case last year. But in 2011 Button has gained much credit – perhaps more than he got for winning the 2009 title – for taking on and often beating Hamilton with equal equipment.

As usual he’s excelled in wet/dry races, taking a pair of excellent wins in Canada and Hungary. But his third win in Japan was something else – proof that he could take on and beat Red Bull in dry conditions.

Had it not been for his enforced retirements at Silverstone andthe Nurburgring – neither of which were his fault – he would be even further ahead of Hamilton.

Can he hold on and become the first of Hamilton’s team mates to inflict defeat on him in F1?

Or was Hamilton’s drive in Korea the first sign of a late-season surge?

Have your say in the comments.

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129 comments on “Hamilton vs Button: Who will win the battle of the McLarens?”

  1. It’s going to be tough for Lewis to catch Jenson. But it’s still possible.
    It might depend on tyres and how they will work.
    I think on the harder tyres Hamilton can do a great stint. But the super soft/soft combination isn’t his best I think.

  2. My money always on Lewis Hamilton . But this one is a difficult one. He will need cars between him and Button to beat him.

  3. but was able to take his first pole position since his German Grand Prix win.

    I think you meant “podium finish” instead of pole position there Keith.

    1. Indeed I did! Fixed it, thanks.

  4. Hockenheim was last year.

    1. @DryYoshi Are you suggesting team orders? Or something else? If it’s team orders, I doubt that would happen.

      1. @andrewtanner the message was adressed to Keith who made a mistake in the article – “his enforced retirements at Silverstone and Hockenheim”. Now it’s fixed.

    2. 2011 has been Jenson’s best year in Formula 1. With age he seems to go faster and become more and more mature in his approach.

      Lewis is the faster of the two and he wins hands down. Lewis is a ‘special’ talent. If we (or Lewis rather…) starts to iron out his errors, he can easily beat Jenson (destroy is a harsh word). The problem is, he needs to iron out.

      This season, Jenson has been the better driver (no matter the end result), something also admitted by Lewis himself.

      So frankly the standings won’t matter. Lewis is a better driver but this season belong’s to Jenson.

      1. I’m not convinced LH is the better driver. He has made a ton of mistakes this year, he also threw away 2 WDC opportunities and almost a third one, the one that he did win just barely. I think LH cracks under pressure when all the stars aren’t lined up in a row. So to me showing pace is only one ingredient. It is what you do with that pace that also matters very much. Similar to MS this year.

  5. remembering super sic 58
    23rd October 2011, 18:15

    i have to admit i underestimated button in the last two seasons. Eventhough without the unnecesary load nicole sure put on lewis, and counting he is in good spirits after the brake up, he’ll finish in front of button in the wdc.

  6. Firstly,A Victory from Hamilton & a Retirement from Button in India(Vice Versa) could have a significant impact in the battle due to the Points system as of today.

    We all know Lewis is still the faster of the two in Qualifying but Jenson has stepped his game recently especially in qualifying & has more or less beaten if not pegged Lewis on Race pace.Right now & rightfully so i think he’s the current leader for McLaren.

    Hamilton’s response in Korea might be too little too late to save his ‘record’ of out-performing his team-mates but with the current Points System, the way the remaining three races are shaping up,Never say never & i can see Lewis picking up another victory(or even another pole) this season rather India next weekend,where McLaren are expected to go well on or in Abu Dhabi,a track that suits his Driving style really well & has gone well on(if you put aside his Brake Problem in 09 which lead him to retirement & him losing time behind Kubica last year).

    Tyre Wear could be vital as well & this is where Jenson comes into his own;combining his ability to preserve the Tyres,Race pace & decent qualifying performances AND his lead there’s no way you can rule him out to beat argubly his faster team-mate

    What do you think guys,I think its going to be a cracking battle.Great Topic!!!!

    1. 26 points is a lot. Realistically Hamilton is looking for a Button retirement or a race where button does terribly. Barring that Hamilton has to actually win races with button coming 3rd or lower. That of course is possible, but that’s going to depend on the car Mclaren put out for the last 3 races.

      I couldn’t quite remember all the points for each position so I wrote them down to work out what Hamilton had to do. I might as well leave them in my message. If Hamilton finishes 2nd in each race, then Button has to finish 6th, 6th and 4th for Hamilton just to draw level. Other combinations are of course possible. It’s just an example.

      Race: 1st 2nd 3rd
      Points needed: 9 9 9
      (to beat button)

      position: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
      points: 25 18 15 12 10 8 6 4 2 1
      gap: 7 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 1

      1. formatting got a bit messed up. oops.

  7. I wish Jenson does it. This is by far the best season he’s ever had (including 2009), and he’s delivering his best at almost every weekend. I guess last year he wasn’t able to give his all due to the designing happening with Hamilton in mind.

    I guess for Lewis it’ll be good to lose against a team mate for the first time. Maybe he’ll become stronger after this, keeping his raw speed and cutting down the amount of mistakes.

    Most of all, it’ll be extremely interesting next year.

    1. This!

      For Hamilton’s sake, I hope he loses this year. He will come out more stronger in 2012 if he loses to Jenson this year, no doubt.

