Button: ‘Then Lewis was a bit the same as Valtteri is now’

Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton know each other well. The two Brits rode together for McLaren for three years until Hamilton left for Mercedes. Button says his opinion of his former teammate has changed over the years.

At the time when the two of them were driving together, Button was quite critical of the younger Lewis Hamilton. He thought Hamilton was very fast during qualifying, but not really convinced during the race. "If you compare his racing speed today with Valtteri Bottas' speed, you see a different Lewis than the one I experienced. He was a bit the same then as Valtteri is now: very fast in qualifying, but during the race he made more mistakes that cost him victories," Button said in the Collecting Cars podcast.

"Could have been more successful together"

According to the 40-year-old former driver, Lewis drove every lap as fast as he could. "He destroyed his tyres, used too much fuel and chose the wrong strategy. Now we see a completely different Lewis, now he doesn't do that any more. It does help that he no longer has a Nico Rosberg or a Max Verstappen breathing down his neck".

Button thinks that he and Hamilton could have had more success together than they ended up with McLaren. "He beat me in qualifying and he won more races than I did. I think I had eight and he had ten, so we were close. As teammates we had many exciting races against each other. I was sorry that he left. But on the other hand: we also cost each other a lot of victories", Button concludes.

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