Doesn’t really seem fair to Lewis who is clearly the faster driver that he is asked to take a pay cut so that he and Jenson are on equal pay terms.
Doesn’t really seem fair to Button or the team that when Hamilton gets so desperate to prove his lack of pace in qualifying was not his fault, he posts telemetry on the internet where every other team can see it. Especially considering that that telemetry showed the difference between wing specifications, thereby allowing rival engineers to understand exactly how McLaren’s upgrade worked.
Hamilton might be faster than Button, but he’s also undisciplined. Ever since joining the team, he’s been at the centre of one controversy or another, whether it was the antics at the Hungaroring in 2007, getting booked for hooning in Melbourne that one time, lying to the stewards in 2009, constantly crashing into other drivers all throughout 2011 and refusing to admit that anything was wrong, or uploading telemetry onto the internet at Spa this year. His speed is offset by his immaturity, and his off-track antics has repeatedly proven to be a liability for the team. Jenson Button, on the other hand, puts considerably more thought into what he does, and off the track, he is the model of a McLaren driver. Just because Hamilton is faster, it doesn’t mean he’s worth more. He’s been bloody stupid at times, with conduct unbecoming of a driver, and that means his vaule goes down.
Furthermore, McLaren have to pay for engines next year, and there is ongoing uncertainty over their title sponsor. They know they will be operating on a reduced budget, and they need to cut costs where they can. If you have a driver who acts like a teenager at times, of course he’s going to be asked to take a pay cut. It’s not like he needs the money – one year’s salary should be enough for him to live the rest of his life on.