      If HAM loses this year and then goes on to win multiple Championships in the future (which we all know, he is capable of), 2011 will be looked back as the year when Hamilton paid the price for over-aggressive driving and then learned how to drive smartly and not just aggressively and hence became a more complete driver.

    2. I couldn’t agree more. I’m one of the biggest hamilton fans there is, just short of worshipping the man, but you’re right.

      Jenson beating Hmilton this year would do wonders for Lewis. Having to work to up his game, not only to beat vettel next year, but also his team-mate. It will help him to mature, and have better, cleaner races next year. Ooooooh Im buzzing for next year now!!

      This season is just boring for me now, it’s just a string of consolation races for the top teams bar red bull. Although India should be interesting because it’s a new track!!

  8. Over the course of the season Button has been the better driver – consistent, fast and aggressive when he needed to be.As a result I hope that Button beats Hamilton this year, but Lewis is still extremely quick and I expect at least one win from him over the next three races.

    If Button does beat Hamilton this year it’ll be fascinating to see the psychological impact if any it has on both drivers and also if it changes the dynamic between the two next season.

    1. Button being beaten, considering current standings, would not be good for his psyche. The thing is, Button cannot let Lewis beat him in a year everybody says has been Lewis’ worst…

  9. Who will win the battle of the McLarens? – It doesn’t really matter, Hamilton will still be considered a better driver than Button.

    1. Hamilton’s last race showed he can beat Button – but with only three races left it may be too late, unless Button suffers another failure or crashes.

    2. @Klaas Honestly, I don’t think one driver is necessarily better than the other. Their styles are so different.

      1. @andrewtanner In theory you’re right, in practice things are different.

      2. Their styles are so different.

        But Jenson Button is learning the worst from his teammate. I hated the way he won in Montreal, demolition-derby style, destroying the races of Fernando Alonso and, well, his teammate LH, and getting away with it. I’d like JB to come out on top, but not at that price.

        1. He also came out on top in Hungary and Japan since then.

    3. Because Hamilton bad year plus Button good year = almost equal points (I’d guess by the end of the season).

      We could discuss their different styles, strengths and weaknesses, ad infinitum, but if you think about it, it boils down to this equation. Everyone thinks Hamilton has had practically a career meltdown for a big stretch of this year, while Button has been performing at his best (in conditions that favour his style). And yet they’re virtually in the same place.

    4. For me, performance boils down to just one thing… points. I dont care about 1 lap pace, or quali, or racecraft. The results are the SOLE measure of quality.

      LH is having a bad year. He seems to off his mental game. It is exactly that ability to overcome and adapt that seperates the men from the Lewis’s, er, I mean boys.

      1. So NR is better than MS so far? Most people around here would disagree with that.

  10. I think Hamilton has already answered this question for us: Button has done a better job this year, no matter what the results of the last few races are. He’s been more consistent, more reliable, quick everywhere, and an opportunistic overtaker. The team have taken to him like a brother, and everything’s gone as well as it could.

    Hamilton is still the better driver, in the raw, though. As impressive as Button has been, and he’s had some storming races this year, you will never find Alonso, Hamilton or Vettel ever saying something like “This isn’t one of my best circuits”. They don’t need to make compensations like that.

    1. Hami is not the better driver – I beg to differ. He can be quicker at times and very exciting to watch but is a complete boob with regard to race management. He’s often very careless and very accident prone and often a detriment or just simply a moving hazard for other drivers. Unless he can radically modify is racing management / acumen …….he will always come up short and will be a negative energy to any team. This sums up why McLarens has taking a shining to Button ……obviously the more mature and team reliable driver !!!

      1. Agreed Canuck, and if LH has his plate full again next year with JB, which to me seems a very good chance, then how long does the ‘Hamilton is the better driver’ quote that has gotten repeated time and time again this year, go on for before it just sounds silly? Especially given that JB will likely outpoint LH by this season’s end and carry that momentum into next year.

  11. The only way that Jenson will win another WDC for himself and Mclaren, is when Woking produces a car that is far superior to the rest of the field…ie…Brawn at the start of the 2009 season. Lewis on the other hand only needs a car that can compete at the front, in order for him to win another WDC.

    1. so how come he’s behind in the standings this year? Considering he had a car capable of competing at the front in different periods during this season, he blew it, unlike Button.

      The only way Jenson will win another WDC is for the car to be very good, and raise his qualy-speed a bit more. Then, he has everything needed to succed again (consistency, race speed, etc). On the other hand, Lewis needs less of a car compared to Button, but if he keeps those mistakes coming, it’ll be very difficult.

    2. oh ohhh… Truth has been spoken !

      Hmmm Let’s be serious ! This year’s car can’t compete at the front ? JB has proven from Hungary to Suzuka that The McLaren was on par with the RB (he’s got almost as many points, Vettel is “the new Schmi” and he is supposed to be rubbish himself).
      So why can’t LH bring home a WDC ???
      Maybe he is not 64 times better than JB after all ? But your avatar and nickname tell me you won’t admit it.

      1. I never thought or felt that Lewis was 64 times better, or far superior to Jenson, just better. Mistakes made by both the team and Hamilton, caused him possible more wins this year.

