Hamilton vs Button: Four races left, five points in it

2012 F1 season

Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 2012The Korean Grand Prix was a disaster for McLaren. The team came away with a single point, their worst result since the beginning of the partnership between Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button in 2010.

Afterwards Hamilton admitted he is “too far away now” in the championship. With Button even further behind, the best the pair can hope for now is to lift McLaren back in front of Ferrari in the constructors’ championship.

There is also the matter of personal pride at stake. With Hamilton off to Mercedes at the end of the season, the final races will decide which of Britain’s world champions gets bragging rights over the other from their time together at McLaren.

Hamilton beat Button in the championship in 2010 but the tables were turned last year – the first time Hamilton had ever been beaten by a team mate in F1.

When Button joined McLaren at the end of 2009 he had just clinched the world championship with Brawn. Even so many expected him to have a difficult time at the team where Hamilton had previously come out on top against two-times world champion Fernando Alonso.

But the points show the pair have been very evenly-matched. McLaren have not failed to score in a single race since the Button-Hamilton partnership was formed at the 2010 Bahrain Grand Prix.

In their 54 races together Button and Hamilton have racked up 1,235 points between them. Hamilton is ahead by just five points – but will he still be when the partnership ends in four races’ time?

Lewis Hamilton vs Jenson Button: 2010-2012

Here’s how many points the pair have scored in the 54 races from the beginning of 2010 up to last weekend’s Korean Grand Prix:


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54
Lewis Hamilton 15 23 31 49 49 59 84 109 127 145 157 157 182 182 182 192 210 222 240 258 262 287 299 317 325 325 337 349 374 386 386 398 408 418 436 442 467 467 482 497 512 516 520 530 555 555 559 559 584 584 609 609 619 620
Jenson Button 6 31 35 60 70 70 88 106 121 133 143 147 147 165 177 189 189 199 214 222 240 252 260 275 290 315 323 323 323 348 363 381 399 424 436 454 469 484 509 509 527 527 529 529 529 533 534 552 560 585 585 603 615 615

Technical failures

Lewis Hamilton


2010 Hungarian Grand Prix – Gearbox (was 4th)
2011 Brazilian Grand Prix – Gearbox (was 6th)
2012 German Grand Prix – Damage (was 16th)
2012 Singapore Grand Prix – Gearbox (was 1st)


2010 Japanese Grand Prix – Gearbox (five places)
2012 Chinese Grand Prix – Gearbox (five places)

NB. Hamilton had wheel failure during the 2010 Spanish Grand Prix while running second with two laps to go, but was classified 14th

Jenson Button


2010 Monaco Grand Prix – Overheating (was 11th)
2011 British Grand Prix – Wheel (was 2nd)
2011 German Grand Prix – Hydraulics (was 8th)
2012 Italian Grand Prix – Fuel pump (was 2nd)


2012 Japanese Grand Prix – Gearbox (five places)

Over to you

Which McLaren driver has impressed you most since the beginning of 2010? And who do you think will come out on top?

Have your say in the comments.

2012 F1 season

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Image ?? McLaren/Hoch Zwei

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164 comments on Hamilton vs Button: Four races left, five points in it

  1. carl craven said on 20th October 2012, 2:16

    It’s impossible get an objective opinion with anything regarding Hamilton because his fans think he is a god and that when things go his way it’s because he’s amazing and when they don’t it’s because someone is tripping him up.
    No one can absolutely say that the points difference between them is not an objective indication of their relative abilities over the period, for it to be so close after three years is quite significant. That kind of margin is almost negligible. It’s not like the huge difference between Massa and Alonso, it’s pretty obvious which is the better of those two. But 5 points after 3 years, it’s not a points gap worth noting. That’s the difference between Vettel and Alonso in the title charge over one season.

    The big difference is that Button is a conservative driver and not flashy and showy and aggressive and sliding around and Hamilton is. If their skills were colours, Button’s would be blue and Hamilton’s red. And we know how much people love red. The big difference is that Button gets the job done and no one notices and Hamilton is letting everyone know how he did it with his style of driving. I’m not suggesting Lewis is a show off, I don’t think he is, I just mean his style of racing is aggressive and showy.

    If anyone remembers the Coe Ovett middle distance athletic races from the 80s everyone will know that they both excelled at the same level yet in completely different ways. Ovett raced to win and did just enough to make sure he was in front whereas Coe insisted on making sure he was always going for world record times. I am sure every one loved Coe over Ovett, but there was nothing between them ultimately.

  2. speeder said on 20th October 2012, 4:19

    If LH could retain his aggressive style and combine it with some of JB’s maturity he would be unstoppable. Too bad for him he’s going to end up average because he can’t grow up a bit….

    • MrLovaLova said on 20th October 2012, 17:41

      After being in F1 for 10 years, if Button is still not able to beat Hamilton, in one of the fastest cars in F1, then Button is the one who has ‘ended up average’.

  3. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 20th October 2012, 13:55

    With only a small amount of points in it I think it’s pretty difficult to say who will come out on top. With so many points on offer and these guys being so evenly matched a few points between them can’t really determine who was the better teammate. It’s far too circumstantial and ‘what could have been’ sort of stuff.