        1. Mistakes made by both the team and Hamilton, caused him possible more wins this year.

          That’s the point. Lewis has made several big mistakes this season. Button’s only retirement have been entirely the fault of the team.

          1. I wonder how long it has been since JB retired through driver error…

          2. Button’s worst mistake would probably have been the one that arguably cost him fictory in China and gave Hamilton the chance to get that one.

          3. I’m one of those who think that McLaren could not win the championship despite Lewis mistakes. Like you say, Jenson has been more consistent but Vettel still took that with 4 to go.

  12. Its a big ask to claw back 26+ points in three races against a driver of Button’s calibre. Being beaten by his team mate might just be the extra spur for Hamilton to increase focus on own his prodigious talent. Either way its win win for this season and extra spice for 2012

  13. As ever, a driver is as good as their last race. That would mean Hamilton is back and will be beating Button again. But I do think Button has really upped his game recently and will be able to get another few good results out of it, maybe they can even get a 1-2 ahead of the Bulls on pace out of it.

    I think its going to be Button this year, but it will be close.

    1. @BasCB Couldn’t agree more with your first sentence.

  14. sid_prasher (@)
    23rd October 2011, 19:25

    While Hamilton has been a bit quicker than Jenson, Jenson has been a bit smarter in execution.
    Hamilton can still come back and finish ahead of Jenson though.

  15. I have actually never thought of Jenson Button as a mediocre driver who was simply lucky to get a superior car in 2009 and otherwise would never have had a chance of winning the title. He had a couple of other very strong seasons already before 2009, particularly 2004. What is more, quality of a driver isn’t constant, it changes all the time and Button seems to have become a much stronger driver over the last 3 years. He is mature, self-confident and knows how to use his strengths to achieve the best possible result. I don’t believe he will ever constantly beat Hamilton in qualifying but the race performance is a different issue. So I think Button is going to finish ahead of Hamilton in the 2011 world championship standings and might win another DWC for McLaren before he retires.

    1. This might sound weird, but I think 2004 was Jenson’s best season yet. He performed phenomenal that year, better than either 2009 or 2011 imo.

      1. He was thought to drive an underdeveloped car, after the arrival of drivers such as Hamilton Alonso and Vettel I keep wondering how far teams like Bar, Honda and Toyota could have gone.

      2. I agree that it was a great year for him especially considering the Ferrari’s dominance, and the BAR was a pretty good car, but he wasn’t as tested by Sato as he is by Hamilton. I still think this is his best year yet.

  16. I like both of them, and I hope the δ will stay the same, ie JB ending 2nd and LH lower. That will maybe teach him some humility, it can only be good for him.
    And JB truly deserves some “factual recognition”, not only words.
    I’d love to see the both of them on a podium this year. I think it only happened once (?).

  17. Button is on a real high and the form of his life. Judging on his results in the latter part of this season, and because he has nothing to lose, I would put my money on Jenson.

    However, it’s easier to chase than to be chased so I am by no means counting Hamilton out. The next race is crucial, if Button is on top, he’ll beat Hamilton. If Hamilton is on top, well… game on!

  18. Button. I think the gap is too big and I can’t see Button making any mistakes whereas Hamilton you really can.

  19. Before I would have said Lewis without a doubt but after he last three performances I’m doubtful. I think it’ll be JB and he deserves it because his head is in the right place but I’m surprised considering the good vibe around JB and the terrible vibe around Lewis that Hamilton is only 26points behind.

    1. JB comes from quite a way back in fact. After Germany he was a whole victory behind LH and managed in 6 races to get a 26 points leads !

      I ‘d like JB to come on top this time, but I also want Hamilton to have a strong end of the championship !

  20. There should be a poll… See where the general consensus lies!

    1. Yes, I was actually looking for it myself!

      But I do think Button will beat Hamilton this year.

      And given what we’ve seen this year and last, it will still be very close between them next year, IMO.

  21. I think Button might be too far clear now, but I’m sure Hamilton will be 100% determined not to let this happen. It’s the most interesting battle we have left this year, well for me anyway.

    There’s something to Hamilton’s attacking style (both overtaking and the way he sets up a car with a loose end) that’s always appealed to me and was so great to watch in 2007 & 2008. Button on the other hand I have to admit I don’t get such a thrill out of and never have. For some reason he never quite replaced Damon Hill when he retired… although I tried to get behind him with the same passion, I just didn’t get that nervous feeling before a Grand Prix willing Jenson to do well at the start. I still don’t now.

    He’s a nice bloke and a great driver, but perhaps not as complex a character as say Alonso or Hamilton – these drivers just have something about them that Button doesn’t that appeals… I’m just not sure what it is!

    So in summary, I think I’m going to say it will be a tie.


  22. I think Webber is a wild card that will either help or hurt Button or Lewis. He’s motivated to catch Button and even take a win. I can see one of the McLarens in front of Webber and SV, but tough to see two. Definitely India will be key to Hamilton’s chances. Either way, it’ll be good to see Hamilton’s form and head space improve. I think there’s strong change for Vettel to run the table.

    1. That would be interesting if Webber’s and Red Bull’s determination to beat Button in he WDC would allow Hamilton to end up ahead at the end of the year.

      I think Red Bull would deserve that, their words about “helping Webber” strongly gave the impression they weren’t exactly helping him before, if only with choice of strategy. But I don’t think Button would lose his sight of Hamilton that easily.

  23. I can see Button doing it this year. To be honest, I would like him to. I think it will create a bit of drama that will make McLaren a great watch next year.

    I don’t believe one race will have fixed Hamilton’s woes. That’s not to say I expect him to do terribly but Button is very much on form at the moment.

    1. I think I agree.

      There is really no reason why Button would start doing worse now he has found his way to be quick in qualifying with the McLaren, so that means every race a possible podium, and maybe even a win.

      Now Hamilton might have found his racing skill agan, that fight for the podium will heat up, and if he is really on it, I can see him win, and end up ahead of Button in most of those last few races, but not far enough ahead to make up 26 points.

      And ultimately, whatever the standings, Hamilton already knows and admitted that Button did the better job so far this year; sure he’ll want to get as close as he can, but it won’t change that.

      I think that for both, that is the more important thing now, to fight and win the WDC next year, wanting a car that can do it from the word go.

      H.amilton will know that if he can cut out the mistakes of this year, he has a good change of beating Button next year, and have a go at Vettel; Button knows that if he keeps improving like he has been, with a fast car, he can show them all.

  24. The first thing Hamilton needs is for Mclaren not to dilute his effort. Lets be honest, Mclaren more often than not, have put Hamilton at a disadvantage relative to his team mate, be it in qualifying, race strategy or priority and car setup.
    Withmarsh will be happy to see Button as the one ahead and is Button is running directly behind Hamilton, expect Hamlton to get the strategy that ends up being the slower option.
    For sure, Brundle will always find a way to include the fact in his commentaries, if Button were to finish ahead, be it relevant or not.

    Eventually Button is Happy to beat Hamilton, while Hamilton doesn’t care about finishing position but winning championships.

    1. Hamilton may be more bothered than you think, solely because he knows it means a lot to Jenson. Their relationship is a little frostier these days it seems.

      1. Perhaps you are right, seeing that Button calls himself the team leader.
        Funny thing is Hamilton has become more docile since Button joined Mclaren, perhaps he didn’t think there was any need to have a rivalry with a fellow British driver. Unfortunately, the side of the camp doesn’t exactly see things that way and don’t hesitate to patronise.

        1. Button calls himself the team leader

          I don’t think JB did call himself the team leader. He said in the same breath that LH would probably say the same too.

          Mclaren more often than not, have put Hamilton at a disadvantage relative to his team mate

          On the other hand, JB’s 2 DNFs this year were due to McLaren mistakes which definitely put him at a disadvantage compared to his team mate.

          1. If you do follow F1 with dedication, you would have heard Button when he said that.

          2. Lewis said a couple of years ago , that he wasn’t anybody’s #2 driver. I can imagine that he still hold’s those feelings, and to be at least of all a #2 to Jenson Button is simply just laughable.

          3. @Oliver – I love F1, watch every quali and race (and every practice session if I can), but would not claim to be obsessed – not even with Jenson Button.

            So if you can provide the link to this interview, I’d love to see it! Ta.

  25. I think too much emphasis is being put on this battle, at the end of the day neither driver has looked like even remotely challenging for the title this year so by the time 2012 comes both drivers will have forgotten this season already.

    If this was the battle for the the title maybe you could attach the appropriate significance to it but its a battle for a very, very distant 2nd place and thats not what either driver races for.

  26. I wish I could say easy peasy lemon squeezy and go for Lewis…. but I will still say it… It is going to be Lewis

  27. Personally hoping Button comes out on top, mainly because I never expected it to be so. That said, I don’t want Lewis to finish too far behind Button.

  28. The smart money is on Button. He’s been much stronger all season long, and he has the advantage by twenty-six points; with three Grands Prix Hamilton needs to out-score him by eight points per race just to reel him in. And while Hamilton might have taken pole and a podium in Korea, I still remain unconvinced that the old Lewis Hamilton is back – after all, we saw a mid-season resurgence from him when he won the German Grand Prix, but he nosedived at the next race in Hungary. I’ll believe hs confidence is back when he starts stringing results together.

  29. 2011 has been Jenson’s best year in Formula 1. With age he seems to go faster and become more and more mature in his approach.

    Lewis is the faster of the two and he wins hands down. Lewis is a ‘special’ talent. If we (or Lewis rather…) starts to iron out his errors, he can easily beat Jenson (destroy is a harsh word). The problem is, he needs to iron out.

    This season, Jenson has been the better driver (no matter the end result), something also admitted by Lewis himself.

    So frankly the standings won’t matter. Lewis is a better driver but this season belong’s to Jenson.

  30. I think the only thing that can calmly weigh up this argument without any need to dramatise things in anyway is this totally rational youtube clip:


    1. Yep but the vid was made BEFORE the 2011 season, now BUT has upped his game even more…

  31. Only Hamilton can beat Hamilton and this year he was not beat by Jenson Button, he was beat by himself.

    Lets face it. Button’s best ever year of driving and Hamilton’s worst, and Button is still going to lose end of year. And yes, Button has done the better job but he is still not as good as a 85% Hamilton.

  32. Button’s got this one.

    Next year should be a good battle!