    That said however, we’ve been blessed with two very different drivers who have gone to show that not employing team orders and encouraging two very different driving styles has yielded very similar results.

  4. Hamilton has won more head to head races. I wonder why Keith did list the head to head wins?

  5. The a standard deviation of gap in qualifying, or even a bell curve of some sort. That would have made discussions more interesting.

    Also things like longest stints on tyres….

    Button is the lesser driver. He only has better luck. 2011 doesn’t even count because Hamilton was busy focusing on WINNING the damn thing, than cruising home to second.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 20th October 2012, 23:58

      Hamilton is better, but one cannot sweep his 2011 performances under the rug- he should have got more out of the car, and beaten his “lesser” teammate (or even Alonso, who was in a “lesser” car).

  6. smudgersmith1 (@smudgersmith1) said on 20th October 2012, 19:36

    Love it, the stats don’t Le over so many races.
    For what it’s worth, Lewis is clearly faster, however when it comes to the long haul, JB is a very hard competitor and is a match for most. Makes for great debate…carry on for the remainder of the season !!!

  7. glenj (@glenj) said on 21st October 2012, 12:51

    The Hare & Tortoise. Hare (Hamilton) scampers off & writes off his car. Tortoise (Button) crawls home collecting points in an unspectacular fashion, unless its a wet/dry race. Hamilton by far the better driver to watch for viewers but its hard to split the two results wise.

    • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 21st October 2012, 22:13

      The results show that Button outperformed Hamilton in the 2nd half of 2011. That half is viewed as Hamilton’s worst F1 half season by far and Button’s 2nd best half season. That skewed Button’s scores but you also have to remember that Hamilton is always fighting to win the race, not to win points for the WDC or WCC. Button has no choice but to bank all the points he can because he doesn’t have the luxury of pushing .5 second faster the car like Hamilton can if he needs to. In the long run, those points can add up and lead to this situation but if Hamilton “banked” points which he will be doing moving forward.

      Can you imagine if all F1 racers drove like Button or Rosberg to beat their teammates? F1 would wither and Bernie would pay Lewis $200 million and give him immunity from the FIA and the stewards to re-energize the sport…

  8. Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 21st October 2012, 21:14

    This is the most compelling argument why Hamilton had to leave McLaren. Hamilton has without a doubt beaten Button over the past 3 years in terms of qualifying which is the most common way of comparing drivers in the same car. If Button outscores him, it would just add insult to injury.
    There are many factors that have contributed to this situation but McLaren takes the brunt of the blame. If they can’t win the WDC and WCC with Hamilton and Button, they’ll have a really hard time winning it again unless they have an ubercar which of course in the hands of a driver like Hamilton would be an automatic WDC and WCC by Suzuka…

  9. It`s pretty sad actually, Hamiltons lack of development the last 5 years I mean. Here`s a guy that arrived on the scene with all guns blazing, a true lion. Now he`s transformed into a house cat of some sort, spoilt rotten and extremely self sentered. Just look at Hamilton`s first statement regarding Mercedes, he didn`t expect to win anything in 2013. There`s no team in Hamilton, the most important thing for Hamilton is to place responcibility if he`s not winning at the teams feet, not his own. He`s got some sort of manic need to tell everybody he`s great every single time he opens his mouth and is unable to admit he`s to blame as well as the rest of the team when he`s not winning. I actually think he`s having self-asteem issues which he`s hiding behind this behavior.

    That would explain a lot of Hamiltons behaviour the last seasons, and I for one wouldn`t hold it against him at all. The pressure he`s been put under by the media is enough to break the strongest undividual out there. Hamilton has lived with this pressure since he was 22. It wouldn`t be at all surprising if this has hampered some aspects of his development from young kid to adulthood. I wish the press and others would cut him some slack and rediscover the Hamilton we saw in 2007.

  10. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 5th November 2012, 14:13

    With two races to go the score now stands at Button 637, Hamilton 632.

    • pSynrg (@psynrg) said on 5th November 2012, 14:48

      I think Abu Dhabi 2012 pretty much sums it up perfectly. Lewis just needs a team that can build a car to match his obvious on track superiority.

  11. Lewis Hamilton v Jenson Button is the only example in F1 i’ve ever seen where the points of both team mates over all of their seasons together has been added together to try and manufacture some sort of closeness between the two, when in reality it’s basically 2-1 to Hamilton.

    Apart from a brilliant second half in 2011 from Jenson, and a poor one from Lewis, Lewis has generally had the beating of him. The points don’t reflect the difference between the two, the main reason being the factors out of both drivers control that have seemingly affected Hamilton a lot more than Button over their three years together.

  12. Rodrigo Sanchez said on 5th November 2012, 18:07

    In other words, to score points in a Mclaren you need to drive like a mobil chicane. Not sure Lewis will win a championship at Mercedes but He’ll be a better driver and persone at Mercedes. Look how great Fernando Alonso is since he left McLaren even though he hasn’t won a championship yet. McLaren is a disgrace as a Team in so many level.

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