  33. I certainly hope Button would win it, but I have my doubts about it, especially after seeing Hamilton’s great driving in Korea.

  34. Hamilton vs Button feels like Senna vs Prost
    Button the professor will win it this time agaist the 85% awake Hamilton.

    I still feel Hamilton needed a race ban for pushing Massa out of the circuit at the last corner on the last lap in Silverstone!

  35. I think Hamilton is an awesome racer, but his limitations out weigh Button’s

    Button would probably be about 20 more points ahead if not for the (not his fault) DNFs.

    Also consider Korea, Button was ‘seconds’ behind Lewis as they crossed the finish line (not say the distance between Massa and Alonso considering they spent the first half of the race next to each other), so if that is Button at his worst and a Lewis come back I cannot see Lewis doing it.

    1. It doesn’t matte how close behind you are, behind is still behind. Ask Alonso in 2007 or Massa in 2008. :)

      Button will have to drive his best to keep that lead. It won’t be easy. One little slip and he’s two or three places behind Hamilton, who is the faster qualify and racer – and Button’s gift at strategy won’t pay off as much as does in the early parts of the season.

      1. Behind, you mean like Lewis is behind Button?

        Hamilton is a fine racer and gets well applauded for it, but if you hadn’t noticed it pays off just as much as the ‘Button’ approach, sometimes he loses a wing part, suffers a punture, a drive through, because he chases the car in front like a rabid dog without any thought for the longterm race.

        1. Nah.. it’s just because he has personal issues in his private life. Those won’t last forever.

          I always believed that Jenson’s style is a “Vulture style,” he punishes you when you are at your weakest. A scavenger of sorts sometimes, capitalizing on the work of others and striking while you’re down. It has worked well this season though partly made easier due to Hamilton’s own deamons within himslef.

          Well, Hamilton is over his demons (he and his partner broke up) so Button’s time in the lights are over. Watch how service will resume as normal in India, Brazil and Abu Dhabi.

          1. He could get back to his best for the rest of this season, but it’s not guaranteed.

            He had that awful run around Monaco and Canada, had one good performance in Germany, then didn’t recover until Korea.

  36. The gap was only 26 points at the end of the 2010 season, so if McLaren had not cooked Jensons engine for him at Monaco, and Vettel could have managed to not t-bone him while running behind him at Spa, he could well have beaten LH last year anyway.

    1. Yeah and if Hamilton wouldn’t have been hit by Webber in Singapore and Australia and his gearbox wouldn’t have failed in Hungary … In the IF game everyone’s a winner.

      1. Or lost 2nd in Barcelona, indeed. But I do agree that Hamilton himself has been the one to beat him, Button just drove on and didn’t wait for him to catch up, and I think it is unlikely he will do so this year.

  37. I’m hoping that Button retains his lead over Hamilton. Button has driven superbly and deserves all his plaudits. Hamilton hasn’t had the best year of his career naturally but I’m sure this is just a blip.

    Mainly I want Button to beat Hamilton so that in the ‘Who’s better – Alonso or Hamilton?’ argument, the Hamilton fanboys won’t be able to just say ‘2007’ as sole justification as to why they think Hamilton is better than Alonso (which I don’t believe he is – I believe Alonso is still the King). This will show that you cannot judge a driver’s ability, especially compared to another, based on one season alone. One must consider everything from a ‘holistic’ perspective.

    I personally believe that Hamilton has more natural talent than Button and a greater potential for greatness. I just want Hamilton fanboys to garner a little bit more perspective when assessing the good and bad qualities of not only Hamilton but when comparing Hamilton against other drivers. Unfortunately, I still find that Hamilton fans still show more bias than any other group of fans…..just my opinion….

  38. Hamilton challenging Button? He’s got to get past Webber and Alonso first, in points and on the track and he’s stuggled to do that for most of the year. Much as I enjoy the sizzle of a chase between teammates and the spirited discussion between all of us with too much time on their hands I think HAM has a bit of work to do to come any better than 5th in the points. Perhaps he should concentrate on just doing better than last year and aim for third. But then settling isn’t how World Champs are made.

  39. To be frank, I think it can work for Lewis if everything goes extremely lucky for him and very unlucky for Button, but I’d rather see Button keep the 2nd place, and Alonso 3rd in the WD ranking. Simply because they deserve it.

    1. But, but, but… if you have more points than the other guy, you do deserve it.

  40. If Jenson performs consistently as he has throughout the year and has no retirements then I don’t think Lewis will even come close.

    I don’t think Jenson’s and Lewis’ relationship is under strain. If they’re both mature they know that they are responsible for their own performances – and it’s not like they’ve purposely ruin each other’s race (like Alonso on Lewis and Villenueve on Jenson). Lewis knows he hasn’t had the best outcomes this year, but that’s not because of his team mate. In fact I would think Lewis would be happy to see his team mate performing well because it’s a good sign that the car can win races. The only thing he then needs to focus is his ability. If Jenson can get good performance out of his car then there is no reason why Lewis can’t think better – unless he has self doubt – which I doubt he has.

  41. In my view what we’re seeing at the moment is an on-form Button which is performing better than a not-on-form Lewis.

    Since Button’s championship this has been his key strength I feel – he’s always on-form, and rarely off form. His form, that is.

    But if you pit an on-form Button against an on-form Hamilton, there is no contest for me. Hamilton wins out.

    If Lewis can keep his form up; I think we will probably still see him beating Button in the points this year.

  42. @keithcollantine, shouldn’t there be a poll to go with this debate? My money is on Jenson, this time

  43. I just stumbled upon that video:
    Either they really get on well with another, or they’re both excellent actors. I hope that whatever the order is at the end of the season, they carry on having that great relation.

  44. For this year it’ll be Button.

    Maybe Button will also outperform Hamilton next year.
    He certainly did live up to the tyre-save-expectations some people had before the start of this season. Add his drying track superiority, racecraft and confidence after thyis year …

    Hamilton will really be challenged for next year!

  45. can Lewis beat Jenson…that’s a tall order with 3 to go

    but as I like 2 say ‘if any1 can its Lewis ham(ilton)

    has Jenson had a better season…i’d say it was about even so far to tell you the truth

    sure Jensons been more consistant but he’s still some way of Lewis’s ultimate pace

    of course jensons finished all his races…but then his tam mate hasn’t run him off the track like he did to lewis in canada has he?

    and as for spa…50/50 at best…what was that car doing on his outside in a corner like that?

    so…equal amount of race finishes and JB’s 20someting points ahead…as I said, pretty even so far

    sure lewis needs to improve his game…so does every other driver…in the world!, but he’s got a lot to be proud of this year (Monaco aside)

    2 wins in difficult races
    only non Redbull pole
    beat his team mate (ortaken out by team mate in every wheel 2 wheel battle)
    that epic battlw with mark last week

    I think theres a lot of drivers out there that wish they had as good a season as he has

    the only people who are knocking lewis are the story hungry press and vettel, massa & alonso lovers…just a pitty lewis can’t see through that and stop beating him self up

    1. If Kobayashi shouldn’t have been there in Belgium, then Hamilton shouldn’t have been there in Canada. He can’t be absolved of blame for both.

      1. @david-a the difference is lewis was on a straight making a pass that would have stuck, not just my opiinion but also that of the FIA

        Kobayashi make a clumsey dash up the outside into a corner in a move that he could never have pulled off, clearly because he outbreaked him self, then turned into lewis. not just my opiinion but also that of vettel hugging david coultard expressed during qualifying 2 weeks ago

        take a look for yourself on the F1.com race review…its shocking b ut the slowmo’ version is well worth a look, especially when his nose hits the barrier

        1. Kobayashi wasn’t clumsy, he merely had the speed to get alongside Lewis. Lewis turns away from the corner and into the other car. He admitted that the incident was his fault.

          1. and coulthard says otherwise…just cos lewis accepted blame doesn’t make him guilty

            the only reference i could find on the net was this

            What I found really interesting during the pre-race show (bbc – Japan) was that David Coulthard admitted that after he saw more footage of the Hamilton/Kobayashi Spa incident, he now fully blames Kobayashi for it.
            Its very interesting that both DC and Brundle have now changed their opinions of blame for a couple of Lewis’ incidents.
            Brundle originally blamed Lewis for the maldonado clash in monaco, but just a couple a days later after watching other footage…hechanged his mind & fully blamed maldonado for turning in too early and closing the door.
            …You can read it in Brundle’s post Monaco GP blog on the beeb.

            on here –


            so get over it!

          2. This part of the discussion has nothing to do with Monaco.

            Sure, Coulthard thinks Kobayashi is to blame, but just as you say Hamilton isn’t guilty because he admitted the mistake, Kobayashi isn’t guilty just because the omniscient being David Coulthard says so.

  46. 26 points.

    If this were for the WDC people would be button has a whole race in the bank.

    I think we have forgotten how big a 26 point deficit is to make up cause of Vettel’s winning by a huge margin.

    1. India.


      down to 14points



      That’s 8 points



      SCORE!! :)

      I only wish it was this good. we’ll see.

  47. There is still 3 race too go, 26 point deficit is not impossible to make up.

    Whatever Problems Hamilton had, I hope it’s over. IMO Hamilton is McLaren’s best bet, in similar cars Button will have no chance against Vettel, not in Qualifying, not in dry races. Japan was not a proof but an one off to me, because I think Vettel was pretty far from 100% in that race, all he needed was 1 point, and there’s no point for him to do qualifying laps in the race, risking any mistake.

    1. Didn’t he risk it at the first corner. If Button had not backed off, neither would have finished. Of course Vettel would have won the title, but hardly an elegant way to finish.

      And by Vettel’s own admission he likes to get fastest lap.

      Personally I don’t care who comes out on top the argument goes like this.

      Hamilton fans believe Hamilton is better even if he finishes behind. The rest are more impartial and are prepared to use rational arguments to decide how they feel about which is the better.

      Currently Button is ahead by quite a large margin. If Hamilton claws that back then he will have deserved it. If he doesn’t there is hardly any shame in ending lower in the points than a former world champion.

      The irony is, when Hamilton is poor, he’s unlucky, when Button is on form, he’s lucky. You just can’t win with some people. I just enjoy the racing.

  48. Keith conveniently leaves out that button is competing with a Lewis Hamilton who is well off form – this is Lewis’ worst ever year in F1.

    Had Lewis not have had his issues then he would be much further ahead of jenson.

    jenson can only beat Lewis when Lewis is having problems and a loss of form.

    Keith mentions in jensons defence that had he not had his retirements etc – But keith does not extend the same curtousy to Hamilton.

    Bottomline is jenson is only looking better at the moment thanks to Lewis being on the backfoot – its like trying to beat an opponent who has both hands tied behind his back.

    Keith also unfairly leaves out the emmence and unprecidented spotlight and OTT critisisms Lewis is under week after week for the whole season.
    -No other gets treated as nasty and if they did they would all buckle.

    In Korea, despite all that horrendous pressure & spotlight – Lewis absolutely redeemed himself and the media shouldve got off his back – BUT no….they decide to fabricate and make up more rubbish..this time about his personal relationship.
    -HOw sick for the media to try and stir things up more….especially after a redeeming performance – definately a campaign against Lewis.

    -This will also be a factor as to why Lewis is not allowed to pick himself up as the media are acting like vultures with him – He had a great comeback drive in Korea…which also confirmed how ordinary jenson is in comparisson.

    When Lewis is ‘on it’ he makes jenson’s drives look as dull as dishwater.

    Keith it all seems a little ‘one-sided’ of you to not be able to mention Lewis’ issues – And now the picture is being distorted to make it look as if Lewis is down because hes being beaten – which is far from the truth as Lewis was having his problems when he was ahead of jenson in the championship.

    Also its being made out that jenson has been out performing Lewis all season – What a load of tripe!

    The media (brit) are definately pro-button and anti-Hamilton.

    Queue Keith with his scathing response to deny…pity Keith cant be the one to stand up from the media vultures & show some support to Lewis.

    1. Keith conveniently leaves out that button is competing with a Lewis Hamilton who is well off form

      The very first line on Hamilton refers to his “recent troubles” – I couldn’t have made it any more obvious.

      Keith mentions in jensons defence that had he not had his retirements etc – But keith does not extend the same curtousy to Hamilton.

      Because Button has had two technical failures leading to retirements and Hamilton has had none.

    2. @SupaSix-1 – An astonishing diatribe, congrats. You make a Moebius strip look multi-faceted.

      1. I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again…

        canada…lewis taken out by team mate (yes the magnificent button) – FIA stewards inquiery said lewis was faster off corner, got in the slipstream and quite legitimatley went up the outside where button admitted he didn’ see him and took him out

        spa…Lewis was taken out by kobayashi – david coulthards opinion after watching footage the rest of us have been denied

        it is strange therefore this is not mentioned in the article like buttons retierments as neither was their own fault

        that said I think @supasix-1 is guilty of an unjustified attack on keith, better to argue your point politely

        however there’s been nothing worst with Lewis’s driving this season than any1 elses and he is unquestionably getting unjustifiably attacked and miss-represented by the media who instead of sticking their head above the parapit often just write what they think people want to hear to save them selves being labled crazy or bias

        Lewis has however made more mistakes than button this season but they have occurred In qualifying and race stratagy decisions (which to be honest Mclaren as a team have been shockingly bad at) and it is here where he reaaly needs to pick his game up if he wants that second title

        Jenson on the other hand has again shown he is a master of stratagey but, as laid bare in the last 2 races, ultimatley lacks pace because of silly driving errors. in japan we saw comparrisons of jenson and vettels laps where jenson was on pole until he took a wider line out of th last corner and handed it to vettel by 0.009s and in korea he was second on the grid until again in the last corner he lost out to vettel…why has this man NEVER BEEN ON POLE FOR MCLAREN?

        its no wonder martin says he has the 2 best driver on the grid…he does, but they still have a lot to learn from each other

        I think what keiths article should point out is that out of the top 3 teams…

        webbers 140 point behind vettel

        massas is 111 points behind his team mate

        lewis 26 points behind his team mate

        i’m sure that speaks for its self, and would have made for a better article, still…

        saying that though, I guess the fact that there is an article about who’s better between lewis and jenson in its self proves just how close in skill the 2 are, we just have to accept these skills lay in different discaplines

        1. oo…I just remembered why jenson lost out to vettel in korea…

          he forgot to change up and hit the rev limiter…

          so, who’s better…?

          jenson who forgets to change gear but treats his tyres well


          Lewis who appears to be the only person other than vettel who can take pole (that is as long as he actualy remembers hes got to go out on track of course)

          1. Doesn’t matter where you start.. it’s where you finish that counts.

          2. @vho Obviously the former plays a significant role in determining the latter.

            Would Vettel have won ten races this year if he’d started from 24th place every time?

          3. Perhaps I should clarify my comment that it relates to the points table on the WDC and WCC.

  49. Lewis should have put the same presure he put on Alonso while in macleren. Maybe by now this question of who is a better driver should not have arise. He made Janson feel so so much at home that he (Janson ) has taken advantage of that. The moment Ham sees Janson as as dangerouse treath to his position in macleren the better for him.

    1. Man, that’s a team player for you !

    2. not at all, they need each other as they provide a bench mark for their own performances, which with the different equipment used by teams can be something very difficult to come by in f1

      the reason their faults is so often laid bare is because of the fact they are both very good (possibley the best) at what they do…but what they do is very different

      for 1 I hope their friendship stands the test of time

  50. LH is capable of producing some real magic in the cockpit. However, I have not seen an ability to learn from his mistakes. We’re too many years into his F1 career for me to think he will fundamentally change his approach.

    Perhaps the most damning thing we’ve seen is LH’s tendency to lash out at others, his team, other drivers and the officials. For example, I’ve heard that he called his team on the carpet for a mistake during qualifying and then went out in the race and drove poorly. Also, recall the Monaco fiasco.

    Button is a very smooth driver and can’t seem to carry a car by adapting his driving style like LH or Alonso. However, he does all the other things extremely well to get the most out of his team and develop the car.

    I just get the feeling that LH is more Montoya than Clark. He tends to thrash around when things don’t go his way. Ultimately, success in F1 requires a discipline LH can’t seem to muster, especially over a season. Vettel has upped his game in a way LH hasn’t shown.


  51. Hamilton is and will always be a better racer than JB. There are many references to JB being “smarter” thus accumulating more points – I would describe him more as a scavenger waiting behind for someone to make a mistake or for their tyres to wear out – hideous! Many of JB’s successes occurred as a result of LH’s errors/misfortunes. Perhaps if LH starts taking out the journalists for lunch, he’ll get better press.

    1. What’s with the pathetic scavenger comments.

      You might as well call Alonso for not being able to overtake his team mate with having to ask him to pull over. Or Hamilton for being unable to overtake with causing an incident. I’d rather call all of them fine racers for one reason or another and be entertained by great racing.

      I don’t need to think so negatively of other drivers to make the drivers I follow seem much better.

  52. As long as Whitmarsh is in charge, Button will win this one.

    1. @pking008 What makes you say that?

      1. Another conspiracy. If their favourite driver is not doing well, then blame it on the team, blame it on anyone else but the driver.

        I just hope these Lewis Fans don’t make me end up hating him like I do with Roger Federer. Roger is a great player but I’m just sick of the over praising he gets. Roger used to smash his racquets in the early days. He’s not demonstrating that when he is successful.

  53. I’m sorry, but hasn’t Hamilton specifically conceded the McLaren intra-team battle to Button? I swore it was on an F1F roundup.

    Not that it matters because Button would win that anyway.

  54. Button needs to beat Hamilton. He must prove that he is worth of doing more.
    Jenson already had 2 very good years at McLaren (2011 being arguably his best year in F1), he grew a lot as a driver! I hope he does it.

  55. They are both great drivers but with different styles & abilities. They are both world champions so they have beaten the best & its great to see them racing each other in identical cars.

    I admit to having a preference, but I look forward to many years of them racing together.

  56. There is no point in this sort of debate, as LH fans are such sensible, intelligent, rational people and they are always always right, and Lewis is the best driver ever to walk the planet, all the other drivers just keep getting in his way and making him crash into them, he can do no wrong. I love Lewis.

  57. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but hasn’t Hamilton publicly conceded that Button’s beaten him this season?

    I felt like it was a story on a F1FR one morning.

  58. Lewis was leading Jenson prior to Canada, then Lewis came back when Jenson took 2 retirements (they were tied on 109 points after the British GP). Jenson only overtook Lewis in the WDC after Spa. Jenson had better race results from there on up until Korea.

    Furthermore, leading up to Hungary, Lewis was 3rd on the WDC – 5 points behind Webber, and 25 points ahead of Jenson.

    So I’m not sure whether Lewis has had a completely disasterous year – only in the previous 5 races to Korea that he finished behind Jenson.

    It shall be an interesting year next year – no more excuses for neither of them. If Lewis has another bad year because of incidents and his inability to race in the current conditions then perhaps he’s not the much lauded racer that some have touted here. Jenson hasn’t made much mistakes in races this year and his retirements were caused by the team – demonstrating that he has a better understanding of the current conditions in F1.

  59. Button. Calmer, more experience and a lot smarter. Hamilton has the raw pace but… that’s it, really. Some people say Hamilton’s having an abnormally bad year. I say he’s being beaten by his team-mate.

  60. Australian GP 2012, JB 1st LH 3rd. nuff said…. seriously though I’m a big JB fan, have been for years, but these 2 are totally different drivers, both great, who will excel in different cars, circuits or even with differing FIA rules., though JB seems to have the edge over LH under current circumstances. I fuly expect LH will get his mojo back, though maybe not this year as I don’t think current rules suit his style as much as Button. Hopefully he is a big enough “Man” to realise he can learn a lot from JB ( as I think JB may have done in reverse, finding more speed by learning from his team mate??)
    Lewis has many years ahead of him in F1, he will have many more chances at becoming WDC, Button less so, possibly spurring him on to his recent form success, coupled with the years of experience he has picked up. Remember his playboy tag a few years ago?? Since then, he has matured and developed as a driver, something LH just needs time to do too. Instead of knocking this driver or that, we Brits should be grateful that we have 2 world class drivers representing us with PD in the wings too. Awesome for the future of British F1 racing.

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